Advisory Board

Rufus Akinyele

Rufus Taiwo Akinyele obtained the B.A (Hons), M.A and Ph.D Degrees in History from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He joined the teaching staff of the same department in 1990 as Lecturer II and rose to the position of Professor of African History in 2005.  He is a member of the Congress of African Historians, African Borderlands Research Network (ABORNE) and International Research Group (GDRI). He was Sub-Dean, Faculty of Arts, 1998-2000 and succeeded Professor A. I. Asiwaju as Director, Centre for African Regional Integration and Border Studies (CARIBS), in 2004.

Jean-Francois Bayart

Jean-Francois Bayart holds the rank of Director of Research of the Conseil National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and is a former director of the Centre d'études et de recherches internationales (CERI), Paris, affiliated to Sciences Po and the CNRS. A comparative political scientist, he is the author of numerous books, including L'Etat en Afrique. He has taught at the Institut d'études politiques de Paris and in the Universities of Lausanne and Turin. He is currently a co-director of the seminar series on « Limites du politique, politiques des limites » at the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris.

Catherine Boone

Catherine Boone is Professor of Government at University of Texas at Austin. She works on issues of African political economy, and is author of Merchant Capital and the Roots of State Power in Senegal, 1930-1985 (Cambridge University Press, 1993), Political Topographies of the African State (Cambridge, 2003), and articles and book chapters; formerly  president of the West Africa Research Association, which governs the West Africa Research Center in Dakar, Senegal.

Chris Cramer

Christopher Cramer is Professor of the Political Economy of Development at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where he set up and runs the MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development at SOAS. He has worked chiefly on the political economy of violent conflict and on rural poverty and labour markets in sub-Saharan Africa. His publications include Civil War is Not a Stupid Thing: Accounting for Violence in Developing Countries (London: C.Hurst, 2006). He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Southern African Studies and a commissioning editor for a series on crisis states to be published by C.Hurst. And in 2009 he completes a four year term as chair of the Centre of African Studies in London.

Richard Dowden

Richard Dowden is Director of the Royal Africa Society and author of Africa. Altered States, Ordinary Miracles (2008). He first went to Africa in 1971 as a volunteer teacher in Idi Amin's Uganda, before being forced to leave at the end of 1972. He worked for the Times (London) from 1980, often reporting from Africa, until 1986 when he became Africa Editor of the Independent and in 1995 he took up the post of Africa Editor at The Economist. He has also made three television documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4 on Africa.

Stephen Ellis

Stephen Ellis is a senior researcher at the Afrika Studie Centrum, Leiden, the Netherlands, of which he is also a former director. A historian by training, he has researched and published on a range of countries in Africa and on Madagascar. He is a former editor of the newsletter Africa Confidential, a former editor of African Affairs (1998-2006) and former director of the Africa programme at the International Crisis Group. He is currently doing research on the history of Nigerian organized crime while maintaining a longstanding interest in the general history of Madagascar.

Pierre Englebert

Pierre Englebert is Professor of Politics at Pomona College, Claremont, California. He is the author of State Legitimacy and Development in Africa (Lynne Rienner, 2000) and Africa: Unity, Sovereignty, and Sorrow (Lynne Rienner, 2009). He has degrees from the Free University of Brussels, Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) and the University of Southern California. His research focuses mostly on the dynamics of state construction and failure, institutions and the political economy of development, with a particular emphasis on Francophone Africa.

Comfort Ero

Comfort Ero is currently Africa Director of the International Crisis Group. Prior to that she was  Director of the Cape Town Office of the International Centre for Transitional Justice. She was Policy Advisor to the Special Representative of the Secretary General and Political Affairs Officer of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). She was also Project Director at the West Africa office of the International Crisis Group. She holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics, University of London.

Lansana Gberie

Lansana Gberie is Senior Researcher with the Africa Conflict Prevention Programme,Institute for Security Studies (Addis Ababa). He was Senior Research Fellow at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra , Ghana. He has written extensively on conflict and conflict management in Africa. including, most recently, A Dirty War in West Africa : The RUF and the Destruction of Sierra Leone (Indiana University Press, 2005). Gberie has consulted for International Crisis Group (ICG), and has been a key researcher for Partnership Africa Canada's Human Security and International Diamond Trade project. 

Tim Kelsall

Tim Kelsall holds a PhD from the University of London (SOAS), has taught politics at the Universities of Oxford and Newcastle, and is a former editor of African Affairs. He is the author of Contentious Politics, Local Governance, and the Self: a Tanzanian case study (Nordic African Institute, Uppsala, 2005) and Culture Under Cross-Examination: International Justice and the Special Court for Sierra Leone(Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). He is currently living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, working freelance as an Associate of the Africa, Power and Politics Programme and as a Visiting Fellow of the War Crimes Studies Center, University of California at Berkeley.

T.C. McCaskie

T.C. McCaskie was is Professor of the History of Africa at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is author of 'State and Society in Pre-Colonial Asante' (Cambridge University Press, 1995), 'Asante Identities: History and Modernity in an African Village 1850-1950' (Edinburgh and Indiana University Presses, 2000), and of numerous papers on Asante history and culture. He is co-editor of '"The History of Ashanti Kings and the whole country itself" and Other Writings by Otumfuo, Nana Agyeman Prempeh I' (Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 2003). In 2003 he was honoured by Asantehene Otumfuo, Nana Osei Tutu II for his contribution to Asante studies.

Kate Meagher

Kate Meagher is a lecturer in Development Studies at DESTIN, London School of Economics. She obtained a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Oxford, and was formerly a lecturer in Rural Sociology at the Institute for Agricultural Research/Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. An economic sociologist with an interest in hidden forms of organization, she specializes in research on the informal economy, social networks and non-state governance in Africa, and has published widely on issues of regional integration, informal global trading networks, urban and rural informal economies, and the impact of informalization on civil society. 

Nicoli Nattrass

Nicoli Nattrass is Professor of Economics and Director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit at the University of Cape Town. She obtained a BA from Stellenbosch University, an honours degree from UCT, a Masters degree from Natal University and a M.Sc and a D.Phil from Oxford. Her research interests include South African political economy, inequality, AIDS unemployment and the rollout of antiretroviral treatment. Recent books include The Moral Economy of AIDS in South Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2004), Class Race and Inequality in South Africa (Yale University Press, 2005, co-authored with Jeremy Seekings) and Mortal Combat: AIDS Denialism and the Struggle for Antiretrovirals in South Africa (University of KwaZulu Natal Press, 2007).

Kathryn Nwajiaku-Dahou

Kathryn Nwajiaku-Dahou is an ESRC Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University, where she also obtained a doctorate degree in 2005 and held a postdoctoral fellowship in 2006. A historian and political scientist by training, her principle research interest is ethnicity and the politics of identity. She has written extensively on this subject in relation to the politics of oil and identity transformation in Nigeria's Niger Delta. She has also worked as researcher, policy advisor and project manager and in International development for NGOs (ACORD, Oxfam) and UN agencies (UNIFEM) in the US, UK and West Africa . She recently completed a one year diplomatic assignment for the Irish Government, as delegate for the Dept of Foreign Affairs to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris).

Francis B. Nyamnjoh

Francis B. Nyamnjoh is Associate Professor and Head of Publications and Dissemination with the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) since July 2003. He has taught sociology, anthropology and communication studies at universities in Cameroon, Botswana and South Africa, and has researched and written extensively on Cameroon and Botswana, where he was awarded the “Senior Arts Researcher of the Year” prize for 2003. His most recent books include Insiders and Outsiders: Citizenship and Xenophobia in Contemporary Southern Africa (CODESRIA/ZED Books, 2006). Dr Nyamnjoh has published widely on globalisation, citizenship, media and the politics of identity in Africa. He has also published four novels and a play, including Mind Searching (1991), and The Disillusioned African (1995). He served as vice-president of the African Council for Communication Education (ACCE) from 1996-2003. For further details visit:

Derek Peterson

Derek R. Peterson is Senior Lecturer in African History and Director of the Centre of African Studies at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of 'Creative Writing: Translation, Bookkeeping, and the Work of Imagination in Colonial Kenya' (2004) and editor of 'Recasting the Past: History Writing and Political Work in Modern Africa' (2009), among other works. In 2007 he was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize, given to scholars based at British universities for accomplishments in research. He is currently writing a social history of the East African Revival.

Stefano Ponte

Stefano Ponte is Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies, where he heads the research unit on ‘Global Economy, Regulation and Development’. Stefano is interested in the changing role of Africa in the global economy, the political economy of agro-food markets, and how ‘sustainability’ labels and corporate codes of conduct are shaping production and trade on the continent. He is the author of Farmers and Markets in Tanzania: How Market Reforms Affect Rural Livelihoods in Africa (James Currey, 2002) and the co-author of Trading Down: Africa, Value Chains and the Global Economy (Temple University Press, 2005). His latest book Brand Aid: Celebrities, Consumption and Development (co-authored with Lisa Ann Richey) will appear with the University of Minnesota Press in late 2010. Stefano is also an external lecturer at the Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen.

Filip Reyntjens

Filip Reyntjens teaches courses on African Law and Politics at the University of Antwerp, where he is a professor, and has chaired the Institute of Development Policy and Management from 2001 to 2007. He has been President of the Belgian Association of Africanists and of the African Studies and Documentation Centre (ASDOC-CEDAF) in Brussels, and Vice-Rector of the University of Mbuji-Mayi (DRC). He is Vice-President of the International Third World Legal Studies Association (New York) and member of the (Belgian) Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences. A specialist of Sub-Saharan Africa, his research focuses on the Great Lakes region. His latest books are “L’Afrique des grands lacs en crise” (Paris 1994), “Burundi. Breaking the Cycle of Violence” (London 1995), “Rwanda. Trois jours qui ont fait basculer l'histoire” (Paris 1996), (with S. Marysse) “L'Afrique des grands lacs. Annuaire” (Paris, yearly 1997 through 2007), “La guerre des grands lacs” (Paris 1999), “Burundi. Prospects for Peace” (London 2000), and (with S. Marysse) “The Political Economy of the Great Lakes Region in Africa” (Basingstoke 2005).

John Ryle

John Ryle is Legrand Ramsey Professor of Anthropology at Bard College, New York, and Chair of the Rift Valley Institute, a UK and Kenya-based association of specialists working in the countries of Eastern Africa. He was a member of the International Eminent Persons Group that reported on Abduction and Slavery in Sudan and is co-ordinator, with Jok Madut Jok, of a database of persons abducted during the civil war in Southern Sudan. He is the author of Warriors of the White Nile (1982), a popular ethnography of the Agar Dinka of Southern Sudan, and numerous reports on human rights, aid and development. With Bapiny Tim Chol, he directed a documentary film, The Price of Survival (1994). He is Editor for Anthropology and Africa at The Times Literary Supplement in London and a contributor to periodicals including the New York Review of Books, Granta and the Guardian.

Scott Straus

Scott Straus is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Straus is the author of two books on the Rwandan genocide: The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda (Cornell University Press, 2006), and, with Robert Lyons, Intimate Enemy: Images and Voices of the Rwandan Genocide (MIT/Zone Books, 2006). The Order of Genocide received the 2006 Award for Excellence in Political Science and Government from the Association of American Publishers and an Honorable Mention for the Herskovits Prize from the African Studies Association. Straus also co-authored, with David Leonard, Africa's Stalled Development: International Causes and Cures (Lynne Rienner, 2003), and he translated Jean-Pierre Chrétien’s The Great Lakes of Africa: Two Thousand Years of History (MIT/Zone, 2003). He has additionally published articles in World Politics, Politics & Society, Foreign Affairs, Genocide Studies and Prevention, Journal of Genocide Research, Patterns of Prejudice, and Wisconsin International Law Journal. Prior to entering academia, Straus was a freelance journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Megan Vaughan
Professor Megan Vaughan is Professor of Commonwealth History at the University of Cambridge. She studied African history at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and taught for some years in the University of Malawi and at the University of Oxford before taking up her post in Cambridge. The social, economic and cultural history of Africa, history of medicine and psychiatry in Africa, slavery in the Indian Ocean, history and anthropology.

Paul D. Williams

Paul D. Williams is Associate Professor of International Affairs in the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, USA. His main areas of research are theories of international security, contemporary British foreign policy, and peace operations. He is author of British Foreign Policy under New Labour, 1997-2005 (Palgrave-Macmillan 2005), co-author of Understanding Peacekeeping (Polity 2004, 2nd edn 2009), editor of Security Studies: An Introduction (Routledge 2008), and co-editor of Africa in International Politics (Routledge 2004), Peace Operations and Global Order (Routledge 2005), and The New Multilateralism in South African Diplomacy (Palgrave-Macmillan 2006).