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Professor Julia Gallagher

Principal Investigator

Julia is Professor of African Politics at SOAS, University of London.

Julia's research builds on a long-standing interest and engagement in international politics and Africa.
After finishing a BSc in Physics, she taught for two years in Zimbabwe before returning to the UK to pursue a career as a political journalist and then as a media consultant for the Foreign Office and a number of international development agencies.

Following the award of her PhD from SOAS in 2009, she taught African politics and international relations at Royal Holloway, University of London, before becoming Professor of African Politics at SOAS in 2018.

Julia is a member of the editorial board for African Affairs, a member of AHRC peer review college and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Her key publications include:

  • Zimbabwe’s International Relations: fantasy, reality and the making of the state, Cambridge University Press 2017

  • Why Mugabe Won: the 2013 Zimbabwean elections and their aftermath, with Stephen Chan, Cambridge University Press 2017

  • Images of Africa: creation, negotiation and subversion, Manchester University Press 2015

  • Britain and Africa under Blair: in pursuit of the good state, Manchester University Press 2011

In the ERC funded project on architecture and statehood in Africa, Julia uses architecture to explore state-society relations. She draws on aesthetic theory about the ways people experience art and architecture to develop arguments about how these can be used to explore state authority. 

The work is comparative, exploring citizens' views from Côte d'Ivoire, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, South Africa and Tanzania - gathered through focus group discussions. In her search for an aesthetic theory of statehood, she seeks to discern the wide array of ideas of the state across the continent. 

More information about Julia Gallagher can be found on her SOAS web page.

See Julia's articles here.

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