Dr Seán Mfundza Muller - orcid.org/0000-0001-5892-0609
IASH-SSPS Visiting Research Fellow, January 2022 - June 2022
Home Institution: University of Johannesburg
Dr Seán Mfundza Muller is a Senior Research Fellow at the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study University of Johannesburg. An economist by training, his work spans a wide spectrum from public policy and applied microeconomics to causal inference, philosophy of science, and higher education. Within this, one of his core areas of current research concerns the methodology and philosophy of economics. To date, his work has appeared in journals such as Economics Letters, World Bank Economic Review, Higher Education, World Development, Development and Change, South African Journal of Philosophy, and History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences. His first monograph, The Incentivised University: Scientific Revolutions, Policies, Consequences, is due to be published by Springer in October 2021.
Project Title: Decolonisation across the disciplines
Awareness of the imperative for decolonisation in the global academy has experienced a resurgence in recent years. Having already published an initial analysis of some practical implications of that imperative for the economics curriculum in South Africa and other African countries, this project seeks to interrogate deeper philosophical aspects of decolonisation and in doing so contribute to the IASH Project on Decoloniality in collaboration with academics in the School of Social and Political Science (SSPS). In particular, the focus is on how and why the decolonisation imperative – and appropriate responses to it – might vary across disciplines. The analysis has two broad components. The first considers the different dimensions of decolonisation from the perspective of somewhat more conventional epistemological and ontological concerns, but with an eye to variation across areas of inquiry. The second seeks to examine these philosophical issues with respect to particular disciplines. It pivots around economics, as a social science with significant societal influence that also places great emphasis on its formal (mathematical and statistical) methods, and its role in the study of development. Ultimately, the intention is to provide some additional structure and nuance to our understanding of decoloniality and the direction taken by decolonisation initiatives.