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Dr Peter Dwyer


Contact details

Email: peter dot dwyer at warwick dot ac dot uk

Tel.: +44(0) 24765 22504
Room: R3.16 Ramphal Building

Office hours: Term 3

Monday - Friday 12.00-13.00 on Teams.

Email is the best way to contact me for an appointment.

Monday - Wednesday I am in the Virtual Common Room on Teams 13.00-13.30

Teaching Fellow and Director of Student Experience


I joined GSD in September 2019. I have worked in the private and non-profit sector and in both community-based and higher education in the UK and Southern Africa. I obtained a PhD in Development Studies at the University of East Anglia. This involved 9 months ethnographic and oral life history work with former anti-apartheid activists who moved from grassroots activism to being members of government with Nelson Mandela. I then completed a Postdoctoral fellowship on community based organisations at the Centre for Civil Society in the School of Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. I was involved in the first major study of post-apartheid social movements before working as the Head of Education and Campaigns for a South African nongovernmental organisation. I then worked as a researcher in the non-profit sector in the UK before returning to higher education in 2008. I have been involved in environmental and social justice campaigns for over 25 years and have worked closely with a broad range of civil society organisations in Europe, Africa and Latin America.


I currently convene Principles and Praxis of Global Sustainable Development, co-convene GD107 Global Sustainable Development Project and I jointly teach on GD106 Social Principals of Global Sustainable Development.

I have extensive experience of supervising undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations and I have also examined MAs and PhDs for the University of Johannesburg.


I use ethnography to explore the ways in which popular classes, predominantly in Africa, respond and contend with the impact of social, political and environmental change. I am also interested in examining how involvement in activism transforms individuals and the lessons that can be learned from participation.

Selected publications


Dwyer P. and Zeilig, L. (2012) African Struggles Today: Social Movements Since Independence. Chicago: Haymarket Books.

Journal articles and book chapters

Selected conference papers and presentations

  • ‘Decolonising research and democratising thought: the role of the Review of African Political Economy’, at the Social Change from below colloquium, Centre for Social Change, University of Johannesburg, 13 June 2019.
  • ‘Review of African Political Economy: Reflections on a Radical Africanist Journal’ at the conference of Contemporary Africa’s, Creative Africa’s: Conceptual and Methodological Advances in African Studies, University of Leeds, 4-5 April 2019.
  • Seddon, D and Dwyer, P. (2010) ‘Popular protest, working class struggle and progressive politics in sub-Saharan Africa: 1990-2010’, paper presented at the 15th International Conference on Alternative Futures and Popular Protest, Manchester Metropolitan University, 29–31 March.
  • Dwyer, P. Seddon, D and Zeilig, L, (2008) 'An epoch of uprisings: Social movements in post-colonial Africa', paper presented at the 13th International Conference on Alternative Futures and Popular Protest, Manchester Metropolitan University, 17–19 March.

Selected invited presentations

  • Dwyer, P. ‘From Marikana to Boksburg: a fork in the road for the South African labour movement?, Trade Unions in the Global South from 1948 to the present day”, TUC, Congress House, 13 June 2014.
  • Dwyer, P. ‘The Marikana Mine Massacre: Implications for labour and social movements’, The Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, National University of Ireland, 3 April 2013.
  • Dwyer, P. ‘Trade Unions and Rural Economic Development in Nigeria’ at the Association of Senior Staff of Banks Insurance and Financial Institutions, Trade Union Congress, Lagos, Nigeria, 4 December 2011.
  • Dwyer, P.From Wall Street to the Arab Street: 989 days that shook the world’, at Global Crisis: Responses and Impacts in the Global South a one day workshop Politics and International Studies Global Development and Justice Research Group , at the University of Leeds, 4 March 2011.
  • Dwyer, P. ‘The Financial Crisis and Resistance in the Global South’, at the European Union COST conference, Centre for African Studies, Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds, 26 November 2010.
  • Dwyer, P. 'Representing the poor or poor representation?: Media in post-apartheid South Africa', The Poverty Challenge, South Africa Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development (SANPAD) Conference, Durban, 26-30 June, 2007.
  • Larmer, M and Dwyer, P. ‘Four Wheel Drives and Burning Tyres’: Mapping Social Movements in Southern Africa, at the International Sociology Association Congress, Durban, 23-29 July 2006.

Media and community engagement

I have over 25 years’ experience of working with community-based organisations, campaigning groups and the labour movement in the UK and Africa. I have spoken at a variety of academic and activist conferences and public events such as the World Social Forums in Brazil, Mali and Kenya.

Between 2017-2019, as part of my work on the editorial board of the Review of African Politcial Economy), I helped to plan and co-ordinate a series of participative workshops in Ghana, Tanzania and South Africa that facilitated a dialogue about social change between concerned academics and civil society participants. One aim of which was to look at ways of decolonising research and knowledge.

I have a wide range of media experience and have spoken on TV and radio in the UK, South Africa, Brazil and Kenya.

September 2018 Invited panellist ‘Land reform: Promise or peril in South Africa?’ TRT World TV

November 2017: Invited panellist ‘What mark will Zuma leave on South Africa?’ TRT World TV

External service

I have been on the editorial board of The Review of African Political Economy since 2014.