Vito Laterza

Postdoctoral Fellow - Department of Social Anthropology
Image of Vito Laterza
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Phone +47-22854994
Visiting address Moltke Moes vei 31 Eilert Sundts hus blokk A 0851 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1091 Blindern 0317 OSLO

Research Interests

Labour, political economy, political ecology, sustainable development, higher education, race & class, new forms of social and political mobilisation, energy & environment; Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia, southern and central Africa.


Vito received a BSc in Employment Relations & Human Resource Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and his MPhil and PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge. His work focuses on labour, political economy, energy and environment, social and political mobilisation and conflict, and social and economic inequalities in southern and central Africa. He conducted qualitative research in European contexts as well.

He held research and teaching positions at the University of Cambridge, University of Cape Town, University of Pretoria, University of Mauritius, Bristol UWE and University of Worcester. His work has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), Jisc (UK), the National Institute of Health Research (UK), the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (US), the Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NOS-HS), the Tertiary Education Commission (Mauritius), the National Research Foundation (South Africa), the SAHEE Foundation (Switzerland) and the Cambridge Newton Trust.

His doctoral research in Cambridge (2005-2011) was an ethnography of timber workers in a a Swazi company town, a former asbestos mine redeveloped as a social enterprise by white southern African and North American Pentecostal Christian missionaries. For-profit economic activities in the forestry industry were carried out in tandem with orphan care services. The study was extended to the adjacent rural community. Vito developed a grounded approach to foreign investment and donor aid that takes into account labour relations and company’s interactions with local communities, and brings together political economy and political ecology.

His current work comprises three streams:

1) South African higher education and institutional and academics' responses to the university student protests (with Ayanda Manqoyi, UC Davis, and Divine Fuh, CODESRIA);

2) social and political forms of protest and unrest, and new social movements in southern and central Africa;

3) mining and post-mining economies in southern and central Africa.

Vito worked with NGOs, trade unions and community organisations in southern Africa and Europe on issues of labour, social development, electoral democracy, organisational change and green economy. He writes regularly for international and national media, including Al Jazeera English, The Independent, Foreign Affairs, Boston Review, Africa Is A Country, Basic Income News, Daily Maverick (South Africa), Mail & Guardian (South Africa), and Left (Italy). He is the editor of the Human Economy Blog.



Books, Special Issues and Sections:

Laterza, V. (under review) Breathing Life: Labour Relations, Epistemology and the Body in a Swazi Company Town. Manuscript submitted to Langaa RPCIG for review.

Laterza, V., Sharp, J. and Beresford, A. eds. (2017) Extraction and Beyond: People’s Economic Responses to Restructuring in Southern and Central Africa. Review of African Political Economy, 44(152): 173-311.

Larmer, M. and Laterza, V. eds. (2017) Contested Wealth: Social and Political Mobilisation in Extractive Communities in Africa. The Extractive Industries and Society, 4(4): 701-765.

Sharp, J., Powers, T. and Laterza, V. eds. (2013) The Human Economy Project: First Steps. Anthropology Southern Africa, 36(3&4): 99-138.

Articles and book chapters:

Laterza, V. and Sharp, J. (2017) 'Extraction and Beyond: People’s Economic Responses to Restructuring in Southern and Central Africa'. Review of African Political Economy, 44(152): 173-188.

Larmer, M. and Laterza, V. (2017) 'Contested Wealth: Social and Political Mobilisation in Extractive Communities in Africa'. The Extractive Industries and Society, 4(4): 701-706.

Laterza, V. (2016) 'Resilient Labour: Workplace Regimes, Globalisation and Enclave Development in Swaziland'. Journal of Development Studies, 52(4): 576-590.

Laterza, V., Evans, D., Davies, R., Donald, C. and Rice, C. (2016) ‘What’s in a “Research Passport”? A Collaborative Autoethnography of Institutional Approvals in Public Involvement in Research’. Research Involvement and Engagement 2(24).

Laterza, V. (2015) 'Waves of Unrest: Wildcat Strikes and Possible Democratic Change in Swaziland'. In: Keith Hart (ed.) Economy For and Against Democracy. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, pp. 137-158.

Laterza, V. (2015) 'Entangled In/Equalities in African Societies: a Response to Harri Englund's Human Rights and African Airwaves'. Suomen Antropologi, 40(1): 66-69.

Sharp, J., Hart, K. and Laterza, V. (2014) 'South Africa in World Development: Prospects for a Human Economy'. Anthropology Today, 30(6): 13-17.

Laterza, V. (2014) 'Tra Stato, Mercato e Società: la Crisi Italiana e l’Economia Umana [Between State, Market and Society: the Italian Crisis and the Human Economy]'. Critica Liberale, 22(220): 146-149.

Evans, D., […], Laterza, V. et al. (2014) 'Public Involvement in Research: Assessing Impact through a Realist Evaluation'. Health Services and Delivery Research, 2(36): 1-127. Project funded by the National Institute of Health Research, UK.

Forrester, B. and Laterza, V. (2014) Development in Swaziland: Myths and Realities. Pretoria: sahee Foundation.

Laterza, V. (2013) 'Some Notes towards a Human Economy Approach'. Anthropology Southern Africa, 36(3&4): 135-138.

Sharp, J., Powers, T. and Laterza, V. (2013) 'The Human Economy Project: First Steps'. Anthropology Southern Africa, 36(3&4): 99-101.

Laterza, V., Forrester, B. and Mususa, P. (2013) 'Bringing Wood to Life: Lines, Flows and Materials in a Swazi Sawmill'. In: Tim Ingold and Gísli Pálsson (eds). Biosocial Becomings: integrating social and biological anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.162-190.

Procter, R., Carmichael, P. and Laterza, V. (2008) 'Co-Interpretation of Usage Data: a Mixed-Methods Approach to the Evaluation of Online Environments'. International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 2(1): 44-56.

Laterza. V. (2007) 'The Ethnographic Novel: Another Literary Skeleton in the Anthropological Closet?'. Suomen Antropologi, 2(2): 124-134.

Laterza, V., Carmichael, P., and Procter, R. (2007) 'The Doubtful Guest? A Virtual Research Environment for Education'. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 16(3): 249-267.

Carmichael, P., Procter, R., Rimpilainen, S. and Laterza, V. (2006) 'Sakai: A Virtual Research Environment for Education'. Research Intelligence, 96(August): 18-19.


Laterza, V. (2018) 'Cambridge Analytica, Independent Research and the National Interest'. Anthropology Today, 34(3): 1-2.

Laterza, V. (2015) 'From Production to Distribution: the Politics of Dependence and the Emerging Welfare State in Southern Africa [book review]'. Anthropology Book Forum / Anthropology News, 25 May.

Laterza, V. (2018) 'The Populism and Dystopia of Italy's New Government', Al Jazeera English, 22 May.

Laterza, V. (2017) 'Neoliberalism, Big Capital and the Zambian Crisis', Al Jazeera English, 16 June.

Laterza, V. (2017) ‘We Are All Helen Zille. Or, Why the West Thinks Colonialism Was Not All Bad’, Africa Is A Country, 16 March.

Laterza. V. and Römer, L.P. (2016) ‘The Myth of Donald Trump’s White Working-Class Support’, Africa Is A Country, 17 November.

Laterza, V. and van Wyk, S. (2016) ‘How Did the Main Parties Do in the 2016 South African Municipal Elections? ANC, DA and EFF in numbers’, Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa, 23 August.

Laterza, V. (2016) ‘Zambia: Democratic Victory or Vote Snatching?’, Al Jazeera English, 17 August.

Laterza, V. (2016) ‘Democracy After Sanders: Building a Progressive Alternative, Beyond Social Media and Mass Rallies’, openDemocracy, 26 May.

Laterza, V. and Manqoyi, A. (2016) 'What future for South African Democracy?'. Boston Review, 5 January.

Laterza, V. and Manqoyi, A. (2015) 'Looking for leaders: student protests and the future of South African democracy'. Daily Maverick, 6 November.

Laterza, V. and Mususa, P. (2015) 'Zambia’s Uncertain Future: Political Rifts and Economic Challenges in Lusaka'. Foreign Affairs, 4 March.

Various Authors (2014) Showcasing Popular Anthropology. Compiled by E.B. Taylor and S. Snitselaar. Contains: Laterza, V. (2013) 'Swaziland: Liberal Democracy and its Discontents', originally published by Al Jazeera English, 12 October.

Laterza, V. (2010) 'Swaziland: Cultural Expression, Daily Life, Economy'. In: World and Its Peoples – Sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania, VOLUME 7 SOUTHERN AFRICA, Tarrytown, New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation.

Laterza, V. (2010) 'South Africa: Economy'. In: World and Its Peoples – SubSaharan Africa and Oceania, VOLUME 7 SOUTHERN AFRICA, Tarrytown, New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation.

Laterza, V. (2007) 'John Sinclair: Poeta Militante [John Sinclair: Militant Poet]'. Postscript to: John Sinclair, Guitar Army: il ’68 tra Gioia, Rock e Rivoluzione [Guitar Army: 1968 between Joy, Rock and Revolution], Rome, Italy: Stampa Alternativa.

Commentary & Analysis:

Laterza, V. (2015). 'Finland: basic income experiment – what we know'. Basic Income News, 9 December.

Laterza, V. (2015). 'Government oversight of university transformation should not be taboo'. Daily Maverick, 19 November.

Laterza, V. (2015) 'The student uprisings in South Africa'. Africa Is A Country, 21 October.

Laterza, V. (2015) 'Detroit activist Grace Lee Boggs dies at 100, she endorsed city-level universal basic income'. Basic Income News, 18 October.

Laterza, V. (2015) 'Greek elections: winners and losers in numbers'. Analyze Greece, 23 September.

Laterza, V. (2015) 'Greece: government to roll out a Guaranteed Minimum Income scheme'. Basic Income News, 22 August.

Laterza, V. (2015) 'What will happen if Greeks vote ‘oxi’ in Sunday’s referendum?'. Ricochet, 3 July; republished by Analyze Greece, 5 July.

Laterza, V. (2013) 'Swaziland: liberal democracy and its discontents'. Al Jazeera English, 12 October.

Laterza, V. (2013) 'Italy’s new government and the perpetuation of minority rule'. Al Jazeera English, 3 May.

Laterza, V. (2013) 'The Iron Lady is gone, but Thatcherism is alive and well'. GlobalPost, 21 April.

Laterza, V. (2013) 'Berlusconi’s new prominence casts shadows over Italy’s future' . GlobalPost, 2 April.

Laterza, V. (2013) 'Technocracy’s new bet: Mario Monti runs for premiership'. Al Jazeera English, 4 January.

Laterza, V. (2012) 'Innocence of Muslims: how fiction creates reality'. Al Jazeera English, 19 September.

Laterza, V. (2008) 'Lost opportunity for Zambian democracy'. Mail & Guardian, 5 November.

  • Laterza, Vito & Larmer, Miles (2017). Contested wealth: Social and political mobilisation in extractive communities in Africa. The Extractive Industries and Society.  ISSN 2214-790X.  4(4), s 701- 706 . doi: 10.1016/j.exis.2017.11.001 Show summary
  • Laterza, Vito & Sharp, John (2017). Extraction and beyond: people’s economic responses to restructuring in southern and central Africa. Review of African Political Economy.  ISSN 0305-6244.  (44(152)), s 173- 188 . doi: 10.1080/03056244.2017.1345540
  • Laterza, Vito; Evans, David; Davies, Rosemary; Donald, Christine & Rice, Cathy (2016). What’s in a “research passport”? A collaborative autoethnography of institutional approvals in public involvement in research. Research Involvement and Engagement.  ISSN 2056-7529.  2(24) . doi: 10.1186/s40900-016-0033-z Show summary

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  • Laterza, Vito (2018). Cambridge Analytica, independent research and the national interest. Anthropology Today.  ISSN 0268-540X.  34(3), s 1- 2 . doi: 10.1111/1467-8322.12430
  • Laterza, Vito (2016). ‘A king is a king by his people’: understanding popular support for the monarchy in Swaziland. Show summary
  • Laterza, Vito & Manqoyi, Ayanda (2016). Looking for leaders: tactics and agency in the 2015 South African student protests. Show summary

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Published Feb. 10, 2016 11:16 AM - Last modified June 8, 2018 11:24 AM