Foto del docente

Mario Zamponi

Full Professor

Department of Political and Social Sciences

Academic discipline: SPS/13 African History and Institutions


Keywords: poverty reduction African political history enviormental history land reform and rural development democratisation

Political and economic history of contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa with particular reference to Southern Africa; African political systems and democratisation process; enviromental history, land tenure reform and rural development policies; political and economic history of Zimbabwe.

Current research activities are: Sustainable rural livelihoods, land reform, poverty reduction strategies, HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa

The research interest investigate the issues of sustainable rural development, of agrarian reforms and of governance of natural resources in sub-Saharan Africa, questions which are linked to the wider debate on economic and social development, of political emancipation, and on the policies of poverty reduction. Today, many initiatives of local development in rural areas are based on the role of the communities and on ideas, practices and policies whose aim is to give to rural areas inhabitants a greater involvement in the management of natural resources (included the land for agricultural use); in particular to give empowerment to local communities in the sustainable exploitation of the natural environment. Three issues, above all, are relevant and are linked to the major research topics: the land question and land reforms; the policies of poverty reduction; the role of decentralization. The current research activities are discussing initiatives of local decentralization based on the empowerment of local communities and of their participation seen as new means for having access to a full citizenship and for the reduction of poverty. The administrative and political decentralization and the land reform programmes currently under implementation in almost all African countries are relevant to analyze the relationship between institution building, development, and poverty reduction. The crisis in rural areas is particularly meaningful in Africa: therefore the debate is focusing on the possible relationship between land reforms, decentralization and poverty reduction poverty. The ongoing research activity aims at studying which are the main effects of decentralization, land reforms, access to natural resources management for rural communities in the framework of the programmes of poverty reduction, in order to deepen the knowledge about the quality of democratization process as enhancement of both reduction poverty and a tool for the political inclusion of rural communities.