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Politics and International Relations (PIR): People


Sara Rich Dorman

Sara Rich Dorman
Dr Sara Rich Dorman
Senior Lecturer in African Politics
4.08 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0)131 650 4239
Research Interests
African Politics, nationalism and the post-colonial state in Africa, Citizenship and belonging, Elections, State formation

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • Monday 10-12pm

Knowledge Exchange Fellow ESRC-AHRC-FCO, 2018-2020


  • BA Honours, Political Science and History Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • MPhil Politics, St Antony's College, Oxford
  • DPhil Politics, St Antony's College, Oxford

Areas of interest

African Politics, with an emphasis on post-liberation states: Zimbabwe and Eritrea. The politics of NGOs, churches, elections, election-observing, and state-society relations. The politics of nationalism, nation and state-building in Africa, especially in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa.

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Research related activities

Senior Editor,  Journal of Southern African Studies

Editorial Board member, African Affairs

Publications Include

"Nationalism in African Politics" In Oxford Encyclopedia of African Politics. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.761. forthcoming 2019

The End of the Mugabe Era Current History May 2018.

Understanding Zimbabwe: From Liberation to Authoritarianism (Hurst and OUP 2016)  Reviewed in African Studies Review here, Foreign Affairs here, the Round Table here and the Africa at LSE blog here.

"‘We have not made anybody homeless’: regulation and control of urban life in Zimbabwe" Citizenship Studies (2016)

"The Varieties of Nationalism in Africa" Current History May 2015. 
“Citizenship in Africa: The Politics of Belonging”in Routledge Handbook of Global Citizenship Studies  Edited by Engin F. Isin, Peter Nyers  Routledge (2014)
"Patrick Chabal: An Appreciation?", Critical African Studies, (2009) 1:2, 10-18 

“Born Powerful? Authoritarian Politics in Eritrea and Zimbabwe” in From Revolutionary Movements to Political Parties: Cases From Africa and Latin America ed. Kalowatie Deonandan, Dave Close and Gary Prevost. Palgrave 2008.

Making Nations, Creating Strangers: States and Citizenship in Africa edited with Paul Nugent and Daniel Hammett (Leiden: Brill 2007)

 “Post-liberation Politics in Africa: Examining the political legacy of struggle” Third World Quarterly 27.6 (2006).

"'Make sure they count nicely this time': The Politics of Elections and Election-observing in Zimbabwe", Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 43.2 June 2005.

"Narratives of nationalism in Eritrea: research and revisionism", Nations and Nationalism 11.2, March 2005, pp 203-222.

"NGOs and the Constitutional debate in Zimbabwe: from Inclusion to Exclusion" Journal of Southern African Studies. Volume 29 Number 4 December 2003.

"Rocking the Boat? Church NGOs and Democratization in Zimbabwe" African Affairs 101 (2002).

Topics interested in supervising

Sara welcomes inquiries from prospective students interested in researching African Politics. Current and recently finished PhD students whom she supervises/d have conducted research in Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Somaliland, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Russia. Recent topics include land reform, violence, religion, labour, NGOs and social movements in Southern Africa; borders, leadership succession, trade and identity in the Horn of Africa; corruption, mutinies and elections in West Africa.

If you are interested in being supervised by Sara Rich Dorman, please see the links below for more information:

PhD In African Studies; PhD in Politics