New book on Politics and Architecture

Photo Credit: By B from Flickr

The ASA team is delighted to have signed a contract with publisher James Currey for a new book, Architecture and Politics in Africa: making, living and imagining identities through buildings, edited by Joanne Tomkinson, Daniel Mulugeta and Julia Gallagher.

Architecture and Politics in Africa explores how public buildings and spaces work as objects through which international relationships, domestic politics and cultural identity are negotiated across Africa.

Its thirteen chapters look at how elites attempt to use buildings to create state symbols, to project national identity and to control and organise citizens; and how citizens accept, adapt and subvert them in their own ways. Together they show how architecture describes and channels political relationships in very different ways around the continent.

The book will be published in paperback and as a free online edition in late 2022.

Architecture and Politics in Africa

making, living and imagining identities through buildings

Joanne Tomkinson, Daniel Mulugeta & Julia Gallagher (eds)

Forthcoming, James Currey, 2022

Introduction: buildings are the stuff of politics

Daniel Mulugeta, Joanne Tomkinson and Julia Gallagher


1. Grounding Africa’s international relations: global ambitions and national identity in Ethiopia’s airport expansion, Joanne Tomkinson and Dawit Yekoyesew

2. Building heaven on earth: rhetoric and ritual in the politics of Ghana’s national cathedral, Emmanuel Kusi Ofori-Sarpong

3. China’s ‘parliament building gift’ to Malawi: exploring its rationale, tensions and asymmetrical gains, Innocent Batsani Ncube

4. New homes for a new state: foreign ideas in Ghana’s public housing programmes, Irene Appeaning Addo


5. Beautiful state/ugly state: architecture and political authority in Côte d’Ivoire, Julia Gallagher & Ariane N’djoré

6. Colonial legacies, race and shopping: aspiration and division in a Zimbabwean mall, Tonderai Koschke

7. Public spaces, public goods?: reinventing Nairobi’s public libraries, Marie Gibert

8. State violence and complicit buildings: finding truth in a South African police station, Yusuf Patel


9. Pan-African imaginations: the African Union building and its popular imagery in Ethiopia and Nigeria, Daniel Mulugeta

10. Reimagining pre-colonial tradition: the reconstruction of an Asante palace, Tony Yeboah

11. From prison to freedom: overwriting Nigeria’s colonial past, Laura Routley

Afterword: theorising the politics of unformal(ised) architectures, Kuukuwa Manfu

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