Carol B. Thompson, PhD

Carol B. Thompson Professor
Northern Arizona University
Politics & International Affairs
Blg SBS Rm #234
Phone: 928-523-6374


  • Political Economy
  • International Environmental Policy
  • Methods
  • Comparative Politics

Professional interest

International environmental policy, Southern Africa

As a political economist, Professor Thompson specializes in international environmental policy, while learning from smallholder farmers in Southern Africa, by regularly working within a Southern African farmers’ organization. Her recent publications analyze how international policy may be more threatening to smallholder farmers than climate change, including new policy instruments for appropriating Africa's genetic wealth.

Two articles, forthcoming in 2014, indicate new theoretical directions of interest:

"Valuing Smallholder Food Production - A Call for New Theories," Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis, offers a critique of neoclassical economics' devaluation of peasant agriculture and a call for its replacement by ecological economics, along with traditional ecological knowledge (TEK).

"Philanthrocapitalism: Appropriation of Africa's Genetic Wealth," Review of African Political Economy,analyzes theories of accumulation by dispossession as explaining the reasons of appropriation of Africa's genetic wealth, while theories of philanthrocapitalism explain how they are appropriated.

Formerly a consultant to UNICEF, Oxfam, the Governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and others, her most recent grant was from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. An activist scholar in the USA food movement, Professor Thompson works closely with AGRA-Watch in Seattle, an organization opposing the “green revolution” approach to food production in Africa. She is also an active member of the local peace center.

Recent Journal Publications

“More Ominous than Climate Change? Global Policy Threats to African Food Production,” co-author with Andrew Mushita (Community Technology Development Trust, Zimbabwe), African Studies Quarterly, 13/4 (Winter) 2013.
“Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) -Advancing the Theft of African Genetic Wealth,” Review of African Political Economy, Vol. 39, Issue 132, 2012.
“Green Revolution for Africa: Food Security or Invasive Policy?” co-author with Andrew Mushita. New Routes (Sweden), 17/3 (September) 2012.
Most Recent Book:
Biopiracy of Biodiversity – Global Exchange as Enclosure, co-author with Andrew Mushita. Africa World Press, 2007.


  • PhD, Michigan State University
  • MA, Georgetown University
  • BA, University of Michigan