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Gabrielle Lynch

gabrielle lynch

Professor of Comparative Politics

Tel: +44 (0)24765 23303
Room E1.26

Advice and Feedback Hours in Term 1, 2020/21: 09.00-11.00 on Thursdays. Please email or use online advice and feedback booking form to schedule an appointment.

More about Gabrielle's...


Gabrielle studied at the University of Oxford for a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, an MPhil in Politics, and a DPhil in Politics. She joined the department in 2011 after holding posts at Newcastle University, Keele University, and the University of Leeds.

Research interests

Prof. Gabrielle Lynch’s research interests lie in understanding the nature and political salience of ethnic identities, politics of being indigenous, causes of inter-communal violence, impact and utility of reconciliation and transitional justice mechanisms, and elections and democratisation.

Her research to date has focused on African politics. Between January 2011 and January 2013 she undertook a three-year project on ‘Truth and Justice: The search for peace and stability in modern Kenya’, which was funded through an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) first grant. Together with Nic Cheeseman (University of Birmingham) and Justin Willis (University of Durham), Gabrielle was then awarded two further ESRC grants – an ESRC Knowledge Exchange Grant (2013-2014) to work with the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office on contemporary Kenyan politics, and an ESRC Standard Grant (2012-2017) to conduct a comparative study on the impact of elections in Kenya, Uganda, and Ghana. Most recently she has conducted work funded by a GCRF Facilitator Grant with Elena Gadjanova (University of Exeter), Jason Reifler (University of Exeter) and Ghadafi Saibu (University of Bayreuth) on social media and political mobilisation in Ghana.

Gabrielle is the Vice President/Research of the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) and formerly an elected member of council for the African Studies Association of the UK (ASA-UK). Gabrielle is the deputy chair of the editorial working group of the Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE) and former chair and editor of ROAPE. She is also a former editor of the International Journal of Human Rights. She wrote a twice monthly column for the Saturday Nation (the Saturday edition of Kenya's leading national newspaper) from April 2014 to March 2018 when she stood down alongside 7 other independent columnists in protest at "the loss of editorial independence and media freedom" at the Nation Media Group. From November 2015 to January 2017 she also wrote a twice monthly column for The East African (the main regional newspaper).

In 2019 awarded with the ESRC Award for Outstanding International Impact and the Market Research Society’s President’s Medal for extraordinary research with impact.

You can follow Gabrielle on twitter @GabrielleLynch6.

Teaching and Supervision

Gabrielle is interested in supervising PhDs in a range of comparative and African politics fields.

Recent publications include

Lynch, G. (2018) Performances of Injustices: The politics of truth, justice and reconciliation in Kenya. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Cheeseman, N., G. Lynch & J. Willis (2017) Ghana: The ebbing power of incumbency. Journal of Democracy 28 (2): 92-104

Willis, J., G. Lynch, N. Cheeseman (2017) "A valid electoral exercise?" Uganda's 1980 elections and the oberserver's dilemma. Comparative Studies in Society and History 59 (1): 211-238

Cheeseman, N., G. Lynch & J. Willis (2016) Decentralization in Kenya: The governance of governors. Journal of Modern African Studies 54 (1): 1-35

Cheeseman, N, G. Lynch, & J. Willis (2014) Democracy and its discontents: Understanding Kenya's 2013 elections. Journal of Eastern African Studies 8 (1): 2-24

Lynch, G. (2014) Electing the 'alliance of the accused': The success of the Jubilee Alliance in Kenya's Rift Valley. Journal of Eastern African Studies 8 (1): 93-114

Lynch, G. (2011) I Say to You: Ethnic Politics and the Kalenjin in Kenya. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

NB: For a full list see publications