Thandika Mkandawire was Director of UNRISD from 1998 to 2009. A Swedish national of Malawian origin, he is an economist with many years' experience in the promotion of comparative research on development issues. He studied economics at Ohio State University and the University of Stockholm and has taught at the Universities of Stockholm and Zimbabwe. He holds a Doctorate in Letters from Rhodes University.
From 1986 through 1996, he was Executive Secretary of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) based in Dakar, Senegal. Prior to taking up his appointment with UNRISD, he was Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Development Research in Copenhagen.
He has published broadly on the social sciences in Africa and on problems of policy making, adjustment and democratization.
Thandika is a member of the editorial boards of Africa Development; Africa Review of Books; Development and Change; Global Governance; Journal of Development Studies; Journal of Human Development and Oxford Development Studies; Africa Review of Books, and Feminist Economics; and has recently served on the executive committees of the International Institute for Labour Studies, the Swedish NGO Fund for Human Rights, the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP) of the International Social Science Council, Care International, the Steering Committee of the UN Project on Intellectual History, and the African Gender Institute.
Selected recent publications:
African Intellectuals: Rethinking Politics, Language, Gender and Development ed. Zed Books, London, 2005; "Maladjusted African Economies and Globalisation" in Africa Development, Vol. XXX, Nos. 1 and 2, 2005; Social Policy in a Development Context ed. Palgrave Macmillan, London 2004; "Disempowering New Democracies and the Persistence of Poverty" in Globalisation, Poverty and Conflict, Max Spoor ed., Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004; "Good governance: The itinerary of an idea" in Development and Cooperation, 2004; "African Voices on Structural Adjustment" CODESRIA/IDRC/AWP, Trenton, NJ, 2003; "Intellectuals: Post-Independence", Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century African History, Paul Zeleza ed. Routledge, London, 2003 ; "Economy: Post-Independence" in Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century African History, Paul Zeleza ed. Routledge, London, 2003. “Incentives, Governance and Capacity Development: What Role for Technical Assistance in Africa?” in Capacity for Developing New Solutions to Old Problems, Eds. Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Carlos Lopes and Khalid Malik, Earthscan, 2002; "African Intellectuals, Political Culture and Development", Journal für Entwicklungspolitik (Austrian Journal of Development Studies), XV 111:1 (Special Issue edited by Henning Melber), 2002; "Globalization and Social Equity" African Sociological Review, 2002; "The Terrible Toll of Post-Colonial 'Rebel Movements' in Africa: Toward an Explanation of the Violence Against the Peasantry", Journal of Modern African Studies, 2002; Social Policy in a Development Context, UNRISD, Geneva, 2001; "Thinking About Developmental States in Africa", Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2001; "Non-Organic Intellectuals and 'Learning' in Policy-Making Africa", in Learning in Development Co-operation, eds. Jerker Carlsson and Lennart Wohlgemuth, EGDI, Sweden, 2000; "Crisis Management and the Making of 'Choiceless Democracies' in Africa", in The State, Conflict and Democracy in Africa, ed. Richard Joseph, Lynne Rienner, Boulder, Colorado, 1999; "Shifting Commitments and National Cohesion in African Countries," in Common Security and Civil Society in Africa, eds. Lennart Wohlegemuth, Samantha Gibson, Stephan Klasen and Emma Rothchild, Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Uppsala, 1999.