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- 2013-present: Professor of African History, University of Warwick
- 2009-10 Director, British Institute in Eastern Africa, Nairobi
- 2006-12 Professor in African Politics, University of Oxford
- 2002-06 University Lecturer in African Politics, University of Oxford
- 1998-2002 Director, Centre of African Studies, University of London
- 1991-2002 Senior Lecturer in History, SOAS, University of London
- 1984-91 Lecturer in Imperial & Commonwealth History, Birkbeck College, London
- 1983-84 Research Fellow in History, New Hall [Murray Edwards College], Cambridge
- 1982-83 Rouse-Ball Scholar (Postdoctoral), Trinity College, Cambridge
- 1978-82 Ph.D. in History, Trinity College, University of Cambridge
- 1975-78 B.A. in History (First Class), University of Sussex
- 2018 Visiting Scholar, Suzy Newhouse Research Center, Wellesley College
- 2017-23 Research Associate in History, Stellenbosch University
- 2016-22 International Faculty Professor, University of Cologne
- 2012-15 Senior Research Associate, Peace Research Institute, Oslo
- 2005-06 Stewart Fellow in the Humanities, Princeton University
- 2002-03 Evans-Pritchard Visiting Lecturer, All Souls College, Oxford
- 1994 Visiting Fellow in African History, University of Cape Town
- 1980-82 Research Associate, History Department, University of Nairobi
Recent and Forthcoming public lectures and seminars
23 November 2020 'Collective Memory, Cultural Loss, and Recovery', the Out of the Ashes Lecture Series, at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland: Lecture title: 'Whose history? The 'Migrated Archive' and Britain's colonial past'. A podcast of this talk is available, if you copy-and-paste this link into your browser:
14 December 2020 British Institute in Eastern Africa, Research Day Webinar: Paper: ‘Mega-drought and its impact: rupture and resilience in Baringo, c.1780-1917’
19 February 2021 'Speaking Out: Whistle-blowers, Dissidents and Disclosures', workshop, University of Warwick. Discussant for Panel 1, Colonial Violence, with Erik Linstrum, Gavin Rand and Nick Owen.
22 January 2021 African Penal Histories Workshop, University of Waterloo, Canada. Paper: Riot and resistance in the colonial prison - Kenya 1956-59
11 March 2021 Africa Studies Seminar, University of Oxford. Paper: 'The Dead Speak: Identity, Autochthony and the Occult in Kenya's Western Highlands'
19-21 April 2021 Conservation in Africa Workshop, University of Cologne. 'From watery past to arid future? Conservation and environmental change in the RAMSAR wetlands of the Kilombero Valley, Tanzania'
6-8 July 2021 European Society for Environmental History, Annual Conference, University of Bristol. Panel Chair, and paper: 'Rupture and Resilience in the hydro-history of Baringo in the long nineteenth century, c.1780-1917'
- SECURITY AND ENVIRONMENT IN EASTERN AFRICA - Developing my long-standing interest in the hydro-histories of eastern Africa, in November 2019 I began a Global Challenges Research Fund (British Academy) project on Understanding the dynamics of Water Scarcity and Violence in Kenya. This project is in partnership with Professor Kennedy Mkutu, of United States International University, Nairobi, and will also involve collaboration with Dr Gerard Wandera and his staff at Kenya's National Crime Research Centre. Dr Klerkson Lugusa is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow on the project, and is based at USIU in Nairobi. Fieldwork for this project is currently underway in Kenya's Narok County, and further research is planned in Isiolo County and in Marsabit County. Details of this project can be found on the British Academy website. This also connects to the research in the African Rural Futures programme, where the changing character of the Kilombero River and its fluctuating flood regime is a key element of the research. In addition, along with Dr David Turton, I am continuing to work on further publications from the AHRC-funded project on the social history and economic development of the Lower Omo Valley of southern Ethiopia, another example of an important hydro-history. A related environmental history project, to produce a new edition of the Conservation in Africa edited volume, first published by CUP in 1987, is also underway, in collaboration with Professor Michael Bollig at the University of Cologne. An initial workshop on this project is planned for January 2021.
- AFRICAN RURAL FUTURES - Following the successful completion of the EU-funded Marie Curie International Training Network (ITN) Project, 'Resilience in East African Landscapes' (REAL) (a video on the work of the REAL project can be seen at http://webdocs-sciences-sociales.science/real/), I have maintained research collaboration with colleagues at the University of Cologne and University of Bonn through a new Collaborative Research Centre on African Rural Futures, funded by the German Research Foundation, commencing from January 2018 for an initial period of four years. I am PI for a project within the CRC, entitled 'Past Futures: Micro-histories of rural development in southern Tanzania', on which I am working closely with Warwick doctoral graduate Maxmillian Chuhila, now a Lecturer in History at the University of Dar es Salaam. A doctoral student (Jono Jackson) has been appointed to this project to work on histories of resettlement in the Kilombero Valley, and MA dissertations will also be linked to the research over the four years of the study. Archival research is already well underway, and fieldwork in Tanzania commenced in April 2019. There is a regular programme of lectures, workshops and seminars organised by the African Rural Futures CRC, held in Cologne and Bonn. A range of collaborative publications from this research programme are planned over 2021-22.
- HISTORIES OF COLONIAL VIOLENCE - A Fellowship has been awarded for 2021-22 by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation for a project on 'Understanding violence and incarceration in Africa: evidence from British colonies and post-colonial states', on which I am Co-I with Dr Katherine Bruce-Lockhart (University of Waterloo). In further work on colonial and post-colonial violence in eastern Africa, an article surveying the history of Kenya's war in Somalia has appeared in 2020, and further essays on amnesty and insurgency, and on extreme violence in insurgencies, will appear early in 2021. A volume of essays on the violence of the Mau Mau counter-insurgency in 1950s Kenya, based upon the archives released in the Hanslope Disclosure between 2011 and 2013 is nearing completion. A project on colonial efforts to contain occult power in Kenya is also now taking shape, drawing upon several periods of past fieldwork in Kenya's Western Highlands along with extensive archival records. Publications from this project are planned for 2022 and 2023. Funding has also been obtained for four PhD studentships on various aspects of colonial violence, all commencing in October 2020: on the comparative history of judicial executions under colonial rule (ESRC-DTP Joint Studentship award, in collaboration with Professor Clare Anderson at the University of Leicester); on the curating of colonial violence collections at the Horniman Museum (a Midlands4Cities AHRC CDA with the collaboration of the Horniman's Dr Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp); on the post-insurgency legacies of colonial violence in central Kenya, in collaboration with the Imperial War Museum (an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award); and on the representation of colonial violence collections in smaller, private museums (funded by a Warwick CADRE award). A further Joint PhD studentship has been awarded by the ESRC Midlands DTP for October 2021 (in collaboration with Professor Clare Anderson at Leicester), on the post-colonial history of Kenya's penal system and will be advertised in February 2021.
- EMPIRE LOYALISTS - Along with Warwick colleague Professor Daniel Branch, I am currently writing up the research findings from a project on 'Empire Loyalists: Histories of Rebellion and Collaboration', funded by the AHRC. A conference and a workshop from this project were held in Warwick during April 2014. A special issue of the journal International History Review was published in early 2017, carrying nine papers from these meetings. This has also appeared as a hardback book, published by Routledge. A monograph from this project will be published by Oxford University Press.
Current and recent doctoral students (past five years)
- Maxmillian Chuhila, 'Coming Down the Mountain: Environmental History of Kilimanjaro Lowlands, since 1918' (EU Marie Curie ITN funding). Completed October 2016. (Dr Chuhila is now Lecturer in History, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania).
- George Roberts, 'Politics, decolonization and the Cold War in Dar es Salaam, c.1965-72' (AHRC funding). Co-supervised with Professor Dan Branch. Completed Sept 2016. (Dr Roberts now holds a Lectureship in African History at King's College, London, and will next year take-up a Post-Doctoral position at the European University. Florence).
- Nicole Beardsworth, 'Political party mobilisation strategies in Africa: Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe' (Association of Commonwealth Universities funding). Co-supervised with Professor Gabrielle Lynch. Completed August 2018. (Dr Beardsworth now holds a Post-Doctoral Research position at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa).
- Anna Bruzzone, 'Territorial appropriation, trade, and politics in the Kenya-Somalia borderlands, c.1925-1963: state formation in transitional perspective' (Chancellor's Scholarship, Warwick). Completed November 2019. (Dr Bruzzone is now a College Lecturer in European & Global History at Oriel College, Oxford).
- Jo Tierney, 'From design to consumption: the export trade in printed and dyed textiles, British West Africa, c.1870-1914' (Warwick Endowment Funding). Co-supervised with Professor Giorgio Riello. Completed July 2019. (Dr Tierney currently holds a Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Warwick).
- Christian Velasco Reyes, 'A history of banking institutions in Kenya, c.1950-1980s' (Mexican Government Scholarship). Co-supervised with Professor Dan Branch. Completed November 2019. (Dr Velasco currently holds a Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Warwick).
- Jenny Price, 'Learning democracy? Local practices of the transformation in East Germany, 1989-1991' (ESRC Tied award). Co-supervised with Professor Jan Palmowski. Completed July 2020. (Dr Price currently holds the post of Wissenschaftliche Geschäftsführung at the Jena Center for the History of the 20th Century.)
- Jono Jackson, 'Development and resettlement in the Kilombero Valley, Tanzania, 1920 to 2020' (German Research Council funding for the 'African Rural Futures' research programme, at University of Cologne). Current, and funded until December 2021.
- Ali Ahmed Al Khalifa, 'The Adviser: Charles Belgrave and British Informal Imperialism in the Gulf'. Part-time, self-funded. Co-supervised with Professor Robert Fletcher. Current, completion due October 2025.
- April Jackson 'Execution and Empire'. (MGS DTP, ESRC Joint Studentship, with University of Leicester). Co-supervised with Professor Clare Anderson. Current, completion due September 2023.
- Nathalie Cooper 'Colonial violence in the Museum: the Horniman'.(AHRC CDA, in collaboration with the Horniman Museum). Co-supervised with Dr Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp and Professor Robert Fletcher. Current, completion due September 2024.
- Fleur Martin 'Collecting and Colonial Violence in Eastern Africa, c. 1870-1914' (CADRE Studentship, Warwick). Current, completion due March 2024.
- Niels Boender 'The afterlife of war: Kenya's Mau Mau rebellion' (AHRC CDP, collaboration with the Imperial War Museum). Co-supervised with Professor Daniel Branch and Dr Simon Innes-Robbins. Current, completion due September 2024.
- to be awarded 'Penal policy in colonial and post-colonial Kenya, c.1950-2020' (MGS DTP, ESRC Joint Studentship, with University of Leicester). Co-supervised with Professor Clare Anderson. Completion due March 2025.
- HI177 Politics and Society in Africa from 1800 (undergraduate first-year Optional module)
- HI277 Africa and the Cold War (undergraduate second-year Optional module)
- HI32B Kenya's Mau Mau Rebellion, 1952-60 (undergraduate final-year Special Subject module)
Allies at the End of Empire: Loyalists, Nationalists, and the Cold War, 1945-76 (with Daniel Branch, eds). Routledge: London & New York, September 2017. Pp. ix + 190. ISBN 978-1-138-06319-8.
This wars of decolonization fought by European colonial powers after 1945 had their origins in the fraught history of imperial domination, but were framed and shaped by the emerging politics of the Cold War. In all the counter-insurgencies mounted against armed nationalist risings in this period, the European colonial powers employed locally recruited militias to fight their 'dirty wars'. Styled as 'loyalists', these militias fought against nationalists. Loyalist histories have been neglected in the nationalist narratives that have dominated across the former colonial territories. This book offers the first comparative assessment of the role played by these allies at the end of empire. Their experience illuminates the deeper ambiguities of the decolonization story: some loyalists were subjected to vengeful violence at liberation; others actually claimed the victory for themselves and seized control of the emergent state; while others still maintained a role as fighting units into the Cold War. The overlap between the history of decolonization and the emergence of the Cold War is the central theme in the studies presented here. The essays in this collection discuss the categorization of these 'irregular auxiliary' forces after 1945, and present seven case studies from five European colonialisms, covering nine former colonies - Portugal (Angola), the Netherlands (Indonesia), France (Algeria), Belgium (Congo) and Britain (Cyprus, Kenya, Aden, South Yemen and Oman).
Resilience and Collapse in African Savannahs: Causes and Consequences of Environmental Change in Eastern Africa (with Michael Bollig, eds). Routledge: London & New York, January 2017. Pp. x + 232. ISBN 978-1-138-28877-5.
This book assesses the causes and consequences of environmental change in East Africa, asking whether local Africa communities are sufficiently resilient to cope with the ecological and social challenges that confront them? It focuses on the savannahs of the Baringo-Bogoria basin, and the surrounding highlands of Kenya’s northern Rift Valley that form the social-ecological system of the specialised cattle pastoralists and niche agricultural farmers who occupy these semi-arid lands. Historical studies of resilience spanning the past two centuries are linked with analysis of current environmental challenges, and the ecological, social, economic and political responses mounted by local communities. The authors question whether the most recent challenges confronting the peoples of eastern Africa’s savannahs – intensified conflicts, mounting poverty driven by demographic pressures, and dramatic ecological changes brought by invasive species – might soon lead to a collapse in essential elements of the specialised cattle pastoralism that dominates the region, requiring a re-orientation of the social-ecological system.
Politics and Violence in Eastern Africa: Struggles of Emerging States (with Oystein Rolandsen, eds). Routledge: London & New York, 2015. Pp. ix + 211. ISBN 978-1-138-84666-1 hb; ISBN 978-1-138-05961-0 pb.
Over the fifty years between 1940 and 1990, the countries of eastern Africa were embroiled in a range of debilitating and destructive conflicts, starting with the wars of independence, but then incorporating rebellion, secession and local insurrection as the Cold War replaced colonialism. The articles gathered here illustrate how significant, widespread, and dramatic this violence was. In these years, violence was used as a principal instrument in the creation and consolidation of the authority of the state; and it was also regularly and readily utilised by those who wished to challenge state authority through insurrection and secession. Why was it that eastern Africa should have experienced such extensive and intensive violence in the fifty years before 1990? Was this resort to violence a consequence of imperial rule, the legacy of oppressive colonial domination under a coercive and non-representative state system? Did essential contingencies such as the Cold War provoke and promote the use of violence? Or, was it a choice made by Africans themselves and their leaders, a product of their own agency? This book focuses on these turbulent decades, exploring the principal conflicts in six key countries – Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Tanzania.
The Routledge Handbook of African Politics (with Nic Cheeseman & Andrea Scheibler, eds). Routledge, London & New York, 2013. Pp. xv + 437. ISBN 978-0-415-57378-8, 978-0-203-07068 ebook, 978-1-138-84375-2 paper.
Providing a comprehensive and cutting edge examination of this important continent, Routledge Handbook of African Politics surveys the key debates and controversies, dealing with each of the major issues to be found in Africa’s politics today. Structured into 6 broad areas, the handbook features over 30 contributions focused around The State, Identity, Conflict, Democracy and Electoral Politics, Political Economy & Development, and International Relations. Each chapter deals with a specific topic, providing an overview of the main arguments and theories and explaining the empirical evidence that they are based on, drawing on high-profile cases such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. The Handbook also contains new contributions on a wide range of topical issues, including terrorism, the growing influence of China, civil war, and transitional justice, making it required reading for non-specialists and experts alike.
The Khat Controversy: Stimulating the Debate on Drugs (with Susan Beckerleg, Degol Hailu and Axel Klein). Berg: Oxford, 2007. Pp. ix + 254. ISBN 978-1-84520-250-7, 978-1-84520-251-4 paper.
Khat. A harmless natural stimulant or a lethal epidemic sweeping through the international drugs trade? Khat is a natural substance that, in the Middle East, is as ubiquitous as coffee is in the West. It is hugely popular in some African and Arab populations. But critics contend that it is a seriously addictive stimulant that damages the cardiovascular system. In a groundbreaking study, the authors go behind the veil of the drug, questioning its availability and its effect on its Red Sea producers. Interwoven with case studies from Djibouti to Rome, The Khat Controversy goes deeper to explore contemporary issues relating to globalization, ethnicity and culture. With its popularity escalating in London, Rome, Toronto and Copenhagen, khat is fast becoming a problem in the West. The first study of this contested drug, The Khat Controversy provides a concise introduction to the issues surrounding khat usage and suggests how policymakers should address them.
'Outstanding and original. The authors identify trends in consumption, chart the development of the khat economy, and evaluate prohibition debates, paying attention throughout to both local and global contexts.' James Mills, Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare Glasgow, University of Strathclyde
Histories of the Hanged: Britain’s Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire. W.W. Norton, New York; Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 2005. Pp. xiv + 405. ISBN 0-39305-986-3 (US), 0-29784-719-8 (UK); ISBN 0-393-32754-X (US paper), 0-75381-902-3 (UK paper)
A remarkable account of Britain's last stand in Kenya . . . This is imperial history at its very best." John Hope Franklin
IN "A GRIPPING NARRATIVE . . . that is all but impossible to put down" (Joseph C. Miller), Histories of the Hanged exposes the long-hidden colonial crimes of the British in Kenya. This groundbreaking work tells how the brutal war between the colonial government and the insurrectionist Mau Mau between 1952 and 1960 dominated the final bloody decade of imperialism in East Africa. Using extraordinary new evidence, David Anderson puts the colonial government on trial with eyewitness testimony from over 800 court cases and previously unseen archives. His research exonerates the Kikuyu rebels—hardly the terrorists they were thought to be—and reveals the British to be brutal aggressors in a "dirty war" that involved leaders at the highest ranks of the British government. This astonishing piece of scholarship portrays a teetering colonial empire in its final phase—employing whatever military and propaganda methods it could to preserve an order that could no longer hold.
Eroding the Commons: Politics of Ecology in Baringo, Kenya, 1890-1963. James Currey, Oxford; Ohio UP, Athens OH; EAEP, Nairobi. Pp. xvi + 336. ISBN 0-85255-469-9, 0-85255-468-0 paper.
Colonial Baringo was largely unnoticed until drought and localized famine in the mid-1920s led to claims that its crisis was brought on by overcrowding and livestock mismanagement. In response to the alarm over erosion, the state embarked on a program for rehabilitation, conservation, and development. Eroding the Commons examines Baringo's efforts to contend with the problems of erosion and describes how they became a point of reference for similar programs in British Africa, especially as rural development began to encompass goals beyond economic growth and toward an accelerated transformation of African society. It provides an excellent focus for the investigation of the broader evolution of colonial ideologies and practices of development.
Supporting Ownership: Swedish Development Cooperation with Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, 2 vols: Volume I Synthesis; Volume II Case Studies (with Christopher Cramer, Alemayehu Geda, Degol Hailu, Frank Muhereza, Matteo Rizzo, Eric Ronge, Howard Stein & John Weeks). Sida Evaluations 02/33 & 02/33.1, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency: Stockholm, 2002. Pp. iv + 87, xv + 229. ISBN 91-586-8737-8, 91-586-8736-x.
This study, conducted on behalf of the Swedish International Development Agency, considers the extent to which development projects and programmes in East Africa have been in the past and are in the present "owned" by local peoples and governments, even when they are funded by external donors. Volume 1 provides a consideration of the theory of "ownership" in development, and especially its impact on relations between donors and recipients, tracing out a history of the idea of ownership in both the rhetoric and practice of international agencies and national governments. Volume 2 provides three case studies, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, for which a series of Swedish development projects are scrutinized and the extent of local 'ownership" assessed. The case studies indicate that the extent of ownership is as much a function of the willingness of recipient governments to accept responsibility for development projects as it is an indication of the policy of the donor to foster local ownership.
The Poor Are Not Us: Poverty & Pastoralism in Eastern Africa (with Vigdis Broch-Due, eds). James Currey, Oxford; Ohio UP, Athens OH; EAEP, Nairobi; Mkuki na Nyota, Dar es Salaam; Fountain Press, Kampala, 2000. Pp. xii + 280. ISBN 0-85255-266-1, 0-85255-265-3 paper.
Eastern African pastoralists often present themselves as being egalitarian, equating cattle ownership with wealth. By this definition “the poor are not us”, poverty is confined to non-pastoralist, socially excluded persons and groups. Exploring this notion means discovering something about self-perceptions and community consciousness, how pastoralist identity has been made in opposition to other modes of production, how pastoralists want others to see them and how they see themselves. This collection rejects the premise of pastoral egalitarianism and poses questions about the gradual creep of poverty, changing patterns of wealth and accumulation, the impact of diminishing resources on pastoral communities and the impact of external values of land, labour, and livestock.
Africa's Urban Past (with Richard Rathbone, eds). James Currey, Oxford; Heinemann, Portsmouth NH, 1999. Pp. x + 310. ISBN 0-85255-760-4, 0-85255-761-2 paper.
Africa is witnessing dramatic urban growth on a massive scale which, in the space of this century, has reversed the rural—urban settlement patterns of the continent. Yet urbanization has been an important feature of Africa's history for over two thousand years. Towns and cities have been important arenas around which societies have organized themselves: as centres of trade, economic activity and wealth accumulation; as foci of political action and authority; as military garrisons and symbols of physical domination; as sites of ritual power and contact with the sacred; and as places of refuge, shelter and collective security in troubled times. This survey reveals a remarkable depth of urbanization in African history. Each chapter places the city at the centre of discussion. Themes developed are unexpectedly diverse, suggesting not only a distinctive history of urbanism but offering great potential for further research. This volume is thus presented as a starting point for the writing of deeper comparative histories of Africa's urban past.
Maasai: People of Cattle. The Little Wisdom Library. Labyrinth Publishing, London; Chronicle Books, New York, 1995. Pp. 62. ISBN 1-85538-422-1 (UK), 0-8118-0831-9 (USA).
This short study, in the Little Wisdom Library series, provides a concise introduction to the culture and history of the Maasai peoples of the Rift Valley of eastern Africa. The dominance of cattle in Maasai culture is described and explained, thorugh social relationships, symbolism, beliefs, and the idiom of language. The role of spirituality in Maasai life, and especially the important historical role played by the figure of the loibon - prophets who have dominated the political and spiritual life of the maasai since at least the early nineteenth century. The distinctive Maasai age-set system, reinforced by family structure, is adapted to the needs of the pastoral lifestyle. The text is illustrated with Maa-language poems and proverbs, and numerous high-quality photographs.
Revealing Prophets: Prophecy and History in Eastern Africa (with Douglas H. Johnson, eds). James Currey, London; Ohio UP, Athens OH; EAEP, Nairobi; Fountain Press, Kampala, 1995. Pp. x+310. ISBN 0-85255-718-3, 0-85255-717-5 paper.
The purpose of this book is to move towards a clearer understanding of the history of prophets within the region of East Africa, and to give an analytical account of the different forms prophecy has taken over the years from place to place. The book takes a new look at the active dialogue between the prophets and the communities whom they addressed. It suggests that this dialogue continues today as politicians and activists throughout the region still look to prophetic traditions, garnering interpretations of the past in order to provide the validation of prophetic wisdom and heroes for the present.
Policing and Decolonisation: Nationalism, Politics and the Police, 1917-1965 (with David Killingray, eds). Manchester University Press: Manchester & New York, 1992. Pp. xii + 230. ISBN 0-7190-3033-1.
Policing and Decolonization provides the first comprehensive study of the problems faced by the imperial police forces during the acute political dislocations brought about by the rise of nationalism in the colonial world. Decolonization in the British Empire placed new and heavy burdens upon colonial police forces. As imperial political authority was increasingly challenged, sometimes with violence, locally-recruited police became the front-line guardians of alien law and order. The contributors to this volume look at the changing roles and experience of police forces, at the heightened political involvement of the police, at the increase in the size of police forces, and at the improvements armament and the development of Special Branches. The book also explores the degree to which central co-ordination of police activities conflicted with local sympathies causing crises in loyalty and recruitment.
Policing the Empire: Government, Authority and Control, 1830-1940 (with David Killingray, eds). Manchester University Press: Manchester & New York, 1991. Pp. xii + 260. ISBN 0-7190-3035-8.
This important collection of essays breaks new ground in looking at the major role played by the colonial police forces in establishing and maintaining imperial authority. Policing the Empire highlights the centrality of the maintenance of law and order to the authority of the British Empire. A uniformed and disciplined body of paramilitary police, charged with imposing alien law and establishing and extending new measure of social control was one of the first bodies set up by colonial rulers. Nor did this significant role diminish after the initial establishment of imperial government. The structure, manning and role of police forces had an enduring influence on the conduct of colonial rule, from Ireland to India, and Australia to West Africa. The contributors also show how the experience of early colonial forces in India and the colonies of white settlement substantially shaped the development of police forces in the later colonies of Asia and Africa.
The Ecology of Survival: Case Studies from Northeast African History (with Douglas H. Johnson, eds). Lester Crook Academic Publishing: London: Westview Press, Boulder CO, 1988. Pp. xii + 339. ISBN 1-870915-00-3.
The 1970s and 1980s famines of northeast Africa horrified the world. For many they reinforced the popular perception of Africa being pushed into ecological decline by inefficient traditional farming and herding practices. This book takes a different view, focussing on the survival of rural communities and their systems of production, and applying an historical perspective to the problem of ecological change in northeast Africa. In their case studies the authors describe how various societies survived disaster and change in the past, how they are currently responding to the problem of changing ecologies, and how the activities of modern states in the region affect local ecological relationships and the ability of rural societies to cope with change. As Professor John Lonsdale comments: "The book provides a better understanding of past crises, and so has vital implications for current developpment policies. However, the editors and contributors are careful not to draw facile "lessons of history" for the correction of present wrongs and follies. But there is an implicit message nonetheless: the rulers, investors, and planners ought to be much more sensitive to local complimentarities in ways of life before they too crudely, too greedily, or too blithely assume that the locals are a problem, with nothing but their obedient labour to contribute to a solution."
Conservation in Africa: People, Policies and Practice (with Richard Grove, eds). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1987. Pp. ix + 355. ISBN 0-521-34199-X, 0-521-34990-7 paper (1989). Now in its sixth reprint.
This book provides a new inter-disciplinary look at the practice and policies of conservation in Africa. Bringing together social scientists, anthropologists and historians with biologists for the first time, the book sheds some light on the previously neglected but critically important social aspects of conservation thinking. To date conservation has been very much the domain of the biologist, but the current ecological crisis in Africa and the failure of orthodox conservation policies demand a radical new appraisal of conventional practices. This new approach to conservation, the book argues, cannot deal simply with the survival of species and habitats, for the future of African wildlife is intimately tied to the future of African rural communities. Conservation must form an integral part of future policies for human development. The book emphasizes this urgent need for a complementary rather than a competitive approach. It covers a wide range of topics important to this new approach, from wildlife management to soil conservation and from the Cape in the nineteenth century to Ethiopia in the 1980s. It is essential reading for all those concerned about people and conservation in Africa.
Publications (Articles and Book Chapters)
- ‘Preface: colonial incarceration.’ In Colonial Incarceration in the Twentieth Century, eds Philip J. Havik, Helena Pinto Janeiro, Pedro Aires Oliveira and Irene Pimentel (Abingdon: Routledge, 2021): iii-iv.
- ‘Kenya’s War in Somalia.’ In Nic Cheeseman, Karuti Kanyinga, and Gabrielle Lynch (eds), Oxford Handbook of Kenyan Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020): 576-88.
- ‘Women missionaries and colonial silences in Kenya’s female “circumcision” controversy, 1906-30.’ English Historical Review 133, no.565 (2018): 1512-1545.
- ‘Buried treasures.’ Index on Censorship 47, i (2018): 53-4. (Special issue, The Abuse of History: The Powers Being Used to Manipulate the Past.)
- (with Julianne Weis) ‘The prosecution of rape in wartime: evidence from Kenya’s Mau Mau rebellion, 1952-60.’ Law & History Review 36, ii (2018): 267-294.
- 'Mau Mau on trial: Dedan Kimathi’s prosecution and Kenya’s colonial justice.' In Dedan Kimathi on Trial: Colonial Justice and Popular Memory in Kenya's Mau Mau Rebellion, ed Julie MacArthur, 233-257 (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2017).
- 'Making the loyalist bargain: surrender, amnesty, and impunity in Kenya’s decolonization, 1952-63.' International History Review 39, i (2017): 48-70.
- (with Daniel Branch) 'Allies at the end of empire: loyalists, nationalists and the Cold War, 1945-76.' International History Review 39, i (2017): 1-13.
- 'The beginning of time? Evidence for catastrophic drought in Baringo in the early nineteenth century.' Journal of Eastern African Studies 10, i (2016): 41-59.
- (with Michael Bollig) 'Resilience and collapse: histories, ecologies, conflicts and identities in the Baringo-Bogoria basin, Kenya.' Journal of Eastern African Studies 10, i (2016): 1-20.
- (with Paul J. Lane) ‘The unburied victims of Kenya’s Mau Mau rebellion: where and when does the violence end?’ In Human Remains in Society: Curation and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Genocide and Mass Violence, eds Jean-Marc Dreyfus & Elisabeth Anstett, 14-37 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016).
- (with Jonathan Fisher) 'Authoritarianism and the Securitization of Development in Uganda.' In Development and Democracy: Foreign Aid and Authoritarian Regimes in Africa, eds Tobias Hagmann & Filip Reyntjens, 65-86 (London: Zed Books, 2016).
- (with Jacob McKnight) 'Understanding al-Shabaab: clan, Islam, and insurgency in Kenya.' Journal of Eastern African Studies 9, iii (2015): 536-57.
- ‘Guilty secrets: deceit, denial, and the discovery of Kenya’s “Migrated Archive.”’ History Workshop Journal 80 (Autumn 2015): 142-160.
- (with Oystein H. Rolandsen) 'Violence in the contemporary political history of eastern Africa.' International Journal of African Historical Studies 48, i (2015): 1-12.
- (with Jonathan Fisher). ‘Authoritarianism and the securitization of development in Africa.’ International Affairs 91, i (2015): 131-152.
- (with Jacob McKnight). ‘Kenya at war: al-Shabaab and its enemies in eastern Africa.’ African Affairs 114, 454 (2015): 1-27.
- ‘Remembering Wagalla: state violence in northern Kenya, 1962-1991.’ Journal of Eastern African Studies 8, iv (2014): 658-76.
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