Researching the politics of development



Dr Marja Hinfelaar



Marja Hinfelaar is the Director of Research and Programs at the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR) and lead researcher for ESID’s politics of natural resources project in Zambia. Marja is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at The University of Manchester.


Marja is a historian and political analyst, having published on the 2008 elections in Zambia in African Affairs and coordinated a longitudinal study on political party dynamics at the constituency level in the run-up to the 2011 elections. She has been resident in Zambia since 1997.

ESID publications

Cheelo, C. and Hinfelaar, M. (2021). ‘State capacity building in Zambia amidst shifting political coalitions and ideologies‘. ESID Working Paper No. 171. Manchester.

Cheelo, C. and Hinfelaar, M. (2020). ‘Bank of Zambia’s autonomy amidst political turnovers in Zambia‘. ESID Working Paper No. 153. Manchester.
Hinfelaar, M., Resnick, D. and Sishuwa, S. (2020). ‘Cities and dominance: Urban strategies for political settlement maintenance and change – Zambia case study ‘. ESID Working Paper No. 136. Manchester.
Hinfelaar, M. and Sichone, J. (2019). ‘The challenge of sustaining a professional civil service amidst shifting political coalitions: The case of the Ministry of Finance in Zambia, 1991-2018′. ESID Working Paper No. 122. Manchester.
Bebbington, M., Abdulai, A., Bebbington, D., Hinfelaar, M. and Sanborn, C. (2018). Governing Extractive Industries: Politics, Histories, Ideas, Oxford University Press.
Hinfelaar, M. and Achberger, J. (2017). ‘The politics of natural resource extraction  in Zambia‘. ESID Working Paper No. 80. Manchester.
Bebbington, A. with Gafaru, A.-G., Hinfelaar, M., Humphreys Bebbington, D. and Sanborn, C. (2017). ‘Political settlements and the governance of extractive industry: A comparative analysis of the longue durée in Africa and Latin America’, ESID Working Paper No. 81. Manchester.

Other projects

Co-editing a book on Zambian politics and elections.
Researcher and Zambia coordinator for ‘Valueworks: Effects of Financialization along the Copper Value Chain‘.

Other roles

Marja is on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Southern African Studies (JSAS), UK; Founder and Editor at the Lembani Trust publishing house; and Editor of the Zambia Social Science Journal (ZSSJ).

Further information

Visit SAIPAR’s website.