Jon Schubert

Jon Schubert
  • Researcher (CAS)
    +49 341 9730267
  • Jon Schubert is a political anthropologist working on stateness, political violence, memory and affect, and technocratisation, mainly in Lusophone Africa. He holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh (2014) and an MA from the University of Basel (2007). He has worked in foreign affairs (2008-2009) and commercial risk analysis (2010-2015), and taught political anthropology and African politics at undergraduate and graduate level.

    His current research project, Technocrats at the Hydrocarbons Frontier: Changing Stateness in Mozambique (as part of the DFG SPP1448) will look at how staff at the National Hydrocarbons Company ENH remake and rethink the role of the state at the interface of national bureaucracy and globalised capital. His previous research, based on one year of doctoral fieldwork in Angola’s capital, Luanda, was an ethnographic exploration of contemporary neo-authoritarianism through the emic notion of the ‘system’, and has resulted in a manuscript entitled Working the System: A Political Ethnography of the ‘New Angola’ (currently under review).


    Curriculum Vitae

    Relevant Work Experience

    Apr 2015 – present

    Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Leipzig, Global and European Studies Institute; researcher on the ‘changing stateness’ research project (DFG SPP1448).

    May 2010 –

    Mar 2015

    IHS Country Risk, London. Senior Africa Analyst, Lusophone and Central Africa.

    May 2008 –

    Apr 2009

    Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Berne, Switzerland. peace policy



    Sept. 2010 – March 2014

    PhD in African Studies at the Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh Working the System: Amnesia, Affect, and the Aesthetics of Power in the ‘New Angola’.

    Sept. 2009 – August 2010

    MPhil-Student/PhD-Candidate, doctoral training at the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London (transfer to Edinburgh).

    April 2005 – Dec. 2007

    Master of Arts in African Studies, University of Basel
    Focus on statehood, governance and democracy, post-conflict and development.

    Oct. 2001 – March 2005

    Cand. lic. phil I. University of Basel. Major: Sociology, mainly Sociology of development, political sociology; Minor I: Contemporary history, focusing on African history and history of Eastern Europe; Minor II: Media studies (transition to MA).



    Winter 2015/16    

    Course convenor, Violence, Conflict, and State-Building in Africa, MA seminar, African Studies/Global and European Studies/Social Anthropology, Universität Leipzig.

    Winter 2014/15

    Course convenor, Introduction to political anthropology (Einführung in die politische Ethnologie), undergraduate seminar, Seminar für Ethnologie, Martin Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg.



    Refereed journal articles:

    Schubert, Jon (2016) 'A Culture of Immediatism': Co-Optation and Complicity in Post-War Angola, ETHNOS.

    Schubert, Jon (2015) 2002, Year Zero: History as Anti-Politics in the New Angola, Journal of Southern African Studies, 41.4.

    Schubert, Jon (2010) ‘Democratisation’ and the Consolidation of Political Authority in Post-War Angola, Journal of Southern African Studies, 36.3, 657-672.

    Book chapters:

    Schubert, Jon (forthcoming 2016) 'Emerging political subjectivities in post-war Angola', book chapter in (forthcoming) Melber H. (ed.), Africa's Emerging Middle Classes: A Critical Assessment. Zed Books.

    Schubert, Jon (2014) Angola, in: A. Mehler, H. Melber, K. van Walraven (eds.) Africa Yearbook. Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara in 2013, vol. 10, Leiden, Boston: Brill.

    See also Africa Yearbook 2013, Vol. 10 (2014), AYB 2012, Vol. 9 (2013); AYB 2011, Vol. 8 (2012); AYB 2010, vol. 7 (2011); AYB 2009, vol. 6 (2010); AYB 2008, vol. 5. (2009).

    Review articles and working papers:

    Review of 'Political Identity and Conflict in Central Angola, 1975-2002', J. Pearce, Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press 2015, Politique Africaine (forthcoming).

    Review of 'The Normality of Civil War. Armed Groups and Everyday Life in Angola', T.K. Beck, Frankfurt/M, New York, Campus Verlag 2013, JSAS (forthcoming).

    Review of 'Magnificent and Beggar Land', R. Soares de Oliveira, London: Hurst 2015, Afrika Spectrum 3/2015.

    BTI Bertelsmann Transformation Index, Angola 2016 Country Report, on behalf of the Bertelsmann Foundation, (peer-reviewed, commissioned research).

    BTI (2014), Bertelsmann Transformation Index, Angola 2014 Country Report, on behalf of the Bertelsmann Foundation, (peer-reviewed, commissioned research).

    Schubert, Jon (2013) A partidarização: ‘democratização’ e consolidação do poder político em Angola, Relações Internacionais, 37, 79-98 (updated Portuguese version of 2010 JSAS article).

    Review of ‘Sure Road? Nationalisms in Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique’, E. Morier- Genoud, ed., Leiden, Boston: Brill 2012, in Journal of Modern African Studies 51(3).

    Review of ‘China & Angola. A Marriage of Convenience?’, M. Power & A.C. Alves, eds., Cape Town, Dakar, Nairobi, Oxford: Pambazuka Press 2012, in Afrika Spectrum 48(2).

     Verdades incómodas da África emergente, review of ‘Diamantes de Sangue. Corrupção e Tortura em Angola’, R. Marques, Lisboa: Tinta-de-China 2011, in Relações Internacionais, 34, 119-122.

    Schubert, Jon (2005) Political Ecology in Development Research. An Introductory Overview and Annotated Bibliography. Bern: NCCR North-South.

    Select conference and seminar papers (2014-2016)

    Title tbc, African Studies Seminar, University of Oxford, 25 Jan 2016.

    Numbers by divination: the production of evidence in commercial risk forecasting, invited session ‘Interrogating Evidentiary Familiarities’, sponsored by the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology and American Ethnological Society, AAA Annual Conference, Denver CO, 18-22 Nov. 2015.

    Invited speaker and discussant at graduate workshop and public roundtable on Angola’s post-war reconciliation and development process, Stanford University Humanities Center, 16 Nov. 2015.

    The affects of place: urban transformation, memories and loss in contemporary Luanda, ECAS 2015, Paris, 8-10 July 2015.

    ‘Against the System, within the System’ — Anti-Government Youth Protests Around Angola’s 2012 Elections, Workshop ‘Elections in Central and Southern Africa, Dynamics of Exclusion and Participation; SOAS, 26 June 2015.

    Angolanidade: Negotiating Political Authority Through the Idiom of Race in Contemporary Luanda, Afrika-Kolloquium, Institut für Ethnologie, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt a.M., 7 May 2015.

    Political culture in resource rich countries: the case of Angola, presentation and invited discussant at DFG- funded workshop “Political Culture in Africa – the Narrative Foundations of Authority and Leadership”, Point Sud, Bamako, 4-10 October 2014.

    Situative and imaginary kinship as vernacular critique of, and 'user manual' for, power relations in post-war Angola, EASA14: Collaboration, Intimacy & Revolution, Estonian Institute of Humanities, Tallinn, 31 July – 3 August 2014.

    Political subjectivities in resource-rich, neo-authoritarian countries – a useful comparative research prism? (panel organiser and chair), ASA14 Decennial: Anthropology and Enlightenment, University of Edinburgh, 19-22 June 2014.

    Cunhas to make the system work. II International Angola Conference, St. Peter’s College

    Field Research and Consultancy Experience

    Mar - Jul 2016

    New research project Technocrats at the Hydrocarbons Frontier: Negotiating Stateness in Mozambique, Maputo, Mozambique

    Oct. 2010 – Oct. 2011

    Doctoral research, long-term ethnographic fieldwork in Luanda, Angola.

    September 2009

    Final Evaluation of National Civic and Electoral Education Programme (PECE-II), NIZA + DW, Angola (EC Grant Contract DDH/2006/131-752). Impact Evaluation (qualitative) with project beneficiaries in 4 provinces.

    April 2007

    Baseline-study for National Civic and Electoral Education Programme (PECE-II), DW, Angola. Data collection in 6 Provinces, research training workshops for the members of the implementing partner NGOs, evaluation of the study, final report (Portuguese).

    Aug. – Oct. 2006

    Volunteer work in Mozambique; Planning und elaborating a campaign on HIV/AIDS for local NGO ProMusic ( Contacts with potential donors and partner NGOs, research and documentation, project proposal.


    Professional Service and Commissioned Research

    Peer reviews for African Affairs, Africa Spectrum, Social Dynamics, several edited volumes.
    Expert reports to the court on Angola in various asylum applications in the UK and the US.

    Peer reviewer and country expert for Global Integrity, Transparency International, V-Dem Institute.

    Proffessional Affiliations

    European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), American Anthropological Association (AAA), Swiss Society of African Studies (SGAS/SSEA), African Studies Association UK (ASA UK)


    German, English, French, Portuguese (all professional fluency), Italian, Spanish (intermediate spoken and written)