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Hannah Waddilove

Building on several years of experience as a researcher and analyst of East Africa, my doctoral research examines one of the world’s most ambitious decentralisation reforms: devolution in Kenya. Introduced through 2013 elections, devolution was designed to stabilise politics by redistributing state power away from the presidency to new subnational elected offices. My research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), examines the perspectives and practices of the new locally-elected officials, how they used their positions to respond to popular conceptions of their roles, and the resultant contingent effect on presidential power. I am supervised by Professor Gabrielle Lynch and Professor Daniel Branch.

My broad research interest lies in exploring the everyday practices of democratic institutions, revealing the complex and uneven nature of democratic reform. My research focuses on broader themes of decentralisation, democratisation, citizen-state relations, elections, development and security. Future research plans include bringing an everyday approach to a comparative project of the everyday functioning of political parties in East Africa.

Prior to beginning my doctorate in January 2016, I worked as Senior Africa Analyst for Oxford Analytica, a geopolitical advisory and analysis firm. My professional career to date has included several roles for research and education organisations, in the UK and in Kenya, including the Rift Valley Institute and the British Institute in Eastern Africa. I completed a Masters in African Studies with Distinction at the University of Oxford (2008-09).

I regularly tweet here on broader issues, from African politics to feminism.


Journal Articles

Waddilove, Hannah (2019). "Support or subvert? Assessing devolution’s effect on central power during Kenya’s 2017 presidential rerun". Journal of Eastern African Studies, 13 (2): 334-352.

Book Chapters

Waddilove, Hannah. "The Coast: an elusive political bloc." In Nic Cheeseman, Karuti Kanyinga and Gabrielle Lynch (eds) Oxford Handbook of Kenyan Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

Briefing Papers, Editorials & Reports

Waddilove, Hannah (2017). Cultural Identity: Kenya and the coast. Rift Valley Institute.

Waddilove, Hannah (2017). Big Barrier: youth unemployment at the coast. Rift Valley Institute.

Waddilove, Hannah (2017). Coal: Development, energy and employment. Rift Valley Institute.

Contributions to blogs and online debates

Waddilove, Hannah. (August 18, 2017). "Kenyans voted for change and got the local level." African Arguments

Waddilove, Hannah and Neil Pyper (February 15, 2016). "Why the UK government should care about Giulio Regeni." Times Higher Education.