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Department of Development Studies

Dr Carlos Oya

Licenciatura (Madrid); MSc, PhD (London)


Carlos Oya
Department of Development Studies

Reader in the Political Economy of Development

SOAS Food Studies Centre

Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre

Neoliberalism, Globalisation, and States

Research Cluster Member

Agrarian Change and Development

Research Cluster Member

Labour, Movements and Development

Research Cluster Member

Development Policy, Aid, Institutions and Poverty Reduction Research Cluster

Research Cluster Member

Dr Carlos Oya
Email address:
020 7898 4566
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Office Hours:
On leave terms 2 and 3 (2014/15)
On Sabbatical:
Terms 2 and 3 (2014/15)


He has degrees in Economics from Universidad Complutense of Madrid and SOAS (MSc Econ) where he also did his PhD in Development Economics. He worked for several years in government in Mozambique, where he also did extensive field research on rural labour markets and rural poverty. He was also lecturer at the University Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique and is visiting lecturer at Universidad Complutense (Madrid) and at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.  


Programmes Convened
Courses Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Florian Schaefer, Agrarian change and agricultural commercialization in the Ethiopian coffee and floricultural sectors
  • Jean-Baptiste Damestoy, Governance capabilities, industrialisation and the state: the case of the cotton and textile sectors in Ethiopia
  • Thomas Muddimer, Working for Smallholders: Agricultural Workers, Labour Markets and Poverty in Southern Ghana.

Carlos also teaches on:


Carlos has done research and fieldwork in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly on and in Senegal, Mozambique, Mauritania, Ethiopia and Uganda. His main research interests are: agrarian political economy, political economy of development, development of capitalism, development policy, the political economy of liberalisation and agrarian reforms, poverty, rural labour markets, development aid, and research methodology. He has done commissioned research and consultancy on poverty, agrarian development, employment, rural labour markets, PRSPs, and economic development for UNDP, World Bank, ILO, UNICEF, Governments of Angola, Mozambique and Mauritania, and Save the Children among other agencies.


For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email enterprise@soas.ac.uk.
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email comms@soas.ac.uk

Available for
  • Radio
  • Press
  • Briefings
  • Special Study Programmes
  • Short Term Consultancy
  • Long Term Consultancy
Regional Expertise
  • Africa
Country Expertise
  • Ethiopia
  • Mauritania
  • Mozambique
  • Senegal
  • French
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish


Authored Books

Weeks, John and Chisala, Victoria and Geda, Alemayehu and Dagdeviren, Hulya and McKinley, Terry and Saad Filho, Alfredo and Oya, Carlos (2007) Economic Policies for Growth, Employment and Poverty Reduction: Case Study of Zambia. Ndola, Zambia: Mission Press.

Edited Books or Journal Volumes

Oya, Carlos and Pontara, Nicola, eds. (2015) Rural Wage Employment in Developing Countries. Theory, Evidence and Policy. London: Routledge. (Routledge ISS Studies in Rural Livelihoods) (Forthcoming)

Oya, Carlos and Santamaría, Antonio, eds. (2007) Economía Política del Desarrollo en África. Madrid, Spain: Ediciones Akal. (Economía Actual)

Book Chapters

Johnston, Deborah (2015) 'Disguised employment? Labour market surveys, migration and rural employment in Southern Africa.' In: Oya, Carlos and Pontara, Nicola, (eds.), Rural Wage Employment in Developing Countries: Theory, Evidence, and Policy. Oxford; New York: Routledge, pp. 128-143. (ISS Studies in Rural Livelihoods)

Oya, Carlos and Ba, C.O. (2013) 'Les politiques agricoles 2000-2012 : entre volontarisme et incohérence [Agricultural policies 2000-2012: between voluntarism and incoherence].' In: Diop, M.C., (ed.), Sénégal 2000-2012. Les institutions et politiques publiques à l’épreuve d’une gouvernance libérale. Karthala.

Oya, Carlos (2012) 'Crise Global, Crescimento e Desafios para Moçambique e a sua Estratégia de Desenvolvimento [Global Crisis, Growth and Challenges for Mozambique and its Development Strategy].' In: De Brito, L and Castel-Branco, C and Chichava, S and Francisco, A, (eds.), Desafios para Moçambique 2012. Maputo: IESE, pp. 387-409.

Oya, Carlos (2011) 'Agriculture in the World Bank: Blighted Harvest Persists.' In: Bayliss, Kate and Fine, Ben and Van Waeyenberge, Elisa, (eds.), The Political Economy of Development. The World Bank, Neoliberalism and Development Research. London: Pluto Press, pp. 146-187.

Oya, Carlos (2010) 'Agro-pessimism, capitalism and agrarian change: trajectories and contradictions in Sub-Saharan Africa.' In: Padayachee, Vishnu, (ed.), The Political Economy of Africa. London: Routledge, pp. 85-109.

Oya, Carlos and Pons-Vignon, Nicolas (2010) 'Aid, Development and the State in Africa.' In: Padayachee, Vishnu, (ed.), The Political Economy of Africa. London: Routledge, pp. 172-198.

Oya, Carlos (2009) 'Groundnut sector liberalization from the point of view of producers’ strategies [in French].' In: Dahou, Tarik, (ed.), Libéralisation et politique agricole au Sénégal. Paris, France: Karthala, pp. 99-129.

Oya, Carlos (2009) 'La crisis alimentaria mundial y sus implicaciones para África [The world food crisis and its implications for Africa].' In: ICEX, , (ed.), Claves de la Economía Mundial 2009. Madrid: Instituto Español de Comercio Exterior, pp. 447-454.

Oya, Carlos and Cramer, Christopher and Sender, John (2008) 'Discretion and Heterogeneity in Mozambican Rural Labour Markets.' In: de Brito, Luis and Castel-Branco, Carlos and Chichava, Sergio and Francisco, Antonio, (eds.), Reflecting on Economic Questions. Maputo, Mozambique: IESE, pp. 50-71.

Oya, Carlos (2007) 'Growth and economic development: An African dummy? [in Spanish].' In: Oya, Carlos and Santamaría, Antonio, (eds.), Economía Política del Desarrollo en África. Madrid, Spain: Akal, pp. 17-53. (Economia Actual)

Oya, Carlos (2007) 'China en África:¿Oportunidad o amenaza? [China in Africa: Opportunity or threat?].' In: ICEX, , (ed.), Claves de la Economía Mundial 2007. Madrid: Instituto Español de Comercio Exterior, pp. 411-417.

Oya, Carlos and Sender, John (2007) 'Pobreza y empleo en África Subsahariana: Mitos y realidades [Poverty and labour in Sub-Saharan Africa: Myths and realities].' In: Oya, Carlos and Santamaría, Antonio, (eds.), Economía Política del Desarrollo en África. Madrid: Akal, pp. 85-108.

Oya, Carlos and Santamaría, Antonio (2007) 'Desarrollo agrícola, transformaciones agrarias y agro-pesimismo [Agricultural development, agrarian transformations and agro-pessimism].' In: Oya, Carlos and Santamaría, Antonio, (eds.), Economía Política del Desarrollo en África. Madrid: Akal, pp. 133-159.

Oya, Carlos (2006) 'Privatizaciones en el África subsahariana [Privatizations in Sub-Saharan Africa].' In: ICEX, , (ed.), Claves de la Economía Mundial 2006. Madrid: Instituto Español de Comercio Exterior.

Oya, Carlos (2005) 'Growth miracles in Sub-Saharan Africa: Idiosyncratic Tales.' In: ICEX, , (ed.), Claves de la Economia Mundial 2005 (in Spanish). ICEX (Spain), pp. 397-404.

Oya, Carlos (2005) 'Sticks and Carrots for farmers in developing countries: Agrarian neoliberalism in theory and practice.' In: Saad-Filho, A and Johnston, D, (eds.), Neoliberalism: A Critical Reader. Pluto Press, UK, pp. 127-134.

Oya, Carlos and Bolnick, B (2002) ''The Origin of PARPA poverty projections: a practical model of growth, distribution and poverty simulations' (in Portuguese).' In: Rolim, C and Franco, A and Bolnick, B and Anderson, P, (eds.), A Economica Moçambicana Comtemporânea: Ensaios (The Contemporary Mozambican Economy: Essays). Gabinete de Estudos, Ministry of Planning and Finance (Mozambique).


Cramer, Christopher and Johnston, Deborah and Oya, Carlos and Sender, John (2015) 'Fairtrade cooperatives in Ethiopia and Uganda: uncensored.' Review of African Political Economy, 41 (S1). S115-S127.

Cotula, Lorenzo and Oya, Carlos and Codjoe, Emmanuel A. and Eid, Abdurehman and Kakraba-Ampeh, Mark and Keeley, James and Lokaley Kidewa, Admasu and Makwarimba, Melissa and Michago Seide, Wondwosen and Ole Nasha, William and Owusu Asare, Richard and Rizzo, Matteo (2014) 'Testing Claims about Large Land Deals in Africa: Findings from a Multi-Country Study.' Journal of Development Studies, 50 (7). pp. 903-925.

Cramer, Christopher and Johnston, Deborah and Mueller, Bernd and Oya, Carlos and Sender, John (2014) 'How to do (and how not to do) fieldwork on Fair Trade and rural poverty.' Canadian Journal of Development Studies, 35 (1). pp. 170-185.

Oya, Carlos (2013) 'The Land Rush and Classic Agrarian Questions of Capital and Labour: a systematic scoping review of the socioeconomic impact of land grabs in Africa.' Third World Quarterly, 34 (9). pp. 1532-1557.

Edelman, Marc and Oya, Carlos and Borras Jr, Saturnino M (2013) 'Global Land Grabs: historical processes, theoretical and methodological implications and current trajectories.' Third World Quarterly, 34 (9). pp. 1517-1531.

Oya, Carlos (2013) 'Rural wage employment in Africa: methodological issues and emerging evidence.' Review of African Political Economy, 40 (136). pp. 251-273.

Oya, Carlos (2013) 'Methodological reflections on ‘land grab’databases and the ‘land grab’literature ‘rush’.' Journal of Peasant Studies, 40 (3). pp. 503-520.

Oya, Carlos (2012) 'Introduction to a Symposium on Microfinance and Rural Development: Magic Bullet or Blank Bullet?' Journal of Agrarian Change, 12 (4). pp. 552-554.

Oya, Carlos (2012) 'Contract Farming in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Survey of Approaches, Debates and Issues.' Journal of Agrarian Change, 12 (1). pp. 1-33.

Oya, Carlos (2011) 'Africa and the Millenium Developement Goals (MDGs): What´s Right, What's Wrong and What's Missing.' Revista de Economia Mundial (27). pp. 19-33.

Oya, Carlos (2010) 'Local and global food distribution: Malfunctioning markets.' The Broker (23). pp. 10-13.

Oya, Carlos (2010) 'Rural Labour Markets in Africa: The Unreported Source of Inequality and Poverty.' CDPR Development Viewpoint (57).

Cramer, Christopher and Johnston, Deborah and Oya, Carlos (2009) 'Africa and the Global Credit Crunch: from crisis to opportunity?' African Affairs, 108 (433). pp. 643-654.

Bargawi, Hannah and Oya, Carlos (2009) ''Agribusiness for Development’: Who Really Gains? Perspectives from the Journal of Agrarian Change.' Development Viewpoint (36).

Oya, Carlos (2009) 'The World Development Report 2008: inconsistencies, silences, and the myth of 'win-win' scenarios.' Journal of Peasant Studies, 36 (3). pp. 593-601.

Oya, Carlos and Olivié, Iliana (2009) 'Plan África 2009-12: se necesita más coherencia y concentración.' Estudios de Política Exterior, 23 (130). pp. 115-122.

Oya, Carlos and Sender, John (2009) 'Divorced, Separated, and Widowed Women Workers in Rural Mozambique.' Feminist Economics, 15 (2). pp. 1-31.

Oya, Carlos (2009) 'Introduction to a Symposium on the World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development?' Journal of Agrarian Change, 9 (2). pp. 231-234.

Oya, Carlos (2009) 'Ambiguities and biases in the definition and identification of the ‘poor’: Who is missing? What is missing?' Afriche e Orienti, 2009 (Sp. II). pp. 34-51.

Cramer, Christopher and Oya, Carlos and Sender, John (2008) 'Rural Labour Markets in Sub-Saharan Africa: A New View of Poverty, Power and Policy.' CDPR Policy Brief (1).

Cramer, Christopher and Oya, Carlos and Sender, John (2008) 'Lifting the Blinkers: A New View of Power, Diversity and Poverty in Mozambican Rural Labour Markets.' Journal of Modern African Studies, 46 (3). pp. 361-392.

Oya, Carlos (2008) 'Greater Africa-China Economic Cooperation: Will This Widen ‘Policy Space’?' Development Viewpoint (4).

Oya, Carlos (2007) 'Stories of Rural Accumulation in Africa: Trajectories and Transitions among Rural Capitalists in Senegal.' Journal of Agrarian Change, 7 (4). pp. 453-93.

Oya, Carlos (2007) 'Agricultural Maladjustment in Africa: What Have We Learned after Two Decades of Liberalisation?' Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 25 (2). pp. 275-97.

Oya, Carlos (2006) 'From State Dirigisme to Liberalisation in Senegal: Four Decades of Agricultural Policy. Shifts and Continuities.' The European Journal of Development Research, 18 (2). pp. 203-34.

Sender, John and Oya, Carlos and Cramer, Christopher (2006) 'Women Working for Wages: Putting Flesh on the Bones of a Rural Labour Market Survey in Mozambique.' Journal of Southern African Studies, 32 (2). pp. 313-333.

Oya, Carlos (2006) 'Book review of "Farmers and Markets in Tanzania" by S. Ponte.' Journal of Agrarian Change, 5 (1) . pp. 154-156.

Oya, Carlos (2006) 'Regimi di accumulazione, democrazia e strutture di classe in Senegal [Accumulation regimes, Democracy and Class Structures in Senegal].' Afriche e Orienti, 2006 (3-4). pp. 22-44.

Oya, Carlos (2004) 'The empirical investigation of rural class formation: methodological issues in a study of large and mid-scale farmers in Senegal.' Historical Materialism, 12 (4). pp. 289-326.

Oya, Carlos (2001) 'Large and Middle-scale Farmers in the Groundnut Sector in Senegal in the Context of Liberalization and Structural Adjustment.' Journal of Agrarian Change, 1 (1). pp. 123-162.

Conference or Workshop Items

Oya, Carlos (2009) From Post-Washington to ‘Beijing consensus’ in Africa? Aid, economic policies and policy space. In: Africa Asia Centre Seminar Series, 28 April 2009, SOAS, Asia Africa Centre. (Unpublished)

Oya, Carlos (2006) The political economy of development aid as main source of foreign finance for poor African countries: loss of policy space and possible alternatives from East Asia. In: International Forum on Comparative Political Economy of Globalization, 1-3 September 2006, Beijing, China. (Unpublished)


Bernstein, Henry and Oya, Carlos (2014) Rural futures. How much should markets rule? London: IIED Working Paper.

Oya, Carlos and McKinley, Terry and Bargawi, Hannah (2013) Growth Dynamics, Structural Change and Productive Employment to Reduce Poverty and Income Inequality. Analysis and Policy Recommendations. London: European Report on Development 2013. Background Paper.

Oya, Carlos (2010) Rural inequality, wage employment and labour market formation in Africa: Historical and micro-level evidence. Geneva: International Labour Office.

Heintz, James and Oya, Carlos and Zepeda, Eduardo (2008) Towards an Employment-centred Development Strategy for Poverty Reduction in The Gambia: Macroeconomic and Labour Market Aspects. UNDP.

Sender, John and Cramer, Christopher and Oya, Carlos (2005) Unequal prospects: disparities in the quantity and quality of labour supply in sub-Saharan Africa. World Bank Social Protection Discussion Paper Series; No.0525.

Book Reviews

Oya, Carlos (2014) 'Review of Morten Jerven Poor Numbers. How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do about It Ithaca / Londres, Cornell University Press, coll. « Cornell Studies in Political Economy », 2013.' Politique Africaine (133). pp. 187-192.

This list was generated on Tue Jun 30 00:39:56 2015 BST.