Professor Global Development Studies
PhD (Political Studies) University of Toronto
Curriculum Vitae (PDF 361KB)
Global Development Studies
Mac-Corry Hall A407
Office hours - By appointment only
My research revolves around debates over public versus private service delivery (with a focus on water, electricity and health care), but encompass a broad spectrum of related questions on urbanization, environmental justice and uneven development. Much of this research has been conducted through the Municipal Services Project (www.municipalservicesproject.org), which I founded and have been co-director of since 2000. The focus of this project is ‘alternatives to privatization’, with research partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. We work with academics, social movements, labour unions and community groups in an effort to deepen our grassroots engagement and create research products that are relevant and useful to the communities and organizations most affected by these debates.
Theoretically, I am interested in competing conceptions of ‘public’ and how they have changed and been transformed under neoliberalism. As a (marxian) political economist my focus in on the financial, institutional and ideological structures that tie everyday service delivery to the larger currents of (re)production, but I am also interested in socio-cultural concepts of space and place that make up the connectivities of public engagement. My research has had a largely urban focus, including the growing networks of ‘world cities’.
Finally, I spent a number of years working on international migration with the Southern African Migration Project (www.queensu.ca/samp). I am no longer directly involved in this work but remain interested in questions of migration and xenophobia.
I supervise graduate students in all three of the departments I am affiliated with (Global Development Studies, Geography, Environmental Studies). I encourage applications from students focused on topics related to my research interests, and in particular on debates around public/private service provision in the global South.
Department of Geography and the School of Environmental Studies
DEVS 100 A: Canada and the 'Third World'
DEVS 801 : Development Theory in Contemporary and Historical Perspective
DA McDonald. World City Syndrome: Neoliberalism and Inequality in Cape Town. Routledge: New York, 2008, 355 pp (see details)
M Pigeon, DA McDonald, S Kishimoto and O Hoedeman (eds), Remunicipalization: Putting Water Back Into Public Hands, Transnational Institute, Amsterdam, 2012, 116pp (see details).
DA McDonald and G Ruiters (eds). 2012. Alternatives to Privatization: Public Options for Essential Services in the Global South, Routledge (New York), HSRC Press (Cape Town), Leftword Books (Delhi), 540pp. (see details)
DA McDonald (ed). 2009. Electric Capitalism: Recolonizing Africa on the Power Grid, HSRC Press: Cape Town, Earthscan: London, 504pp. (see details)
DA McDonald and G Ruiters (eds). 2005. The Age of Commodity: Water Privatization in Southern Africa. Earthscan Press: London, 304 pp. (see details)
DA McDonald and J Pape (eds). 2002. Cost Recovery and the Crisis of Service Delivery in South Africa. Zed Press: London and HSRC Publishers: Pretoria, 2002, 207 pp. (see details)
DA McDonald (ed) Environmental Justice in South Africa. 2002. Ohio University Press: Athens and University of Cape Town Press, 341 pp. (see details)
J Crush and DA McDonald (eds). 2002. Transnationalism and New African Immigration to South Africa.Canadian Association of African Studies: Toronto, 184 pp. (see details)
DA McDonald and J Crush (eds). 2002. Destinations Unknown: Perspectives on the Brain Drain in Southern Africa. Africa Institute, Pretoria, 401 pp. (see details)
DA McDonald and EN Sahle (eds). 2002. The Legacies of Julius Nyerere: Influences on Development Discourse and Practice in Africa.Africa World Press, Trenton, New Jersey. 145 pp. (see details)
DA McDonald (ed). 2000. On Borders: Perspectives on International Migration in Southern Africa, St Martin’s Press, New York, 303pp. (see details)
E Leopold and DA McDonald. 2012. Municipal Socialism Then and Now: Lessons for the Global South, Third World Quarterly, 33:10, pp1873-53
DA McDonald. 2011. Electricity and the Minerals Energy Complex in South Africa, Africa Review, Vol 3, No 1, January-June, pp 67-89.
DA McDonald. 2010. “Ubuntu Bashing: The Marketization of “African Values” in South Africa”, Review of African Political Economy, Vol 37, No 124, June, pp 139-152.
G Boag and DA McDonald. 2010. “A Critical Review of Public-Public Partnerships in Water Services”, Water Alternatives, Vol 3, Issue 1, February, pp 1-25.
K Cocq and DA McDonald. 2010. “Minding the Undertow: Assessing Water ‘Privatization’ in Cuba”, Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, Vol 42, No 1, January, pp 6-45.
DA McDonald and G Ruiters, “In Search of Alternatives”, in DA McDonald and G Ruiters (eds). 2012. Alternatives to Privatization: Public Options for Essential Services in the Global South, Routledge, New York, pp. 1-15
DA McDonald and G Ruiters, “Careful What You Ask For: State-led Alternatives to Privatization”, in DA McDonald and G Ruiters (eds). 2012. Alternatives to Privatization: Public Options for Essential Services in the Global South, Routledge, New York, pp. 157-182
DA McDonald and G Ruiters, “Ways Forward for Alternatives in Health, Water and Electricity”, in DA McDonald and G Ruiters (eds). 2012. Alternatives to Privatization: Public Options for Essential Services in the Global South, Routledge, New York, pp. 491-504
DA McDonald, “Remunicipalisation Works!”, 2012, in M Pigeon, DA McDonald, O Hoedeman and S Kishimoto (eds), 2012. Remunicipalisation: Putting Water Back Into Public Hands, TNI: Amsterdam, pp 1-16.
DA McDonald. 2009. “Electric Capitalism: Conceptualizing Electricity and Capital Accumulation in (South) Africa”, in DA McDonald (ed). Electric Capitalism: Recolonizing Africa on the Power Grid, HSRC Press: Cape Town, Earthscan, London, pp 1-49
DA McDonald. 2009. “Alternative Electricity Paths for Southern Africa”, in DA McDonald (ed). Electric Capitalism: Recolonizing Africa on the Power Grid, HSRC Press: Cape Town, Earthscan, London, pp 437-453