Scarlett Cornelissen is a professor in the Department of Political Science at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. She works in the field of international relations, addressing broader questions of Africa’s place in the contemporary international system and more specific topics related to the political economy of Africa’s relations with East Asia.
During her time at Radcliffe, Cornelissen is working on a project on the past and present dynamics of Japanese investments in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on the extractive and automotive sectors. The project takes stock of the history of Japanese industry on the continent; looks at the role of specific firms; and assesses the changes over time in the economic, political, and institutional dimensions of Japan’s foreign investments and their ramifications for Africa’s political economy.
Cornelissen earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cape Town, an MA from Stellenbosch University, and a PhD from the University of Glasgow. She has been awarded support from, among others, the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies at Kyoto University, the Institute of Developing Economies in Japan, the Japan Foundation, and the Leverhulme Trust. She was appointed Leibniz Professor by Universität Leipzig and held visiting positions in Japan at Hitotsubashi University, Kansai University, and Tsuda College. She has also been a recipient of the President’s Award of the National Research Foundation of South Africa. She is a current coeditor of the Review of International Studies.