Thomas Lesaffre

PARI Associate

Thomas Lesaffre

Thomas Lesaffre has been working in African Studies for the last seven years. His academic training is in sociology, political science and public law, with two degrees from Université Lyon 2, and two Master’s degrees – one from University Gaston Berger, in Senegal, and the other from Institut d’Etude Politique de Bordeaux, in France.

He is interested in Pan Africanist ideology and knowledge circulation on the African continent. To animate this agenda, he is teaching ‘African governance’ at the African Leadership Academy, and he is a regular contributor to Pan African newspapers, such as Jeune Afrique. His interest in South Africa in general, and Johannesburg in particular, is rooted in the idea that the ‘City of Gold’ constitutes a laboratory of ingenious ideas for the rest of the continent. His current research agenda focuses on political economies: his phd explores the relationship between a burgeoning ‘financial capital’ and the state, in Southern Africa. He has also conducted research in South Africa on local governance, focusing on rural Limpopo.


  • Phadi, Mosa. Pearson, Joel. & Lessafre, Thomas. ‘Rethinking Patronage’, PARI working paper, Forthcoming