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Dr. Tim Zajontz

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Role Lecturer
Office hours By prior appointment via Email.
Address Rempartstraße 15, 79085 Freiburg, Germany
Room 4323
Phone 0761 203-3474
E-Mail tim.zajontz@politik.uni-freiburg.de
Website www.tim-zajontz.de

Profile

Tim Zajontz is Lecturer in International Relations and Global Political Economy at the professorial chair of Prof. Dr. Sandra Destradi. He has previously worked in the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh and has taught courses at the universities of St Andrews, Dresden and Stellenbosch. He earned a PhD from the School of International Relations at St Andrews where he worked under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Dr. Ian Taylor on the political economy and governance of Chinese-financed infrastructure projects across Africa. His PhD research was funded by the German Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the British Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Zajontz is Research Fellow in the Centre for International and Comparative Politics at Stellenbosch University as well as Research Associate in the Second Cold War Observatory, a global research collective which is committed to developing nuanced understandings of how great power rivalry influences and shapes societies, economies, and ecologies worldwide. He is also one of the coordinators of the Collaborative Research Group 'African Politics and International Relations' of the Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies (AEGIS). He has previously worked in advisory positions in German and EU politics. He is co-founder of the Germany-based, not-for-profit organisation Freundeskreis Uganda e.V.

His research centres around Africa’s international relations and political economy, with a particular focus on Southern and Eastern Africa as well as on Africa-China and Africa-EU relations. His current research interests are infrastructure politics and the political economy of competing connectivity initiatives, especially China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the G7 Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment and the EU's Global Gateway. He is furthermore interested in dynamics of sovereign indebtedness and dependency and conceptual questions related to structure-agency dialectics interactions, economic imperialisms, late neoliberalism and the production of space in international relations. Zajontz has conducted research in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Academic CV

Since 10/2023 Lecturer in International Relations and Global Political Economy
University of Freiburg, Department of Political Science, Chair for International Relations (Prof. Dr. Sandra Destradi)
Since 01/2020 Research Fellow in the Centre for International and Comparative Politics
Department of Political Science, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
04/2023 – 09/2023 Lecturer in International Relations and Global Political Economy
TUD Dresden University of Technology, Institute of Political Science, Chair for International Politics (Prof. Dr. Anna Holzscheiter)
10/2021 – 09/2022 Lecturer in International Relations and Global Political Economy
University of Freiburg, Department of Political Science, Chair for International Relations (Prof. Dr. Sandra Destradi)
07/2020 – 07/2021 Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the project ‘African Governance and Space: Transport Corridors, Border Towns and Port Cities in Transition (AFRIGOS)’
Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK
Funded through a European Research Council Advanced Grant
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Paul Nugent
03/2020 – 01/2021 Associate Lecturer
School of International Relations, University of St Andrews, UK
2015 – 2020 PhD Candidate
School of International Relations, University of St Andrews, UK
Title of PhD dissertation: The Chinese Infrastructural Fix in Africa: A Strategic-Relational Analysis of Zambia’s “Road Bonanza” and the Rehabilitation of TAZARA
Several research stays in Tanzania and Zambia
Scholarships: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Friedrich Ebert Foundation
01/2015 – 12/2017 Research Associate in the Centre for International and Comparative Politics
Department of Political Science, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
2014 – 2016 Associate Lecturer
Department of Political Science, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
01/2011 – 10/2012 M.A. in International Studies (2nd leg)
Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Thesis title: Regionalism in theory and practice: The transformative potential of civil society in Southern Africa
Scholarship: Friedrich Ebert Foundation
08/2010 – 12/2010 M.A. in International Studies (1st leg)
Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)/Bjørknes University College, Oslo, Norway
Scholarship: Friedrich Ebert Foundation
10/2007 – 07/2010 B.A. in Political Science and Public Law
University of Heidelberg, Germany
Scholarship: Friedrich Ebert Foundation
09/2009 – 01/2010 Erasmus mobility programme, University of Leuven, Belgium

Research interests

  • African international relations, politics and political economy
  • Africa-China and Africa-EU relations
  • Geopolitics, geoeconomics, Second Cold War 
  • Economic governance and state-society relations
  • Regionalisms, regional integration, spatial political economy
  • Neo-Marxian, neo-Gramscian and decolonial approaches
  • Critical realist philosophy of science

Recent publications


Books

 

Articles

  • van Wieringen, Kjeld and Tim Zajontz 2023. 'From Loan-Financed to Privatised Infrastructure? Tracing China's Turn Towards Public–Private Partnerships in Africa', Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 52(3): 434–463, https://doi.org/10.1177/18681026231188140.
  • Schindler, Seth, Ilias Alami, Jessica DiCarlo, Nicholas Jepson, Steve Rolf, Mustafa Kemal Bayırbağ, Loius Cyuzuzo, Meredith DeBoom, Alireza F. Farahani, Imogen T. Liu, Hannah McNicol, Julie T. Miao, Philip Nock, Gilead Teryi, Maximiliano Facundo Vila Seoane, Kevin Ward, Tim Zajontz and Yawei Zhao 2023. ‘The Second Cold War: US-China Competition for Centrality in Infrastructure, Digital, Production Finance Networks’. Geopolitics, online first, https://doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2023.2253432.
  • Carmody, Pádraig, Zajontz, Tim and Reboredo, Ricardo 2022. ‘From “debt diplomacy” to donorship? China’s changing role in global development’, Global Political Economy 1(2): 198–217, https://doi.org/10.1332/UZHW7185.
  • Zajontz, Tim 2022. ‘Seamless imaginaries, territorialized realities: the regional politics of corridor governance in Southern Africa’, Territory, Politics, Governance, online first, https://doi.org/10.1080/21622671.2022.2092205
  • Zajontz, Tim 2022. ‘”Win-win” contested: negotiating the privatisation of Africa’s Freedom Railway with the “Chinese of today”‘, Journal of Modern African Studies 60(1): 111-134, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022278X21000446.
  • Chiyemura, Frangton, Elisa Gambino and Tim Zajontz 2022. ‘Infrastructure and the politics of African state agency: shaping the Belt and Road Initiative in East Africa’, Chinese Political Science Review 8(1): 105-131. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41111-022-00214-8.
  • Zajontz, Tim 2022. ‘Debt, distress, dispossession: towards a critical political economy of Africa’s financial dependency’, Review of African Political Economy 49(171)173-183, https://doi.org/10.1080/03056244.2021.1950669.
  • Carmody, Pádraig, Ian Taylor and Tim Zajontz 2022. ‘China’s Spatial Fix and “Debt Diplomacy” in Africa: Constraining Belt or Road to Economic Transformation?’, Canadian Journal of African Studies 56(1): 57-77, https://doi.org/10.1080/00083968.2020.1868014.
  • Zajontz, Tim 2022. ‘The Chinese infrastructural fix in Africa: Lessons from the Sino-Zambian “road bonanza”’, Oxford Development Studies 50(1): 14-29, https://doi.org/10.1080/13600818.2020.1861230.
  • Taylor, Ian and Zajontz, Tim 2020. ‘In a fix: Africa’s place in the Belt and Road Initiative and the reproduction of dependency’, South African Journal of International Affairs 27(3): 277-295, https://doi.org/10.1080/10220461.2020.1830165.

 

Special issue

 

Chapters in edited volumes

 

For a comprehensive list of publications, please follow this link.

Media Work

 

For a list of interviews and media commentary, please follow this link.

Teaching

Winter term 2023

MA course: Coloniality, Capital, Contestation: The Political Economy of the 'Global South'

Department of Political Science, University of Freiburg

Winter term 2023

MA course: Interdisciplinary Approaches

Institute of Political Science, TUD Dresden University of Technology

Summer term 2023

MA course: Theories of International Organisations

Institute of Political Science, TUD Dresden University of Technology

Summer term 2023

MA course: Complex Actor Constellations and Horizontal Cooperation in the Transnational Realm

Institute of Political Science, TUD Dresden University of Technology

Summer term 2022

Advanced course: The International Relations of 'Sub-Saharan Africa'

Department of Political Science, University of Freiburg

Summer term 2022

Undergraduate course: Foundations of International Relations and Global Politics

Department of Political Science, University of Freiburg

Winter term 2021/22

Advanced course: Global Political Economy and the Global South

Department of Political Science, University of Freiburg

Winter term 2021/22

Introductory course accompanying the lecture ‘Introduction to Political Science’

Department of Political Science, University of Freiburg

First term 2020/21

Honours (4th year) lecture and tutorial: The International Relations of 'Sub-Saharan Africa'

School of International Relations, University of St Andrews

Second term 2019/20

Honours (4th year) lecture and tutorial: The International Relations of 'Sub-Saharan Africa'

School of International Relations, University of St Andrews

Second term 2016

Senior honours (4th year) module: Global Political Economy

Department of Political Science, Stellenbosch University

Second term 2015

Senior honours (4th year) module: Global Political Economy

Department of Political Science, Stellenbosch University

Second term 2014

Senior honours (4th year) module: Global Political Economy

Department of Political Science, Stellenbosch University

 

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