Stellenbosch University | Political Science



Prof. Scarlett Cornelissen

Tel: +27 21 808 2140

Japanese diplomacy, aid and industry in Africa; Africa’s international relations; South African foreign policy.


BSocSc (Cape Town); MA (University of Stellenbosch), PhD (Glasgow), PGDip (Applied Ethics) (Stellenbosch)


International Relations; Foreign Policy Analysis; Political Theory; The Political Economy of Japan


Scarlett holds a PhD from the University of Glasgow and postgraduate and Bachelor’s degrees from Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town. She has been Katherine Hampson Bessell Fellow with the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and Leibniz Professor at Leipzig University. Other research fellowships have been held with the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies at Kyoto University, Hitotsubashi University (Tokyo) and the Institute of Developing Economies, all in Japan.

She is co-editor of the Review of International Studies and Geopolitics and serves on the editorial boards of European Journal of International Relations, Journal of Modern African Studies and Chatham House’s International Affairs.



Cornelissen, S. and Y. Mine (eds.) (2018) Migration and Agency in a Globalizing World: Afro-Asian Encounters. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Amakasu, P., D. Arase and S. Cornelissen (eds.) (2018) Handbook on Africa-Asia Relations. London: Routledge.

Cornelissen, S. (2017). The Global Tourism System: Governance, Development and Lessons from South Africa. London: Routledge.

Cornelissen, S., F. Cheru and T.M. Shaw (eds.) (2015) Africa and International Relations in the Twenty-First Century. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave (paperback edition).

Articles, book chapters and e-series

‘Tourism, capital, and livelihoods in Africa’, series on Global-e: A Global Studies Journal, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2018-2019 (co-editorship with J. Maruyama),

‘Late industrialisers: South Korea’s development experiences and insight for South Africa’, in F.Y. April and E. Owuse-Sekyere (eds.) Economic Development, The Role of a Developmental State – South Africa and South Korea, 2019. Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa.

‘Industrial entanglements and their political outflows in the Japan-South Africa relationship in the mid-twentieth Century,’ Kansai Economic Review, 2018: 501-515.

‘Africa-Japan relations in the post-Cold War era’, in D. Nagar and C. Mutasa (eds.) Africa and the World: Bilateral and Multilateral International Diplomacy. New York: Palgrave, 2018 (co-authored with Y. Mine).

‘National meaning-making in complex societies: Political legitimation and branding dynamics in post-apartheid South Africa,’ Geopolitics, 2017, 22, 3: 525-48.

‘Japan’s Official Development Assistance to sub-Saharan Africa: Patterns, dynamics and lessons’, in H. Kato, J. Page and Y. Shimomura (eds.) Japan’s Development Assistance: Foreign Aid and the Post-2015 Agenda, 2016, Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave.

‘South Africa and Japan: Maintaining a difficult friendship,’ Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 2016, 54, 2: 186-202.

‘The changing contours of Japan’s Africa diplomacy’, TheDiplomat Magazine/Border Crossing, vol. 1, issue 4, May 2015.

‘South Africa’s relations with China and Japan’ in L. Masters; S. Zondi; J. Van Wyk and C. Landsberg (eds.) South African Foreign Policy Review Volume 2, 2015, Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa.

‘South Africa’s economic ties with north-east Asia’, in G. Khadiagala; P. Naidoo; D. Pillay and R. Southall (eds.) The New South African Review 4: A Fragile Democracy – Twenty Years On, 2014. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.

‘Corporate social responsibility as a social development paradigm in Africa’s political economy: Its emergence and implications for African agency’, in W. Brown and S. Harman (eds.) African Agency in International Politics, 2013. Abingdon: Routledge.

‘Selling Africa: Japan’s G8 politics and its Africa diplomacy’, Global Governance, 2012, 18, 4: 461-470.

‘TICAD’s directives for Southern Africa: Promises and pitfalls’, Japanese Studies, 2012, 32, 2: 1-17.

‘“Our struggles are bigger than the World Cup”: Civic activism, state-society relations and the socio-political legacies of the 2010 FIFA World Cup’, British Journal of Sociology, 2012, 63. 2: 328-348.

‘Mega-event securitisation in a Third World setting: Glocal processes and ramifications in the 2010 FIFA World Cup,’ Urban Studies, 2011, 48, 15: 3221-3240.