Dr Farai Chipato

  • Lecturer in Black Geographies (School of Geographical & Earth Sciences)


I joined University of Glasgow as a lecturer in Black Geographies in February 2022. Prior to that, I was an Alex Trebek Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for International Policy Studies at the University of Ottawa.

I gained my doctorate at the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London, supervised by Clive Gabay and David Williams. I also have an MA in International Politics from the University of Manchester and a BA(Hons) in History and Politics from the University of Liverpool.

Before entering academia, I worked in local government economic policy in the public sector and in evaluation, strategy development and project appraisal in the private sector, across a range of projects.

Research interests

My primary research interests are in African politics, international interventions, Black political thought and the Anthropocene. I work with these themes at three different geographic scales, moving from a local politics to more abstract theoretical concerns at a planetary level. The first concerns international interventions in Africa to promote democracy and human rights, and their relationship to African NGOs. The second moves up a scale, to consider the nature and future of African governance at a continental level, and its relationship to conceptions of African identity, particularly Pan-Africanism and Afropolitanism. The third strand is the most theoretical, focusing on Black and African political thought and its relationship to the crisis of global modernity and the Anthropocene.

In the first theme, I work on Zimbabwe to examine the relationship between local civil society organisations and international development donors, concentrating on issues of democracy, good governance and human rights. It highlights the transformations this relationship has driven over recent years, showing how civil society organisations have become disciplined, internationalised, and professionalised through their relations with global funders. The research also highlights the ways that newer, social media driven social movements have interacted with international donors and created new opportunities for promoting democracy.

The second theme addresses the continuing evolution of Pan-Africanism an ideological force that drives continental politics and governance in Africa and its diaspora. I am interested in the new shifts in Pan-African discourse and challenges to its approach from perspectives like Afropolitanism, which question the link between race and African liberation. I also consider the relationship between Pan-Africanism and the African Union, as the institutional home of the Pan-African project, examining both the opportunities and the failures of contemporary continental governance.

Thirdly, I am interested in the possibility of Black social and political thought and the challenge of the Anthropocene. This strand of research interrogates the Anthropocene not just as a new human-centric geological era, but as a broader theoretical challenge to modernity, science and political thought, drawing on work from Critical Black Studies. I am interested in the ways that Black thought helps us to grapple with the possible end of modernity, imagine new speculative futures, and inspire new forms of governance in an age of climate emergency.


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Professional activities & recognition

Research fellowships

  • 2022 - 2023: Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research

Editorial boards

  • 2018: Review of African Political Economy
  • 2020: Anthropocenes

Professional & learned societies

  • 2021: , International Studies Association
  • 2020: , European International Studies Association

Selected international presentations

  • 2022: International Studies Association (Nashville)
  • 2019: International Studies Association (Toronto)
  • 2019: Millennium Conference (London)