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Centre of African Studies: People


Jose-Maria Munoz

Dr Jose-Maria Munoz
Senior Lecturer in African Studies & International Development
School of Social and Political Science
University of Edinburgh
2.01 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0) 131 650 6970
Research Interests
Political and economic anthropology,Law and society,Taxation and citizenship,Borderlands,Infrastructure,West and Central Africa,Cameroon,Chad

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • Wednesdays 12:00-2:00

Book a time slot during my office hours here

Licenciatura en Derecho, Univesidad Pontificia Comillas, ICADE (Spain)
Licenciatura en Antropología Social, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)
MSc in Social Anthropology, University College London
PhD in Cultural Anthropology, Northwestern University (USA)

Biography :

Anthropology and African Studies were for Muñoz a way out of the drudgery of legal practice in Spain, his home country. University College London and Northwestern University, two institutions renowned for their long-standing Africanist tradition, had a decisive impact on the formative years that followed his decision to abandon professional law. With time, he has come to see his legal training as an essential part of his toolkit as a researcher and a constant source of interdisciplinary impetus. From 2010 to 2012, he held a postdoctoral fellowship at Emory University’s Program in Development Studies.

Research Interests:
Muñoz has conducted extensive fieldwork in Cameroon and its neighbouring countries on topics ranging from business organisation and public administration reform to corporate social responsibility, corruption, and taxation. JMMBookCoverHis book  Doing Business in Cameroon: An Anatomy of Economic Governance (International African Library, Cambridge University Press) explores how different business practices and repertoires have enabled distinct modes of governing the economy in the city of Ngaoundere (Cameroon) from the colonial era to the present. Based on fieldwork and archival research, it examines four arenas of the provincial economy—the cattle trade, road transport, public contracts, and the projects of non-governmental organizations—at the interface with state institutions.

With Paul Nugent and Hugh Lamarque, Muñoz is part of AFRIGOS. Funded by the European Research Council, this 5-year project investigates the patterns of governance that are emerging across the African continent out of unprecedented levels of investment in transport infrastructure.


(2016) with Philip Burnham "Subcontracting as Corporate Social Responsibility in the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline Project", in C. Dolan and D. Rajak eds. The Anthropology of Corporate Social Responsibility. Oxford: Berghahn.

(2014) “Making Contracts Public in Ngaoundéré, Cameroon”, City & Society 26 (2): 175-195.

(2014) “A Breeding Ground for Revenue Reliability? Cameroonian Veterinary Agents and Tax Officials in the Face of Reform”, in T. Bierschenk and J.-P. Olivier de Sardan eds. States at Work: Dynamics of African Bureaucracies. Leiden: Brill

(2013) "The Revenue Imperative in Cameroon", in T. Cantens, R. Ireland and G. Raballand eds. Reform by Numbers. Washington: World Bank.

(2011) “Talking Law in Times of Reform: Paradoxes of Legal Entitlement in Cameroon”, Law & Society Review, 45 (4): 893-922

(2010) “Business Visibility and Taxation in Northern Cameroon”, African Studies Review, 53 (2): 149-175.

(2008)  “Au Nom du Développement : Ethnicité, Autochtonie, et Promotion du Secteur Privé au Nord-Cameroun”, Politique Africaine, 112: 67-85.

PhD Students:

Emmanuel Oluwole Oni, Anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria

Ismael Mazaaz, Water and urban dynamics in N'Djamena (Chad)

Simeon Koroma, Neighbourhood justice  in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Ava Muhr, West African diaspora in Philadelphia

Konstantin Biehl, Food safety and toxic uncertainty in Kenya

Cecilie Baann, Security-development nexus and artisanal fishing in Sierra Leone

Elisa Gambino, China's involvement in the Port of Lamu (Kenya)

Francesco Longo, Music scences in the Cote d'Ivoire-Ghana borderlands

Topics interested in supervising

Economic Anthropology; Legal Anthropology; Anthropology of Finance; Taxes; Bureaucracy; Public Administration; Infrastructure and Technology; Borderlands; Political Ecology; Forestry and Mining; Pastoralism; Islam; Youth; Law and Development; Corporate Social Responsibility; Corruption and Anti-corruption; West and Central Africa; Cameroon; Chad