Professor Marcus Power
One of the key objectives of my research has been to radicalise and rethink the ways in which ‘development’ has been understood in Geography and to foreground and underline the importance of geographical perspectives in formulating new and more critical theoretical understandings of ‘development’. My work has explored the genealogy and degeneration of ‘Tropical’ Geography and the ongoing decolonisation of development geography but also the potential of post-structural perspectives concerned with the power and dissemination of ‘development’ (particularly post-development theory). Some of my recent work has sought to trace emergent spaces of post-development and intersections of enclavisation and enclosure in Southern Africa resulting from macro-shifts in the geography of accumulation and the unravelling of national projects of development.
Much of my research has been specifically focused on the former Portuguese empire in Africa and has explored the theorisation and practices of ‘development’ in Lusophone African post-colonial states, primarily Angola and Mozambique. This has involved an interest in the geopolitics of Portuguese imperialism, leading to a number of publications concerned with national identity, decolonisation and visual representation in ‘post-colonial’ Portugal (with particular reference to colonial and post-colonial exhibitions and representations of Portugal’s colonial wars and imperial discoveries). A concern with geopolitics and ‘post-colonial’ geographies in the Lusophone world has been an important focus of my research which has explored the relevance and potential of post-colonial theorisations to understandings of the construction of national identity (in Portugal and its former colonies) and to the project of rethinking the geographies of ‘development’ in Africa more generally. This has also involved research on post-colonial urban change and spaces of enclosure in places like Maputo and Tete in Mozambique and Luanda in Angola. Also allied to this has been my concern with Geographies of disability and development in Lusophone Africa (with particular reference to war veterans with physical disabilities in Angola and Mozambique).
My work has also sought to weave together issues concerning economic geographies of neoliberalism and questions of politico-economic transformations in the post-socialist spaces of the global South. My early research was focused on the dissemination of neoliberalism through Investment Promotion Authorities (IPA’s) and global development institutions such as UNCTAD and the Commonwealth. In recent years I have begun to examine the rise of ‘new’ development donors like China and the growing importance of ‘South-South’ cooperation and what this means for the development paradigm and for established modes of development co-operation. This initially began with an ESRC-funded project that explored China’s evolving political and economic role in Africa and sought to assess what impacts Chinese aid, trade and investment are having on the politics of two African countries, Angola and Ghana, which represent very different examples of China’s development ‘partnerships’ in Africa. More recently I have led an ESRC-funded project looking at how, why and to what extent China, Brazil and India are enabling the transition to low carbon energy systems in South Africa and Mozambique, looking at how ‘rising power’ actors are shaping the provision of energy services for productive uses (such as cooking, lighting and mobility) and the consequent implications for the affordability, accessibility, and sustainability of energy services in the region. This interest in the ‘rising powers’ and energy statecraft and resource diplomacy in turn relates to my long standing interest in the geopolitical imagination of ‘development’ in which I have sought to explore the increasingly influential role of Chinese geopolitical discourses in Africa along with the wider geopolitical enframing and imagination of development from the Cold War through to the global War on Terror.
Questions of visual culture have consistently been an important part of my research, with a particular focus on the importance of cinema in shaping popular understandings of geopolitics. Other work has sought to explore the ways in which radio, television and cinema have shaped cultural identities in post-colonial Southern Africa. This has involved work on colonial and post-colonial cinema in Portugal and Mozambique and has focused on the geopolitical reasoning and imaginations that are constructed through film. I am also interested in the importance of contemporary popular video games in the construction of terrorist ‘others’ and in soliciting support for US imperialism and the ‘war on terror’, exploring the ways in which video games promote active participation in a (militarized) culture of violence. I have also written about Hollywood film production in Cold War America and Hollywood film and geopolitics in the context of Gulf War II.
Lecturer in Human Geography, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol.
Lecturer in Human Geography, School of Geography, University of Leeds.
Teaching Assistant in Human Geography, School of Geography, University of Leeds.
Qualifications and Education:
• (1994-1997) ESRC funded PhD research 'Territory, the State and Cultural Identities in 'Post-Colonial' Mozambique' School of Geography, University of Birmingham, (supervised by Dr J D Sidaway).
• (1993-1994) MA in the Geography of Third World Development (with distinction), Department of Geography, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London.
• (1990-1993) BA Hons. Geography, Department of Geography, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
- Politics of Chinese engagement with African development: Case studies of Angola and Ghana, The
- Rising Powers, Clean Development and the Low Carbon Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa, The
- Critical geographies and genealogies of (post)development
- Energy geographies and low carbon transitions
- Post-colonialism, Portugal and Lusophone Africa
- Post-socialist transformations in Southern Africa
- China-Africa engagement
- Vision, visuality and 'popular' geopolitics
- Power, M. & Kirshner, J.D. Powering the State: The political geographies of electrification in Mozambique. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space. 2018.
- Power, M. Africa and the export of China’s clean energy revolution. Third World Quarterly. 2017;38:678-697.
- Power, M., Newell, P., Baker, L., Bulkeley, H., Kirshner, J. & Smith, A. The political economy of energy transitions in Mozambique and South Africa: The role of the Rising Powers. Energy Research & Social Science. 2016;17:10-19.
- Kirshner, J. & Power, M. Mining and extractive urbanism: Postdevelopment in a Mozambican boomtown. Geoforum. 2015;61:67-78.
- Power, M. Mozambique needs a community-driven approach to electrification. The Conversation. 2015.
- Power, M. Angola 2025: The future of the 'world's richest poor country' as seen through a Chinese rear-view mirror'. Antipode. 2012;44:993-1014.
- Power, M. Commentary on Arturo Escobar's (2008) Territories of Difference: Place, Movements, Life, Redes. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Progress in Human Geography. 2012;36:143-151.
- Power, M. Geopolitics and Development: An Introduction. Geopolitics. 2010;15:433-440.
- Tan-Mullins, M., Mohan, G. & Power M. Redefining ‘Aid’ in the China-Africa Context. Development and Change. 2010;41:857-881.
- Power, M. & Campbell, D. The State of Critical Geopolitics. Political Geography. 2010;29:243-246.
- Power, M. & Mohan, G. Towards a critical geopolitics of China’s engagement with African development. Geopolitics. 2010;15:462-495.
- Power, M. 'The Commonwealth, ‘development’ and post-colonial responsibility'. Geoforum. 2009;40:14-24.
- Mohan, G. & Power, M. ‘Africa, China and the ‘new’ economic geography of development'. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. 2009;30:24-28.
- Sidaway, J.D. & Power, M. Lisbon to Macao: The Occluded Geographies of Portugal’s Discoveries. Revista Cultural. 2009;30:58-74.
- Power, M. & Mohan, G. 'Good friends and good partners: The 'New' face of China-Africa co-operation'. Review of African Political Economy. 2008;35:5-6.
- Mohan, G. & Power, M. 'New African Choices? The Politics of Chinese Engagement'. Review of African Political Economy,. 2008;35:23-42.
- Power, M 'Digitized Virtuosity: Video War games and post-9/11 Cyber-deterrence'. Security Dialogue. 2007;38:271-288.
- Power, M. 'Anti-racism, deconstruction and 'overdevelopment'. Progress in Development Studies. 2006;6:24-39.
- Power, M., Mohan, G. & Mercer, C. ‘Post-colonial geographies of development: Introduction’. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. 2006;27:231-234.
- Power, M. & Sidaway, J.D. 'Deconstructing twinned towers: Lisbon's Expo '98 and the occluded geographies of discovery'. Social and Cultural Geography. 2005;6:865-883.
- Power, M. & Crampton, A. 'Reel Geopolitics: Cinemato-graphing Political Space'. Geopolitics. 2005;10:193-203.
- Sidaway, J.D. & Power, M. 'The tears of Portugal': empire, identity, 'race', and destiny in Portuguese geopolitical narratives. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 2005;23:527-554.
- Power, M. 'Working the Spaces of Neoliberalism'. Antipode. 2005;37:605-612.
- Crampton, A. & Power, M. Frames of reference on the geopolitical stage: Saving Private Ryan and the Second World War/Second Gulf War intertext'. Geopolitics. 2005;10:244-265.
- Power, M. ‘Post-colonial cinema and the reconfiguration of Moçambicanidade’. Lusotopie. 2004.
- Power, M. & Sidaway, J.D. The degeneration of tropical geography'. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 2004;94:585-601.
- Power, M. 'The Scripting, Staging and Projection of 'Popular' Geo-political Discourse'. Geopolitics. 2003;8:181-189.
- Mercer, C., Mohan, G. & Power, M. 'Towards a critical political geography of African development’. Geoforum. 2003;34:419-436.
- Power, M. ‘Re-Imagining Postcolonial Africa: A Commentary on Michael Watts' 'Development and Governmentality'. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. 2003;24:49-60.
- Mercer, C., Mohan, G. & Power, M. New perspectives on the politics of development in Africa. Geoforum. 2003;34:417-418.
- Power, M. ‘Geographies of Disability and Development in Southern Africa'. Disability Studies Quarterly. 2001;22:11-22.
- Power, M. ‘Patrimonialism and petro-diamond capitalism: geo-politics and the economics of war in Angola'. Review of African Political Economy. 2001;90:489-502.
- Power, M. Geo-politics and the representation of Portugal's African colonial wars: examining the limits of 'Vietnam syndrome'. Political Geography. 2001;20:461-491.
- Power, M. '21st Century Foxed: global media broadcasting and the reconfiguration of Moçambicanidade'. South African Geographical Journal. 2000;82:47-55.
- Power, M. 'Aqui Lourenço Marques!! [Lourenço Marques here!!]: 'Radio-Colonization' and cultural identity in colonial Mozambique 1932-1974'. Journal of Historical Geography. 2000;26:605-628.
- Power, M. 'The Short-cut to international development: representing Africa in 'New Britain'. Area. 2000;32:91-100.
- Power, M. 'The Dissemination of development'. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 1998;16:577-598.
- Sidaway, J.D. & Power, M. ‘Socio-spatial transformations in the ‘post-socialist’ periphery: the case of Maputo, Mozambique’. Environment and Planning A. 1995;27:1463-1491.
- Power, M Geopolitics and Development. Routledge; 2019.
- Power, M., Mohan, G. & Tan-Mullins, M. China's Resource Diplomacy in Africa: Powering Development?. Palgrave Macmillan; 2012.
- Power, M. Rethinking Development geographies. London.: Routledge; 2003.
Chapter in book
- Power, M Modernization Theories of Development. In: Callan, H International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Wiley Blackwell; 2018.
- Power, M. & Mohan, G. Towards a Critical Geopolitics of China’s Engagement with African Development. In: Young, T. Readings in the International Relations of Africa. Indiana University Press; 2016:322-337.
- Power, M. Worlds Apart? The changing geographies of global development. In: Daniels, P., Bradshaw, M., Shaw, D., Sidaway, J. & Hall, T. An Introduction to Human Geography. Pearson; 2016:170-185.
- Power, M. The Rise of the BRICS. In: Agnew, J., Mamadouh, V., Secor, A.J. & Sharp, J. The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Political Geography. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons; 2015:379-392.
- Sidaway, J.D., Mamadouh, V. & Power, M. Reappraising Geopolitical Traditions. In: Dodds, K., Kuus, M. & Sharp, J. The Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics. Ashgate; 2013:165-188.
- Power, M, & Mohan, G. China and the Geopolitical Imagination of African ‘Development'. In: Dent, C. China-Africa Development Relations. London: Routledge; 2010.
- Campbell, D. & Power, M. The Scopic Regime of Africa. In: MacDonald, F., Hughes, R. & Dodds, K. Observant States: Geopolitics and Visual Culture. London: IB Tauris; 2010:167-198.
- Power, M. 'Digital war games and post 9/11 geographies of militarism'. In: Schubart, R., Virchow, F. & White-Stanley, D. War Isn't Hell, it's Entertainment: Essays on Visual Media and the Representation of Conflict. London: McFarland; 2009:198-215.
- Phelps, N, Power, M & Wanjiru, R 'Learning to compete: communities of investment promotion practice and the spread of global neoliberalism'. In: England, K & Ward, K Neoliberalization: States, Networks, Peoples. London: Blackwell; 2007:83-109.
- Power, M National States. In: Douglas, I., Huggett, R. & Perkins, C. Encyclopedia of Geography. London: Routledge; 2007.
- Power, M. ‘War veterans, disability and post-colonial citizenship in Lusophone Africa’. In: Gilbert, E. & Cowen, E. London.: Sage; 2006.
- Power, M. Dependency Theory. In: Wharf, B. Encyclopaedia of Geography. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; 2006.
- Power, M. 'Cold War'. In: Forsyth, T. Encyclopedia of International Development. Routledge; 2005:88-89.
- Power, M 'Decolonization'. In: Forsyth, T Encyclopedia of Inernational Development. Routeldge; 2005:138-140.
- Power, M. 'Mahbub Ul Haq (1934-98)'. In: Simon, D. Fifty key thinkers in development. Routledge; 2005:264-270.
- Power, M. 'War'. In: Forsyth, T. Encyclopedia of International Development. Routledge; 2005:745-746.
- Power, M. 'Worlds apart: global difference and inequality'. In: Daniels, P., Bradshaw, M., Shaw, D. & Sidaway, J. An Introduction to Human Geography: Issues for the twenty-first century. Pearson, Prentice Hall; 2004:185-209.
- Power, M. ‘Geographies of governance and regional politics’. In: Potts, D. & Bowyer-Bower, T. Eastern and Southern Africa: Development challenges in a Volatile region. London.: Pearson; 2004:255-294.
- Power, M. 'Exploding the myth of Portugal’s ‘maritime destiny’ A postcolonial voyage through EXPO ’98’. In: Blunt, A. & McEwan, C. Post-colonial Geographies. London.: Continuum; 2003.
- Power, M. 'Enlightenment and the era of modernity’. In: Desai, V. & Potter, R. The Companion to Development Studies. London.: Arnold; 2001:65-70.
- Power, M. & Sidaway, J.D. ‘Sex and Violence on the wild frontiers: the aftermath of state socialism in the periphery’. In: Pickles, J. & Smith, A. Theorizing the transition: the political economy of change in Post-Communist Societies. London.: Routledge; 1998:145-178.
- Power, M. & Alves, A.C. China and Angola: A Marriage of Convenience?. Fahamu; 2012.
- Power, M and Crampton, A (eds) Cinema and Popular Geo-Politics. London: Routledge; 2007.
- Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies (Durham)
- Clean Development and Low Carbon Transitions in Southern Africa (ESRC Funded)
- Critical Geopolitics Conference - Durham 2008
- Low Carbon Energy for Development Network
- Politics of Chinese engagement with African development: Case studies of Angola and Ghana, The (ESRC Funded)
Available for media contact about:
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- Asia (excluding Middle East):
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- 2013: Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (LCEDN) Supplement (£5489.60 from Department for Energy and Climate Change)
- 2012: Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (£29549.38 from Department for Energy and Climate Change)
- 2012: RF 150253: The Rising Powers, Clean Development and the Low Carbon Transition in sub-Saharan Africa, £582,179.21
- 2012: RF150235: LCEDN Project and Conference Sponsorship, EPSRC, £6000.00, 2012-03-26 - 2012-06-30
- 2012: Thorn Lighting Support for 'Energy for Development' (E4DEV) research group (£8333.33 from Thorn Lighting Ltd)
- 2011: China's impact in Africa - presentation of detailed research findings in Angola (£15000.00 from Department for International Development)
- 2011: Low carbon development and the 'rising powers' (£3500.00 from One NorthEast)
- 2011: Visual culture; "Photography, colonialism, and states of emergency" - Visiting Fellowship (£29122.00 from The Leverhulme Trust)
- 2007: RF150057: The politics of Chinese engagement with African development, ESRC, £221630.25, 2007-08-01 - 2011-01-31
- 2006: R150596: Mozambique and the Commonwealth: an effective partnership?, The Nuffield Foundation, £5551.00, 2006-03-01 - 2007-12-31
- 2008: CASE-Studentship Partner (Claire Collingwood) (£6152.00 from Mines Advisory Group)