School of Social and Political Science

Dr Andrew Bowman

Job Title

Senior Lecturer, Africa & International Development

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Room number


Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

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Post code (Address)


Research interests

Research interests

I research the political economy of development, with a particular focus on the challenges of sustainable and inclusive development in the agro-industries, and the political economy of the extractive industries in southern Africa.

Publications can be found here:

My main research activity at the moment is as an investigator on the project Innovation and Inclusion in Agro-Processing, in collaboration with the University of Johannesburg's Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development, and the Economic and Social Research Foundation in Tanzania. The project seeks to investigate the factors influencing inclusion of small and medium sized manufacturing enterprises in domestic agro-processing value chains in a context of rapid food system industrialisation, with a particular focus on innovation systems and the political economy of industrial policy.

I have also recently been involved in research projects investigating the challenges for inclusive development across a range of different agricultural commodities, including wool, medical cannabis, and beef.

I am a Senior Research Associate at the Department of Sociology, Rhodes University, South Africa.

I am also involved in ongoing research on the political economy of the mining industry in South Africa, with  a particular interests in distributional politics, financialization, and functional upgrading processes within global value chains. Much of this work was previously carried out in collaboration with researchers from the Mining and Rural Transformation in Southern Africa research group at the Society, Work and Politics Institute, University of the Witwatersrand. I have additional research interests in infrastructure and state-owned enterprises in post-apartheid South Africa, and the history of science, technology and expertise in international development. I am a member of the Foundational Economy Collective, and have an interest in furthering 'foundational economy' thinking to address economic development challenges. Prior to coming to Edinburgh, I worked at the Society, Work and Development Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, and at the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change, University of Manchester. My PhD at the University of Manchester was on the history of science and technology in agricultural development in Zambia.

Topics interested in supervising

I am interested in supervising students on issues relating to the political economy of development, with a particular interest in topics relating to agriculture and agro-industries, mining and the extractive industries, and infrastructure.

If you are interested in being supervised by Andrew Bowman, please see the links below (open in new windows) for more information:



I teach postgraduates on the MSc in International Development and MSc in Africa and International Development, including the courses Politics & Theories of International Development, and Business & International Development. I teach the course Power, Data, & Inequality in Value Chains at the Edinburgh Futures Institute. 

Staff Hours and Guidance

By appointment

Publications by user content

Publication Research Explorer link
Bowman A, Chisoro S. Inclusive agro-industrial development and sectoral systems of innovation: Insights from South Africa. Innovation and Development. 2024 Feb 20;1-30. Epub 2024 Feb 20. doi: 10.1080/2157930X.2024.2312311
Bennie A, Suliman L, Bowman A. Towards a just transition in the South African food system - Key issues and competing perspectives. Institute for Economic Justice. 2023 May 29.
Bowman A, Lehmann-Grube K. Inclusive Development in the South African Cannabis Industry: Assessing the Challenges. Institute for Economic Justice, 2023. 75 p.
Bowman A. Inclusive industrialisation in agro-processing: Challenges for small enterprises in the South African maize processing industry. 2021 Oct. Epub 2021 Oct.
Mnwana S, Bowman A. Land, conflict and radical distributive claims in South Africa's rural mining frontier. Extractive Industries and Society. 2021 Jul 17;100972. Epub 2021 Jul 17. doi: 10.1016/j.exis.2021.100972
Bowman A, Froud J, Haslam C, Johal S, Morgan K, Williams K. What can Welsh Government do to increase the number of grounded SME firms in food processing and distribution? Foundational Economy Research, 2021. 59 p.
Bowman A, Frederiksen T, Bryceson DF, Childs J, Gilberthorpe E, Newman S. Mining in Africa after the supercycle: New directions and geographies. Area. 2021 Apr 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20. doi: 10.1111/area.12723
Bowman A. Parastatals and economic transformation in South Africa: The political economy of the Eskom crisis. African Affairs. 2020 Jul 31;119(476):395-431. Epub 2020 Jun 24. doi: 10.1093/afraf/adaa013
Bowman A. Black economic empowerment and state-business relations in South Africa: The case of mining. Review of African Political Economy. 2019;46(160):223-245. Epub 2019 Jul 9. doi: 10.1080/03056244.2019.1605587
Mnwana S, Bowman A. Mine mechanisation and distributional conflict in rural South Africa. Resources Policy. 2018 Dec;59:227-237. Epub 2018 Aug 23. doi: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2018.07.008
Bowman A. Financialization and the extractive industries: The case of South African platinum mining. Competition & Change. 2018 Aug 1;22(4):388-412. Epub 2018 Jul 12. doi: 10.1177/1024529418785611
Bowman A, Fround J, Johal S, Williams K. Trade Associations, Narrative and Elite Power. Theory, Culture & Society. 2017 Sept 1;34(5-6):103–126. Epub 2017 Aug 1. doi: 10.1177/0263276417717793
Bowman A. Dilemmas of distribution: financialisation, boom and bust in the post-apartheid platinum industry. Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand. 2016 Jul, p. 1-50. (Society, Work and Development Institute; 6).
Bowman A, Isaacs G. The 2014 platinum strike: Narratives and numbers. Review of African Political Economy. 2016 Jan 13. doi: 10.1080/03056244.2015.1084912
Bowman A. Sovereignty, risk and biotechnology: Zambia’s 2002 GM controversy in retrospect. Development and change. 2015 Nov;46(6):1369–1391. Epub 2015 Nov 3. doi: 10.1111/dech.12196
Bowman A, (ed.), Erturk I, (ed.), Folkman P, (ed.), Froud J, (ed.), Haslam C, (ed.), Johal S, (ed.) et al. What a waste: Outsourcing and how it goes wrong. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015. 120 p. (Manchester Capatalism).
Bowman A. An illusion of success: The consequences of British railprivatisation. Accounting Forum. 2015 Mar;39(1):51–63. doi: 10.1016/j.accfor.2014.10.001
Bowman A, Erturk I, Froud J, Johal S, Law J, Leaver A et al. The End of the Experiment? From Competition and Markets to Social Licensing in the Foundational Economy. 1 ed. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014. 180 p. (Manchester Capitalism).
Jankovic V, Bowman A. After the green gold rush: the construction of climate change as a market transition. Economy and Society. 2014;43(2):233-259 . Epub 2013 Sept 9. doi: 10.1080/03085147.2013.791511