Faculty of Arts, Law and Education

Human Resources

Jacob Mwathi Mati
Jacob Mwathi Mati
Job Info
School of Social Sciences
Position Title:
Contact Info
Phone #:
+679 3232489
Personal Info

Dr. Jacob Mwathi Mati joined the USP Sociology team in August 2014. Dr. Mati teaches courses relating to sociology of development and social policy. His research interests are on intersections of civil society and sociopolitical change.

Courses taught:

SO301: Sociology of Public Policy and Administration [Semester 1]
SO408: Issues in Social and Public Policy [Semester 1]
SO407: Issues in Social Administration [Semester 2]
SO409: Social Development [Semester 1]

Research Interests / Expertise

Social movements, civil society and their intersections with development and governance. Current research projects are centred on power, civic agency, volunteerism and philanthropy.

Current thesis supervision



  • Atele Leiataua-Dutt. Thesis research title:  The persistence of corporal punishment in formal schools in Samoa: a sociological analysis.
  • Vivian Koster: Thesis research title: Youth engagement in the Pacific islands regional public policy process: the role of non-state actors in the Pacific Islands Forum. 
  • Joseph I. Cruz. Thesis research title: An Assessment of the Guam Police Department’s Mandaña Community-Oriented Policing Strategy Thesis research title: Youth engagement in the Pacific islands regional public policy process: the role of non-state actors in the Pacific Islands Forum.





  • Xandra Martha Fong. Thesis research title: Implementing the Fiji National Policy on Persons Living with Disability 2008 – 2018: An Analysis of Stakeholders’ Experiences
  • Faron Young: Thesis research title: Socioeconomic Determinants of Student Retention in Secondary Schools in Southside Belize City
  • Kesaia Vasutoga. Thesis research title: Civil Society Organizations and youth economic inclusion in Fiji
  • Eliki Drugnalevu. Thesis research title: Accelerating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Fiji: The role of mass media

Community Engagements


  1. Ongoing research collaboration with Prof Alan Fowler,  Chair of African Philanthropy, Wits Business School, on “Philanthropy in Africa” 
  2. Ongoing collaborations with Prof David Horton Smith, Boston College, USA in editing of The Nonprofit Sector, Civil Society, and Philanthropy in Africa. Leiden, Netherlands, and Boston, MA, USA: Brill 
  3. Editorial Board Member of Voluntaristics Review
  4. Memberships in scholarly associations: 
    • International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR), and past Board member (2011- 2014)
    • The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) 
    • Association for Research on Civil society in Africa (AROSSA)
    • South African Sociological Association (SASA)
    • Golden Key international honours society
  5. Boards and advisory role Membership: 
    • Fiji National Employment Centre, Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Republic of Fiji
    • Grassroots Trust (Kenya).
    • Learning and Accountability Advisory Group of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP)
    • Member of the international advisory committee of the Universities Canada ‘Canadian University student mobility in North-South partnerships’ research project (Canada).
    • Since 2012, member of the Governance Experts Roster, UNDP Oslo Governance Centre
    • 2010-current: Steering Committee member, ISTR Africa Network 
    • 2010-2012: Experts Research Panel of the South African Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) as an associate of Sanjeev Singh and Associates.
    • 2010-2012: Stakeholder Council member, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) (The Netherlands)
    • 2009/10: member, CIVICUS staff welfare committee responsible for salaries grading. 
  6. Peer reviewer for the following journals: Journal of Sociology; Journal of Civil Society; Voluntas; Theory, Culture & Society; and Nonprofit Policy Forum 



  • Associate Research Fellow, SWOP Institute, The University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. 


Publications in USP Electronic Research Repository

Select Publications 

  • Altmann, P., Demirhisar, DG. & Mati JM (2017) “Social Movements in the Global South: Some Theoretical Considerations,” in Philipp Altmann, Deniz Günce Demirhisar and Jacob Mwathi Mati (eds.) Perspectives on Social Movements: Voices from the South, Émulations, Numéro 19: 7-25.
  • Mati JM (2017) Emergence of inter-identity alliances in struggles for transformation of the Kenyan constitution, Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 9 (1): 77-97.
  • Mati JM (2016) ‘Horizontality: The ignored particularity of African Volunteering’, 12th International Society for Third Sector Research Conference Working Paper Series, ISTR.
  • Mati JM, Wu, F., El Taraboulsi, S., Edwards, B. & Smith DH (2016). ‘Social movements and activist-protest volunteering.’ In Smith DH, Stebbins RA. & Grotz J. (eds.) Palgrave handbook of volunteering, civic participation, and nonprofit associations, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 516-538.
  • Smith, D. Never, B., Torpe, L, Abu-Rumman, S., Afaq, AK., Bethmann, S., Gavelin, K., Heitman, JH. Jaishi, T., Kutty, AD., Mati, JM., Paturyan, YJ., Petrov, RG., Pospíšilová, T.,  & Svedberg, L. (2016). ‘Scope and trends of volunteering and associations.’ In Smith DH, Stebbins RA. & Grotz J. (eds.) Palgrave handbook of volunteering, civic participation, and nonprofit associations, Palgrave Macmillan, pp.1241-1283.
  • Mati JM (2017). Philanthropy in Contemporary Africa, Brill: Leiden/Boston ISBN: 97890043399934. 
  • Mati JM. (2016). ‘Models, developments and effects of trans-border youth volunteer exchange programmes in eastern and southern Africa.’ In Jacqueline Butcher and Christopher Einolf (eds.) Perspectives on Volunteering: Voices from the South. Springer.
  • Mati JM. (2016). ‘Omnipresent yet invisible: Reviewing African philanthropy’, pp. 13-31, in Philanthropy in South Africa: Horizontality, Ubuntu and Social Justice, edited by Shauna Mottiar and Mvuselelo Ngcoya, HSRC Press.
  • Mati JM (2015). ‘Constraining political transformation: The two faces of activist religious organisations in the search for a new constitution in Kenya.’ Journal of civil society, Vol.11, 4: 348-365.
  • Mati JM. (2014). ‘Neoliberalism and the forms of civil society in Kenya and South Africa.’ In Obadare E, (eds.) Handbook of civil society in Africa, Springer, pp. 215-232.
  • Adelle, C., Fioramonti, L. & Mati, JM. (2014). ‘Convergence or divergence of ideas, norms, and principles in the Atlantic? The case of transnational environmental networks’. ATLANTIC FUTURE Scientific Paper. University of Pretoria.
  • Mati JM. (2013) ‘Antinomies in the struggle for the transformation of the Kenyan constitution (1990-2010).’ Journal of Contemporary African Studies, Vol. 31(2): 235-254. 
  • Mati JM. (2012). ‘Social movements and socio-political change in Africa: The Ufungamano Initiative and Kenyan constitutional reform struggles (1999–2005).’ Voluntas. Vol. 23(1): 63-84.
  • Caprara D, Mati JM, Obadare E. & Perold H. (2012). Volunteering and civic service in three African regions: Contributions to regional integration, youth development and peace.  Brookings Institution, USA.
  • Lough B.  & Mati JM. (2012). Volunteerism for Peace in East Africa. Centre for Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis CSD Working Papers No. 12-29
  • Leigh R, Smith DH, Lough BJ, Mati JM, Giesing C, León MJ, Haski-Leventhal D, & Strassburg S. (2011). State of the World's volunteerism report: Universal values for global well being. Bonn, Germany: United Nations Volunteers (UNV). ISBN: 9789295045804 
  • Khadiagala, GM. & Mati JM. (2011). ‘Conflict management mechanisms in resource constrained African Communities.’ In Migration and Global Environmental Change: Future Challenges and Opportunities. UK Government Office for Science. 
  • Mati JM. (2010). ‘Imperatives for innovations in civil society: Reflections on experiences in the implementation of CSI (2008-2009).’ 9th International Society for Third Sector Research Conference Working Paper Series, ISTR. 
  • Mati JM, Silva F & Anderson T. (2010). Assessing and Strengthening Civil Society Worldwide: An Updated Programme Description of the CIVICUS Civil Society Index Phase 2008-2010. CIVICUS, Johannesburg.
  • Mati JM. (2009) ‘A Cartography of a global civil society alliance: The case of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP).’  Journal of Civil Society.  Vol 5(1): 83-105.
  • Mati JM. (2008). ‘Taking the pulse of civil society worldwide: Insights from the CIVICUS Civil Society Index project (2003-2007).’ 8th International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR) conference working paper series, ISTR. 
  • Heinrich VF, Mati JM. & Brown LD. (2008). ‘The varying contexts for civil society accountability: Insights from a global analysis of country level assessments,’ in Heinrich, VF. and Fioramonti, L. (eds.) CIVICUS global survey on the state of civil society. Volume 2: Comparative perspectives, Kumarian press Inc. Pp.325-340.
  • Heinrich VF. (ed.) with Martyn, R., Fioramonti, L., Mati JM, Khallaf, M., & Gebrezghi   (2007). CIVICUS Global Survey on the State of Civil Society. Volume 1. Bloomfield USA, Kumarian Press Inc. ISBN:9781565492356



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