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Staff Profile

Doctor Nicolas Pons-Vignon

Position SENIOR RESEARCHER
QualificationsMSc, MA, PhD
Phone 0117178096
Email Nicolas.Pons-Vignon@wits.ac.za
Organisational Unit School of Economic & Business Sciences

Nicolas's research is clustered around four areas which are discussed below:

- Labour in developing and developed economies

  • Nicolas is completing his PhD dissertation on labour casualisation in the South African forestry sector, on which he has already published in French (in Politique Africaine) and in English (in the Journal of Southern African Studies and the South African Labour Bulletin).
  • He is also working on two papers on outsourcing with Bruno Tinel (Paris 1-Sorbonne, France), which will look at the theory of outsourcing and confront empirical results found in developed and developing countries.
  • As editor of the Global Labour Column, Nicolas has edited two ILO-published books which collect articles on trade union responses to the crisis and policy directions for post-crisis economic policy. he is currently working on the 3rd book.

- Development theory through the South African prism

  • Nicolas is pursuing research on Marxist understandings of accumulation to account for the development path of South Africa, and to enrich the often simplistic underpinning of development theory (e.g. developmental vs. failed states). With Lotta Takala-Greenish of SOAS, he is working on two papers deriving from two conference papers presented in 2010: one discusses the relevance of regulation theory and the ?social systems of accumulation? approach to understanding South Africa?s development; the other one analyzes, from a political economy perspective, the continuities between apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa
  • Together with Aurelia Segatti (Wits University), Nicolas is co-ordinating a research project on ?Institutions, Governance and Long-Term Growth? in South Africa. This research is part of a broader comparative programme co-ordinated by the French Development Agency (AFD) which consists of a series of case studies (including Vietnam, China, Bangladesh and India along with several African countries). The aim of the programme is to assess critically the framework developed by North, Weingast and Wallis in their book Violence and social orders: A New Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History [2009, CUP]

- Development in Africa

  • As course director of the yearly African Programme for Rethinking Development Economics (APORDE), Nicolas is currently working (with Nicolas Meisel of AFD) on editing 3 volumes of a handbook of development economics [the first volume will be published in French and in English in 2012]
  • Nicolas published in 2010 a book chapter (co-authored with Carlos Oya of SOAS) on ?Aid, Development and the State in Africa? in V. Padayachee (ed), The Political Economy of Africa (Routledge) N icolas has been a Senior Researcher at CSID/SEBS since 2008. His research focuses on economic development and policy in South Africa, as well as on labour, poverty and development aid. Nicolas has been the editor of the Global Labour Column since its inception in October 2009. He is also the founder, a member of the Scientific Committee and former Course director of the annual high-level African Programme for Rethinking Development Economics (APORDE ).

    Nicolas is actively involved in the design and teaching of the new Honours and Masters in Development Theory and Policy (offered by the School of Economic and Business Sciences at Wits from 2011); these programmes aim at building capacity in economic policy making and analysis in Southern Africa. Nicolas has also designed and taught in the Certificate in Economic and Development Policy (offered by the Wits School of Governance since 2011). He has been teaching (with Sam Ashman) the core course (Economics and Sociology of Development) of the Masters in Development Studies at Wits since 2010. Nicolas has also taught on an ad hoc basis in a number of courses including: Masters in Sustainable Development Planning and Management at the University of Stellenbosch; ILRIG Globalisation school; SOAS-Mo Ibrahim Governance for Development in Africa residential school (in Dakar and Maputo); TWN-Africa?s African Activists school.

    Prior to joining Wits, Nicolas was a researcher at the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS), where he researched the outsourcing of forestry operations in South Africa. He carried out extensive fieldwork and published several peer-reviewed articles on his research. Previously Nicolas worked as a consultant at the OECD Development Centre, where he researched the links between violent conflict and land, and a project officer for an international NGO in Morocco, London and Paris. Nicolas has spent the last seven years living and working in South Africa.

    Nicolas is actively involved in the design and teaching of the new Honours and Masters in Development Theory and Policy(offered by the School of Economic and Business Sciences at Wits from 2011). He has also designed and taught in the Certificate in Economic and Development Policy (offered by the Graduate School of Public and Development Management [P&DM] at Wits from 2011). He has been teaching (with Sam Ashman) the core course (Economics and Sociology of Development) of the Masters in Development Studies at Wits since 2010. Nicolas has also taught on an ad hoc basis in a number of courses including: Masters in Sustainable Development Planning and Management at the University of Stellenbosch; ILRIG Globalisation school; SOAS-Mo Ibrahim Governance for Development in Africa residential school (in Dakar and Maputo); TWN-Africa's African Activists school.

    Postgraduate courses taught at Wits:
    2012:

    1st semester:
    [ECON7046] Political Economy of Development, Masters in Development Theory and Policy - combined with:
    [GRAD 7017] Economics and Sociology of Development, Masters in Development Studies [Development Studies interfaculty programme]

    Political Economy and Economic Development (with Ben Fine), Certificate in Economic and Development Policy [P&DM]

    2nd semester:
    [ECON 4053] Trade and Finance in Economic Development, Honours in Development Theory and Policy [SEBS]

    2011:
    [GRAD 7017] Economics and Sociology of Development, Masters in Development Studies [Development Studies interfaculty programme]

    [ECON 4053] Trade and Finance in Economic Development, Honours in Development Theory and Policy [SEBS]

    [ECON 4054] Advanced Research Methods for Policy, Honours in Development Theory and Policy [SEBS]

    Political Economy and Economic Development (with Ben Fine), Certificate in Economic and Development Policy [P&DM]

    2010:
    [GRAD 7017] Economics and sociology of Development, Masters in Development Studies [Development Studies interfaculty programme]

    African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics - APORDE

    Nicolas is the founder and Course director of the African Programme for Rethinking Development Economics (APORDE), a yearly high-level training programme for African academics, policy makers and civil society activists. The programme is supported by South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and

    Publications

    N Pons-Vignon (forthcoming in 2015), 'Caught in the Grip of the Market: Agricultural and Forestry Workers in Post-apartheid South Africa', in Oya, C. & Pontara, N. (eds.), Rural Wage Employment in Developing Countries: Theory, Evidence and Policy, London: Routledge

    N Pons-Vignon & S Ashman (2014) ‘NUMSA, the working class and socialist politics in South Africa’, Socialist Register 2015

    N Pons-Vignon (2014) ‘Quand l’arc-en-ciel s’estompe : l’Afrique du Sud est-elle un pays émergent ?’, Revue Tiers Monde, No. 219

    N Pons-Vignon & M Di Paola (2014) ‘The South African labour market after eighteen years: It’s Class Struggle, Stupid!’, in Daniel, J. et al. (eds.), New South African Review 4, Johannesburg: Wits University Press

    N Pons-Vignon & A Segatti (2013) 'The South African developmental impasse and the Neoliberal Revolution', Review of African Political Economy, Vol. 40, No. 138. [editorial of special issue on South Africa edited by Pons-Vignon & Segatti

    N Pons-Vignon & A Segatti (2013) ‘Stuck in Stabilisation? South Africa’s post-apartheid macro-economic policy between ideological conversion and technocratic capture’, Review of African Political Economy, Vol. 40, No. 138

    N Pons-Vignon & M Di Paola (2013) ‘Labour market restructuring in South Africa: low wages, high insecurity’, Review of African Political Economy, Vol. 40, No. 138

    N Pons-Vignon & P Ncube [eds.] (2012) Confronting finance: Mobilizing the 99% for economic and social progress. Geneva: ILO

    N Pons-Vignon (2011), "Brazil's Industrial Policy: Lessons for South Africa", New Agenda: South African Journal of Social and Economic Policy, No. 42

    N. Pons-Vignon (2011), "Bringing Politics Back In", introduction to N. Pons-Vignon (ed), There Is An Alternative. Economic policies and labour strategies beyond the mainstream, Geneva: ILO

    C Oya & N Pons-Vignon (2010), "Aid, Development and the State in Africa", in V Padayachee (dir.), The Political Economy of Africa, Londres, Routledge.

    N Pons-Vignon (ed) (2010), "Employment Creation, Decent Work and Industrial Policy", Paper prepared for the South African Department of Trade and Industry's Industrial Policy Research Support

    N. Pons-Vignon (2010), "Beyond 'Neoliberalism?", introduction to N. Pons-Vignon (ed), Don't waste the crisis. Critical perspectives for a new economic model, Geneva: ILO.

    B Baloyi, N Pons-Vignon et al. (2009), "Looking Into South Africa's Economic Structure: Weak Growth Drivers and the Need for Re-Industrialisation", Paper prepared for the South African Department of Trade and Industry's Industrial Policy Research Support

    B Baloyi & N Pons-Vignon (2009), "Towards a Developmental Trade Policy for South Africa", Paper prepared for the South African Department of Trade and Industry's Industrial Policy Research Support

    N Pons-Vignon & W Anseeuw (2009), "Great Expectations. Working Conditions in South Africa since the End of Apartheid" Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 883 - 899

    N Pons-Vignon & W Anseeuw (2007), "Le paradoxe sud-africain : l'evolution des conditions de travail depuis la fin de l'apartheid", Politique Africaine, No. 106.

    N. Pons-Vignon (2006), "Forestry workers buckle under outsourcing pipedream", South African Labour Bulletin, vol. 30(2)

    N Pons-Vignon & H-B Solignac-Lecomte. 2004. "Land, Violent Conflict and Development", OECD Development Centre Working Paper No 233. [disponible sur www.oecd.org/dev/land]

    with Segatti (2013) 'The South African developmental impasse and the Neoliberal Revolution', Review of African Political Economy, Vol. 40, No. 138. [editorial of special issue on South Africa edited by Pons-Vignon & Segatti

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