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University of Birmingham Professor appointed to International Advisory Council of Afrobarometer


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In 2019 Nic Cheeseman was awarded the Joni Lovenduski Prize for outstanding professional achievement by a midcareer scholar in 2019

Nic Cheeseman, Professor of Democracy and International Development at the University of Birmingham has been appointed to serve on the International Advisory Council of Afrobarometer, the pan-African research network.

Along with notable individuals like Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the ex-President of Liberia, international journalist Zeinab Badawi, Johnnie Carson, the former US assistant secretary of state for African affairs and former ambassador to Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Uganda and 12 other global political and thought leaders, Nic Cheeseman will be on hand to provide his strategic advice, expertise and foresight.

Afrobarometer – which conducts surveys on 37 African countries and provides open access data to researchers will gain the expertise of the International Advisory Council to provide focus on African development and help enhance Afrobarometer’s mission to make African voices count in public policy and development.

Afrobarometer, which is now in its third decade gives a voice to millions of Africans across 37 countries provides open access data to thousands of researchers on Africans’ experiences and evaluations of democracy, governance, and quality of life by training hundreds of researchers and organisations on survey methods.

Professor Nic Cheeseman welcomed his appointment: “I really couldn’t be more proud or humbled to have been appointed as a founding member of the Afrobarometer International Council. I am not quite sure how I made it into the company of Ambassadors and Presidents, but I am sure that the Afrobarometer is an amazing resource and I’m delighted to be able to play a small role in strengthening it further.”

Currently working as Professor of Democracy at the University of Birmingham since 2017, Nic Cheeseman was formerly the Director of the African Studies Centre at the University of Oxford. His research addresses a range of questions such as whether populism is an effective strategy of political mobilisation in Africa, how paying tax changes citizens’ attitudes towards democracy and corruption, and the conditions under which ruling parties lose power. In addition to a number of book chapters and articles, he has published two co-edited collections: Our Turn To Eat (2010), which covers the politics of Kenya since independence, and The Handbook of African Politics (2013). A monograph, Democracy in Africa, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015 and his second book, How to Rig An Election.

Nic spends much of his time explaining the implications of his work to policy makers such as the British, Brazilian and Nigerian governments as well as the Pan African Parliament, and the World Bank. He is the joint editor of African Affairs, an advisor to the African Progress Panel, and a member of the advisory board of the UNICEF Chair on Communication Research (Africa). In recognition of this academic and public contribution, the Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom awarded him the prestigious Joni Lovenduski Prize for outstanding professional achievement by a midcareer scholar in 2019. The same year, he was a finalist in the ESRC’s prestigious Celebrating Impact prize.

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For more information or interviews, please contact: Hasan Salim Patel, Communications Manager (Arts, Law and Social Sciences) or contact the press office out of hours on +44 (0) 7789 921 165.

Note to editors:

The University of Birmingham is ranked among the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 6,500 international students from over 150 countries.

You can follow Nic Cheeseman’s research, interviews and insights on Democracy in Africa .  Twitter and Facebook

The Council members of the International Advisory Council of Afrobarometer are:

• Johnnie Carson, former US assistant secretary of state for African affairs and former ambassador to Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Uganda

  • Ellen Johnson Sirleef, Liberia’s president from 2006 to 2018 and Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 2011

• Lord Browne of Ladyton, member of the UK House of Lords

• Dr. Willy Mutunga, former chief justice and president of the Supreme Court of Kenya

• Margot Wallström, former minister of foreign affairs of Sweden, EU commissioner

• Zeinab Badawi, international broadcaster and education leader

• Professor Nic Cheeseman, professor of democracy, author and newspaper columnist

• Professor Larabi Jaïdi, senior fellow at the Policy Center for the New South

• Abdoulie Janneh, former UN under-secretary general

• Attahiru Muhammadu Jega, professor and former chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission

• Peter Kellner, political analyst and scholar

• K. Riva Levinson, president and CEO of KRL International, author and columnist

• Professor Bhekinkosi Moyo, director of the Africa Centre on Philanthropy and Social Investment

• Dr. Monde Muyangwa, director of the Africa Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center

• Dr. Gerard Salole, social anthropologist and independent consultant

• Thomas P. Sheehy, distinguished fellow in the Africa Center of the United States Institute of Peace.





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