Rhodes>ISER>People >Visiting Professors>Prof Ben Fine, BA,BPhil, (Oxon), PhD (London)

 Ben Fine




DoB: 18/10/48




                        1966‑69: B.A. Mathematics, Balliol College, Oxford

                        1969‑71: B.Phil. (now MPhil) Economics, ESRC-funded, Balliol College.

                        1971‑72: Full Time ESRC Research Student, London School of Economics

                        1972‑74: Part Time Research Student, L.S.E, awarded Ph.D. in Economics, August, 1974, from the University of London. Thesis title: Individual Decisions and Social Choice; Supervisor: Amartya Sen; External Examiner: Frank Hahn


                        PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENTS


            Emeritus Professor of Economics, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1.01.19


            Professor of Economics (and previously Director of the Centre for Economic Policy for Southern Africa, CEPSA), School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London,1.4.92


            Lecturer in Economics, Birkbeck College, University of London, 1.10.72


            Reader in Economics, Birkbeck College, 1.10.81


            Professor of Economics, Birkbeck College, 1.5.90


            Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, Summer Term, 1977


            Visiting Professor at American University, Washington, July/August 1978, 1979 and 1980


            Research Editor to the Industry and Employment Branch of the Greater London Council, September, 1984‑April, 1986, on half‑time secondment


Honorary Professorial Positions held at Wits, UJ and Rhodes, South Africa




See separate file




ESRC award of £12,784 to study coal royalties and the inter‑war coal industry, October 1978 to April 1980. A two‑year research‑linked SSRC (now ESRC) studentship was allocated to the project from October 1979 and an additional £1,500 awarded for data processing.


A two‑year grant of £23,029, Oct. 1981‑83, from the Leverhulme Trust to study Competition and Nationalisation with special reference to the National Coal Board.


Grants of £4,500 from the Nuffield Foundation and £170 from the Central Research Fund of the University of London to compile data for compensation paid upon nationalisation of the coal royalties, 1938.


Nominated for, and funded by, the Exchange Scheme of the British Academy/SSRC to visit China for four weeks to hold discussions with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Visit undertaken in September, 1981.


A grant of £50,000 from April 1989 to December 1991 from the Leverhulme Trust to study consumption norms and female labour market participation. This used large household survey data sets, the National Readership Survey and the General Household Survey.


A two year grant of £60,000 from October 1990 from the ESRC to study the minerals‑energy complex of South Africa.


A two year grant of £100,000 from the ESRC to study the Socioeconomic Determinants of the Nation's Diet, 1992-94. This used the large household data set, the National Food Survey.


A two year Professorial Research Fellowship to cover full salary (of £110,000) from the ESRC to study the changing relationship between economics and other social sciences, from March 1999.


A leading contributor to the application for the EU’s FP7 research funding to study Financialisation, economy, society and sustainable development (FESSUD). Ten million Euros awarded of which 900,000 to SOAS, 2012-2017.




See separate file


SELECT EXTERNAL ACTIVITIES, ETC (listing from 1983 only and ending more or less with retirement in 2018))


I am the youngest (living) economist of the one hundred listed in A Biographical Dictionary of Dissenting Economists, second edition, edited by P. Arestis and M. Sawyer, Edward Elgar, Aldershot, 2001.


Submission of Evidence to, and Witness before, the Sizewell 'B' Nuclear Power Station Public Inquiry, December 2nd, 1983.


Submission on request of written material to the US Congressional Commission on Fair Market Values Policy for Federal Coal Leasing, September, 1983.


Member of the UK’s National Union of Mineworkers Economics Advisory Group and preparation of economic case against closure for Tilmanstone and Cadeby collieries. Tilmanstone was eventually withdrawn by British Coal from the Review Procedure (but was closed with the union's agreement). Witness for the NUM in the Independent Review of Cadeby in September, 1986. The Inspector requested that British Coal reconsider their closure decision in the light of the evidence presented on social costs for which I was responsible.


Witness for NACODS in the Independent Review of the reorganisation of the Manvers Complex, December, 1987.


Witness at the Committee Stage of the Humberside Ports Bill on behalf of the NUM with evidence on the economic and social costs of resulting pit closures, December 1988.


Witness for the NUM in an equal pay claim for canteen workers, December, 1990.


Member of the ANC's Department of Economic Policy until formation of the Government of National Unity.


Witness to the UK Select Committee on Trade and Industry in its investigation into trade and investment with Southern Africa, 1994.


International Advisor to the South African Presidential Labour Market Commission, April, 1995-June 1996, equivalent to UK Royal Commission.


Research Reports on Industrial Policy, Privatisation, and ESOPs for COSATU, March, 1997.


Research Report on steel industry for NUMSA Investment Company, December, 1997.


Member of the Food Link Research Programme jointly run by a variety of Government Departments and Research Councils from 2002 until 2005.


Member of the ESRC’s Commissioning Board for its Research Programme on the Culture of Consumption from 2002, subsequently continuing member of the Research Programme’s Advisory Board, until June 2007.


Keynote speech on “Public Sector Output and Investment at the Core of Economic Development” Conference on An Alternative to the Market: The Social, Political and Economic Role of Public Services in Europe, ETUI-REHS (European Trade Union Institute for Research, Education and Health and Safety), EPSU (European Federation of Public Service Unions), SALTSA (Samarbetsprogram LO, TCO, SACO), Brussels, November 19-20, 2007.


Chair of the International Panel of Experts for the Finnish Social Science Research Council for Research Funding Applications on Programme for Social Capital, December 2003, Euros 6 million to be allocated.


Keynote Speaker to ESRC Global Poverty Research Group and Brooks World Poverty Institute Conference: Poverty and Capital, 2-4 July 2007, at the University of Manchester.


Keynote Speaker for 5th biennial Critical Management Studies conference held at Manchester University on 11-13 July 2007.


Key Note Speaker at Sanpad Poverty Conference, South Africa-Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development, Durban, Keynote Address, June 26-30, 2007.

Appointed upon competitive application as member of the newly-founded Social Science Research Committee of the UK’s Food Standards Agency, from June, 2008, reappointed for further three years from April, 2010, and for a further three years from April, 2013. Appointed in September, 2010, as Chair of the Meat Controls Working Group which will undertake research to examine and recommend new legislation for reform of meat hygiene as part of an EU initiative (current annual cost of UK regulation is approximately £100m). Appointed as member of ESRC/FSA Understanding the Challenges of the Food System Commissioning Panel, with budget of £1.87m, December, 2013, having served on subcommittee of three of FSA to draft the Call for Applications in consultation with ESRC and relevant Government Departments, with the Call influenced by my food systems approach.

Appointed to the Steering Committee of the Canadian IDRC-funded project, “(Re)Thinking Public Services: Understanding Successful Alternative Delivery Models in Health, Water and Electricity”, Canadian $1 million, 2008.


Appointed to the International Advisory Board of the Centre for Poverty and Development Studies at the University of Malaya, September 2008.


Keynote Speech for the 35th anniversary conference for the Center for International Development Issues, CIDIN, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands, September 2008.


Keynote Lecture to Conference celebrating twenty years of social science at the University of Crete on October 16th, 2008, entitled “Whither the Social Sciences: A Perspective from Political Economy”.


Invited Speaker to UK Treasury Conference for Government Economic Service on “Keynes and Current Macroeconomic Perspectives”, May 7th, 2009.


Keynote Speech for “Making Sense of Borders: Identity, Citizenship and Power in South Africa”, South African Sociological Association, Annual Conference, June/July, 2009, Johannesburg, presenting paper, “Political Economy for the Rainbow Nation: Dividing the Spectrum?”.


Invited Speaker to conference on “Social and Political Dimensions of the Global Crisis: Implications for Developing Countries” to be held in Geneva, 12-13 November, UNRISD, 2009, one of 24 papers selected competitively from 330 proposals.


Invited Speaker to the Department of Human Geography at Frankfurt University, on the theme of “Space, Markets and the Question of Development”, November 4th, 2009.


Invited Speaker to the Department of Sociology, Wits University for the Harold Wolpe Memorial Trust, October 1st, 2009.


Invited Speaker to Conference on “The Crisis of Neo-Liberalism in India: Challenges and Alternatives”, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) Mumbai and International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs), 13-15 March 2009.


Invited Speaker to Conference on “Developmental Politics in the Neo-Liberal Era and Beyond”, 22-24 October 2009, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University.


Expert Group Meeting for the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Statistics Division (SD), Economic Analysis Section for External Peer review for the Survey of Economic and Social Developments in the ESCWA Region 2008-2009, December 2009 Beirut, Lebanon.


Appointed member of the Scientific Committee of a Conference on “The Revival of Political Economy: Prospects for Sustainable Provision” University of Coimbra, Portugal, on October 21-23, 2010.


Invited participant in small high level World Bank Headline Seminar on fragility and conflict, on topic, “Inclusive Growth and Employment in Fragile Situations”, Cape Town, April, 2010.


Invited to be the speaker at the South African High Level Research Workshop, for Department of Trade and Industry, Chaired by Minister Rob Davies, to meet with Ebrahim Patel, Minister for Economic Development, and to present a Research Seminar to the South African Competition Commission, May, 2010.


Invited paper for international conference on Africa at Center for Emerging Markets, IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, May, 2010.


Competitively chosen speaker for Ninth Milan European Economy Workshop, An Agenda for the New Public Enterprise: Ownership and Governance for the General Interest, University of Milan, Department of Economics, Business and Statistics, 10-11 June 2010.


Theories of Social Capital: Researchers Behaving Badly, Pluto, 2010, was discussed on BBC Radio 4, Laurie Taylor’s “Thinking Allowed” on June 23rd at 4pm with podcast on http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00ss2q6


Invited speaker to Turkish Economic Association Second International Conference on Economics, ICE-TEA 2010, September, 2010, with theme, “The Global Economy After the Crisis: Challenges and Opportunities”.


Invited keynote speaker for International Development Studies, Roskilde University, Denmark, for 25th Anniversary, September, 2010.


Appointed member of ESRC Commissioning Panel for China and South Africa for Pathfinder Research Projects, October, 2010.


Invited keynote speaker to International Symposium, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, Berlin on “The Rise of Africa: Africa as a Growing International Power Bloc”, December, 2010.


Invited to contribute to 2011 edition of the flagship publication, African Economic Outlook, OECD Development Centre.


Personal invitation from Deputy Minister for Education, Life Long Learning, and Religious Affairs (responsible for Higher Education, Research and Innovation), Greece, to act as an external evaluator for research proposals, December, 2010.


Invited as keynote speaker for 40th Anniversary of the Centre for Development Studies, University of Bradford, January, 2011, on the theme of “Making Development Inclusive”.


Invited International Guest to the Annual Meeting of the Brazilian Society of Political Economy, June, 2011 at Federal University of Uberlândia.


Invited as Lead Keynote Speaker to IDE-JETRO 2011 Annual Symposium, “The Role of Governments for Economic Development in the 21st Century”, Tokyo, February, with paper, “The State and Developmentalism in the Twenty-First Century”, February, 2011.


Professorial Lecture, Glasgow Caledonian University, March, 2011, “Whither Development (Economics)? A South African Perspective”.


Appointed to Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize Committee, 2011.


Overseas corresponding editor for “Zhengzhi Jingjixue Pinglun” (Review of Political Economy), from 2009.


Invited to join editorial board of newly formed African Journal of Economic and Sustainable Development, published by Indersciences.


Appointed member of International Advisory Board for the interdisciplinary network, “The Economic Subject in Contemporary Art and Its Contexts: The Case in Europe”, 2011.


Appointed international expert on developmental state and industrial policy for UNCTAD LDC Annual Report, 2011.


Invitation as expert panel discussant to first annual conference of the Ministry of Economic Development, South Africa, May 30th and 31st, 2011.


Invited as Keynote Opening Speaker to SANPAD (South Africa-Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development) Thematic Conference “The Developmental State”, Dublin, 4th to 6th July, 2011.


Invited as Keynote Speaker to Conference, “Growth Dynamics in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA)”, organised by the Strategic Planning Unit and the Department of Economic Policies and Domestic Taxation of the WAEMU Commission, in Partnership with The Programme for Inter-University Doctoral Studies in Economics (PTCI), the World Bank, The International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and the Centre for Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso ,12th and 13th of July, 2011.


Appointed member of Editorial Council of the Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Económicos (IESE), Mozambique, from June, 2011.


Judged to have submitted a best paper in the Fifth Prize of Economic Research of Ensayos Revista de Economia for “The General Impossibility of Neoclassical Economics”, which has been published in Ensayos Revista de Economía, vol XXX, no 1, pp. 1-22, 2011, available at, http://www.economia.uanl.mx/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=64&Itemid=257


Invited to take part in a discussion on Thinking Allowed on Wednesday 17 August, 2012 on the book by Tina Rosenberg.


Invited to join reviewers for SH2 Panel (Institutions, Values, beliefs and Behaviours) in the European Research Council Executive Agency (http://erc.europa.eu).


Invited to present an international keynote address at the15th annual Africa Power & Electricity Congress & Exhibition 2012 from the 26 - 30 March 2012, at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.


Invited by The Intergremial Committee of Antioquia and the International Bureau of Social and Economic Research (IBSER) as keynote speaker at the event “Lessons of Socioeconomic Development for Latin America” to be held between 13 and 16 of March, 2012 in Medellín, Colombia.


Main presentation for “The Global Economic Crises, and Implications for Zimbabwe’s Recovery”, organised by the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD), the African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics (APORDE), the Frederick Ebert Stiftung Zimbabwe (FES) and Zimbabwe Alliance (ZA), Crown Plaza’s Great Indaba Hall, at 5pm on the 21st of September 2011.


Invited participant in New Delhi on 15th-16th November, 2011 for the conference "Twenty Years of India's Liberalisation: Sharing of Experiences", organised by the Centre for WTO Studies in New Delhi, research wing of the Ministry of Commerce, India.


Invited to join new editorial team of the Forum for Social Economics, October, 2012.


Invited to join the editorial committee of the “Journal for Development and Leadership” (JDL), The Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, from October 2011.


Invited by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), the Social Protection & Community Development and the Economic Sectors & Employment clusters of the DTI to participate in a Government Policy Cluster workshop on "Industrial policy in South Africa and India in the context of financialization: The case of the stainless steel industry", 15th March 2012 at the CSIR Convention Centre, Pretoria.


Continuing reviewer of manuscripts for the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA)


Atendiendo a tu amplia trayectoria académica, la presente es para invitarte a participar como ponente magistral en el coloquio internacional “Opciones frente a la crisis global: estrategias para un desarrollo sustentable” que organiza la Red “Globalizacion Financiera y Desarrollo Sustentable”, la cual coordino actualmente. El coloquio se efectuará en la ciudad de México, los días 26 y 27 de marzo del presente año, en las instalaciones de la División de Estudios de Posgrado de la Facultad de Economía de la UNAM.


Invited as Keynote Speaker to “Politics of Consumption”, Ephemera Conference, University of Dublin, May, 2012.


Invited as Keynote Speaker and to deliver the University of Glasgow Cairncross Lecture to the World Association of Social Economics, Annual Conference, University of Glasgow, July, 2012.


Appointed Senior Research Fellow attached to the South African Research Chair in Social Change, University of Johannesburg, February, 2012.


Appointed Visiting Senior Fellow, University of Witwatersrand, February, 2013.

Appointed as member of Expert Advisory Board for the iBUILD project, October, 2013. iBUILD is an academic consortium across Universities of Newcastle, Leeds and Birmingham, with a £3.5m programme, funded by two UK Research Councils, following a government request arising out of the 2011 National Infrastructure Plan.

Final External Evaluator for Four-Year EU COST Actions, IS0902, “Systemic Risks, Financial Crises and Credit - the roots, dynamics and consequences of the Subprime Crisis”, March 2014.

Appointed Honorary Member of the Advisory Board of the ‘Indo-Canadian Development Journal’, June, 2014.


Member of Advisory Board for newly-established, Modus Operandi: Journal of Relational Social Sciences, Turkey, from August, 2014.


Appointed as member of Advisory Board of newly-established Numsa Research and Policy Institute, September 2014.


Invited expert to SOMO launch of a new ‘Minerals-Energy-Finance Transition’ (MEFT) programme, November, 2014.


Appointed to the Advisory Board of the International Bureau of Social and Economic Research (IBSER), Colombia, Medellin, 2015.


Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, February, 2017.


Editorial Advisory Board of the Review of Economics and Economic Methodology, 2017.


Re-elected Chair of the International Initiative for Promoting Political Economy, IIPPE, for a further three-year period, September, 2018.


Throughout 2018/19, and before, invited speaker at many Rethinking Economics events.


Continuing Participant in Aporde, the African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics


Guest speaker and member of organising committee for conference to mark 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth, May, 2018.


Consultant and Advisor to Oxfam’s major initiative to create an inequality tool package, with specific contributions on financialisation, housing, and minimum wage, 2017/2018


Invited to Christian Michelsen Institute’s Resource Center, Bergen, to participate in the “Book Salon” series, January, 2019. 


Advisory Board of Leverhulme-funded, Lili Project, Living within Limits, 2018-


Annual Lecture to mark Karl Marx’s birth at Highgate Cemetery, May, 2019.






Last Modified: Mon, 06 Feb 2023 12:30:10 SAST