Ethnicity and Democratic Governance

Ethnicity and Democratic Governance

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Anderson.jpgDavid Anderson

Professor of African Politics
African Studies Centre
Oxford University

Research Statement (76 kB)

David Anderson is Professor of African Politics, Oxford, where he teaches African Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. He took his BA in History at the University of Sussex (1978), and a doctorate at Trinity College, University of Cambridge (1982).

He has previously held posts at St Antony's College, Oxford (2002-05), and at All Souls, Oxford, where he was elected to the Evans Pritchard Visiting Lectureship for 2002. Before coming to Oxford, he was Director of the Centre of African Studies in the University of London (1997-2002), Senior Lecturer in African History at the School of Oriental & African Studies, London (1991-2002), Lecturer in Imperial & Commonwealth History at Birkbeck College London (1983-1991), and Research Fellow at New Hall, Cambridge (1982-83). He has held visiting positions at the University of Cape Town, the University of Nairobi, and Bergen University, and is currently the Stewart Visiting Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University (2006).

Anderson has been researching and writing on the history and politics of Africa since 1978. Over the past 28 years he has authored and edited of 12 books on Africa, and has published more than 50 articles in scholarly journals, as well as numerous newspaper and magazine features. Among his most recent articles on aspects of ethnicity and governance in Africa are: 'Vigilantes, violence and the politics of public order in Kenya', African Affairs (2002); '"Yours in struggle for majimbo": nationalism and the party politics of decolonisation in Kenya, 1955 to 1964', Journal of Contemporary History (2005); and 'Le declin et la chute de la KANU: la recomposition des parties politiques dans la succession de Moi (Kenya)', Politique africaine (2003).

For more than a decade Anderson was Editor of The Journal of African History, the most distinguished academic journal in the field, and he now serves on the advisory boards of three other prominent journals, as well as being editor of Cambridge University Press's prestigious African Studies Series. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and serves on the Executive Council of the Royal Africa Society. Anderson has also participated in making several television documentaries, and has written, presented and co-produced programs for BBC Radio.

His most recent book is Histories of the Hanged: Britain's Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire (Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London; WW Norton: New York, 2005), which has been widely reviewed and highly acclaimed. He has recently completed a book on the transnational marketing of khat, The Khat Controversy: Stimulating the Debate on Drugs, to be published by Berg in 2006, and a collection of essays on race and identity in Kenya is scheduled to appear in 2007. He is currently researching a book on the Cold War in Africa.

Anderson lives in Oxford, with his partner Angela, a medical practitioner, and their four children.


  • History and Politics of Africa
  • Ethnicity and governance in Africa
  • Race and identity in Kenya
  • The Cold War in Africa
  • Drug wars in Africa
  • Khat consumption in Africa
  • Kenyan history and politics