Research

Comparing the Copperbelt: Political Culture and Knowledge Production in Central Africa

By Anonymous (Katanga, pays du cuivre) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This project provides the first comparative historical analysis – local, national and transnational - of the Central African copperbelt, a globally strategic mineral region central to the history of two nation-states (Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)) and wider debates about the role of mineral wealth in development. The project is led by Dr Miles Larmer in Oxford and is funded by the ERC under the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme.

Coalitional Presidentialism Project

Overview

The project is motivated by the surprising sustainability of multiparty presidentialism in Africa, Latin America, and postcommunist Europe.

Despite predictions to the contrary, presidents have been remarkably successful at winning legislative support from fragmented legislatures. The project has two principal objectives: (1) to identify the tools that presidents use to govern in concert with multiparty legislatures and (2) to assess the effects of these tools on horizontal accountability in new democracies.

Lake Turkana and the Lower Omo: hydrological impacts of major dam and irrigation developments

South Island Shoreline, Lake Turkana

This study, by the Nairobi-based consultant hydrologist and civil engineer, Dr Sean Avery, is one of the outcomes of the AHRC funded project, ‘Landscape people and parks: environmental change in the Lower Omo Valley, southwestern Ethiopia’, run by Professor David Anderson and Dr David Turton between 2007 and 2010.

African Print Culture Network

The Nigerian Eastern Mail

Newspapers and print culture are an important emerging theme in African Studies, shedding light on the constitution of new publics, new genres and new forms of political and social expression and affiliation. This project aims to develop a network of scholars researching on newspapers in East and West Africa. Because the subject matter itself took the form of a network of linked and interactive textual sites (newspapers which culled material from each other, argued with each other, and provided an open forum for cross-cutting debate between contributors), the engagement of a range of specialists working on different newspapers, regions and languages is a particularly effective research strategy: no single scholar could possibly grasp the whole field, yet no part of the field is fully comprehensible without awareness of its interactions, linkages, and parallels with other parts.

The network’s activities have been built around a programme of workshop meetings in which primary material has been circulated and analysed, and methodologies for its study have been developed.

Youth, Livelihoods and Violence in Nigeria

Agaba masquerade performance, 2003.

This project conducted by Dr David Pratten has explored inter-generational tensions and the mobilization of youth as a political category in southern Nigeria. Its focus has been to document the livelihoods and modes of sociality among young men in order for us better to understand the reported ‘crisis of youth’ on the African continent. In the course of the research new perspectives have been examined in relation to vigilantism, cults and masquerade.