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Conference Program

In July 2010 a conference entitled ‘Celebrating Gavin Williams’ was held in celebration of the work of Dr Gavin Williams. Many of his colleagues, former student and friends spoke of their affection and admiration for Gavin Williams. It was held at the Department of Politics and International Relations, Manor Road Building and at the Oxford Department for International Development, Queen Elizabeth House.

In 1975, Gavin Williams took up the post of Fellow and Tutor in Politics and Sociology at St Peter’s College, Oxford. From 1975 to 2010, Gavin became an important part of many intellectual journeys by his students and colleagues. This event celebrated the contributions of Gavin to the enrichment of our lives: his unflinching commitment to his students, his generosity and collegiality, his support for various academic institutions inside and outside of Oxford, and his exemplification of the academic life as a committed moral vocation. And it gave us the opportunity not just to demonstrate the breadth and reach of Gavin’s intellectual journeys with students and colleagues, but also the global connections established in the process.

Below are a set of podcasts of the conference and is taken from the Oxford Universities Department of Politics and International Relations Website:

Gavin Williams: An Appreciation

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FRIDAY9.30-10.30 Opening Session:
Chair: Barbara Harriss-White.
Keynote Address: Lionel Cliffe.‘Gavin Williams: An Appreciation’.
Messages from absent friends.

Political and Development Theories

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Political and Development Theories
Chair: Valpy Fitzgerald. Discussant: Martin MurrayBjorn Beckman:
Where do effective institutions come from?Sara Dorman:
‘Primary contradictions’: thinking about state formation in post-colonial AfricaAlastair Frasier:
Participation, liberation and tyranny – from JS Mill to PRSPsDeborah Bryceson:
Discovery and Denial: Social Science Theory and Interdisciplinarity in African Studies

Agrarian Societies

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Agrarian Societies
Chair: Peter Lawrence, Discussant: Abdul Raufu MustaphaBarbara Harriss-White:
Taking the part of petty commodity producersJudith Heyer:
The political economy of development in an industrialising rural area of South IndiaLindsay Whitfield:
A New Kind of Agrarian Capitalism in Ghana: Capitalist farmers in the horticulture export industry.

Weber & Marx

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Weber & Marx
Chair: Jan-Georg Deutsch. Discussant: Bob ShentonJeremy Seekings:
Weber’s ghost and the study of stratification in South AfricaKate Meagher:
Weber meets Godzilla: Social Networks and the Spirit of CapitalismSwagato Sarkar:
Marx’s politics vis-a-vis post-Marxists

Nigeria: Economy and Society

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Nigeria: Economy and Society
Chair: JDY Peel. Discussant: Bjorn BeckmanRuth Watson:
Gavin, Garveyism, and Literary Materialism in Colonial IbadanKathryn Nwajiaku:
The politics of oil and identity in Nigeria: A political economy of ethnic nationalismGunilla Andrae:
Organising the Informal Economy: Union power and civil society in NigeriaAR Mustapha:
Why there is Agrarian Capitalism in Nigeria: The “Zimbabwean” Farmers in the Nigerian Middlebelt

South Africa and the World (Governance)

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South Africa and the World (Governance)
Chair: Ricardo Soares de Oliveira. Discussant. Robin van NiekerkJoachim Ewert:
A Force for Good? Markets, Cellars, and labour in the South African wine industry after ApartheidAnne Pitcher:
Was Privatization Necessary and Did it Work? The Case of South AfricaRobin Cohen:
Successes and limitations in dismantling the heritage of apartheid in South Africa’s universitiesTimothy Phakathi:
The Labour Process in a Racial and Coercive Deep-Level Gold Mining Industry’



ROAPE Gavin Williams Special