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Professor Julia Gallagher's latest book: Zimbabwe’s International Relations - now in paperback

Julia Gallagher’s latest book, Zimbabwe’s International Relations: fantasy, reality and the making of the state, has just been released in paperback.


Zimbabwe has undergone significant ruptures in its domestic and international politics in recent years. This book explores how Zimbabwean citizens have, under difficult circumstances, reconstructed ideas of their state by imagining the wider world. Unlike other work on international relations, which tends to focus on the state level, this book is based on the accounts of ordinary people. Drawing on interviews with more than two hundred Zimbabweans, collected over three years, Gallagher explores how citizens draw on emotional responses to the international to find and construct different 'others'. While this unique and compelling read will appeal to those researching Zimbabwe, Gallagher's wider conclusions will interest those studying and advancing the broader theoretical debates of international relations.

The book received an ‘honourable mention’ in the International Studies Association International Political Sociology book prize in 2018, the award committee called it 'highly original, insightful and inspiring... a wonderful analysis of how ordinary people understand their state’s position in international relations'.

Reviewers said:

'A substantial contribution to International Relations theory informed by in-depth empirical research on a country in the global south.' Carl Death, University of Manchester

'Brings idea of identity, emotions, and ordinary people's experiences to broaden intellectual frontiers of International Relations from the vantage point of an (ex)-colony angry against the (ex)-colonizer' Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, UNISA

'A nuanced, accessible and thought-provoking book for anyone interested in how ordinary African citizens use ideas of the international to make intelligible the self and the politic context within which they reside.' Miles Tendi, University of Oxford

A very important and refreshing book in the IR literature on Southern Africa and African politics more generally.’ Timothy Scarnecchia African Studies Review 62(1), 2019. Read the whole review here

Mainstream international relations (IR) scholars rarely employ Hegelian political philosophy, Melanie Klein’s object relations theory, and Tswana conceptions of identity as their primary analytical paradigms, yet Julia Gallagher uses this precise theoretical combination to explore Zimbabwean statehood and international relations… Through this work, Gallagher conceives of a unique, citizen-driven—as opposed to elite-driven—concept of statehood, identity, and international relations.’ Mike Holmes, African Studies Quarterly 18(3), 2019. Read the whole review here.

The book is especially strong in weaving international relations theory throughout the interviewees’ personal accounts.’ Tony Calandrillo, Africa Today 64(2), 2018. Read the whole review here.


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