Laurence Piper is a Political Scientist at the University of the Western Cape interested in urban governance, democracy, state-society relations and citizenship in South Africa and comparatively. His latest book is ‘Democracy Disconnected: Participation and Governance in a City of the South’ , Routledge, 2018, with Dr Fiona Anciano. He is the previous President of the South African Association of Political Studies (SAAPS) 2016-8.
Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
The following scholars are interested in this topic:
I am an academic, researcher and broadcaster. My research is on climate change and national security. I am also interested about social resilience, democracy, development economy, good governance
I am a Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Research Fellow and Lecturer (assistant professor) in History at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, UK. I use oral historical and ethnographic methods to study transitional communities, particularly post-genocide Rwanda, Uganda and Bosnia-Herzegovina. My research interests include mass atrocities, nationalized commemoration, symbolic violence, transitional justice, mass grave exhumations, and the ethical and methodological challenges surrounding qualitative fieldwork amid highly politicized research settings.
I am a political scientist by training and an interdisciplinary scholar at the core.
Interdisciplinary trajectories allow me to see the deficiencies of hyper disciplinary commitments and complementary possibilities when identity politics (the idea that who are matters as a foundation of institutions) meets conventional political/institutional analyses (the idea that institutions/ organizations matter before or beyond identity). My conversation partners range from Anthropologists to sociologist, to theologians and policy analysts, to reference a few. See my interests keywords and let’s get in touch at the intersection of our encounter.
I am a political communication scholar with a particular focus on gender. My research interests include gendered mediation, political communication, online campaigning, political marketing, political journalism, African media and journalism and visual communication. Methodically, my expertise is in qualitative research including (multimodal) critical discourse analysis, (elite) interviewing, textual analysis and focus groups. My recent research examined representations of Ghanaian and Nigerian women politicians in print and radio news, as well as their self-representation on social media.
Cinema audiences and reception
This project seeks to develop literature on the voices of cinema-going audiences in Nigeria, Ghana (two vibrant Anglophone filmmaking countries on the continent) and other African countries. Very little information exists on the history of spectatorship, audiences’ socio-economic status, viewing preferences and interpretive strategies of African film audiences. Through ethnographic and survey approaches, existing knowledge gaps will be closed with rich and layered descriptions of film spectatorship and audiences. The publications produced from the research will be useful to scholars, filmmakers, cinema operators and investors, who require more than market research surveys for creative intervention. The objectives of the study are to produce an updated history of spectatorship in Nigeria and Ghana, with an overview of contemporary spaces and media of African cinema audiences (including Internet, cinemas, Africa Magic channels etc); to examine and document the socio-economic status, audience preferences and interpretive strategies of African cinema-going audiences in an attempt to close existing knowledge gaps in film scholarship; to complement the audience work which I began in Lagos in July 2016, given that the Nigerian and Ghanaian film industries arguably share commonalities in terms of their postcolonial status, cultural production models and values. The reception of particular filmmakers is welcome.
African film and social change
The impact of films, particularly documentary films, is already being tracked and documented in South Africa. Arguably, the same can hardly be said of scholars working in the eastern and western parts of the continent. In India – where a thriving film industry also exists – social change is attributed to Partition films, for example. And in the United States, the plethora of films that depict politics and history generate huge debates on representational strategies and social change. Several of such films are used as instructional aids in formal learning environments; and the way they shape our knowledge of the world is well-documented. This project examines the social function of films – documentaries and feature-length productions. Where films are used to promote development, peace, reconciliation or conflict resolution, it is of interest to examine how that was achieved. To deal with the objective of measuring the impact of socio-political films, such films have to be strategically exposed to key stakeholders. These include those who are able to effect the desired change i.e. policy makers and researchers, relevant government agencies, social and political activists and non-governmental organisations to mention a few. Therefore, the methods of this project will include historical and contemporary perspectives of film screenings and their effects, focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews of key individuals. This will also broaden the scope of study thus yielding richer analyses of film and social change.
This study seeks to examine the motivations of celebrity crossover from entertainment to political office. It is quite common to listen to media celebrities discussing their intentions to create social impact by giving back to the society that contributed to their rise to stardom. Some celebrities believe that this contribution can be achieved by occupying a political office. However, scholars and celebrity fans have expressed reservations about celebrities’ crossover into politics because of a presumed lack of expertise in political affairs. With the huge fan base that some Nigerian celebrities have within and outside the African continent, it is quite easy to promote social causes and create impact through their social media pages without necessarily venturing into politics. And so, being conscious of their positions yet seeking political offices implies that some motivations are unclear to the public. It is therefore necessary to probe the motivations of these celebrities crossing over to hold political offices. Also worthy of scholarly attention are the pains and gains of the crossover as well as the decisions to remain politicians after a term has been served, to return to their previous art or to straddle both worlds. This project will benefit from all the methods applicable to case studies.
I am a Lecturer in Politics & International Relations at Loughborough University. My main research interests lie in the field of peace and conflict studies and in the politics of developing countries (particularly Africa and Latino America). My main research interests lie in the field of peace and conflict studies: in particular, I am interested in understanding the transition from war to peace and the long-term legacies of violent conflicts. My recent publications look at the problem of building a legitimate political order and a functioning state after a civil war terminated in the victory of one of the warring parties. I am currently involved in two main research projects. In collaboration with Phil Martin (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Jeremy Speight (University of Alaska at Fairbanks) I am exploring the legacies of rebel governance in Northern of Côte d’Ivoire. I am also co-investigator in the ESRC-Colciencia funded project “Territorial planning for peace and statebuilding in the Alto Cauca region of Colombia” (2018-2020), directed by Katherine Gough (Loughborough University, Geography) and Irene Velez Torres (Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia). I have applied a wide range of research methods in my research, such as structured and open-ended interviews, focus groups and quantitative surveys.
I am a Sociologist-turned Anthropologist (additional training) with interests in Gender and Sex Studies. I focus on representations of men and boys, sexual cultures (intimacies, desires, eroticism, pleasures), sexual health, and queer sexuality. I have secondary interests in families and relationships studies. Last few years, I have been preoccupied with trying to understand masculinity and sex in West Africa. My current research, for example, makes links with how men talk about local aphrodisiacs use (e.g., herbal bitters) and notions of manhood, including issues related to men’s insecurities and vulnerabilities about hegemonic masculine ideals and women’s power in sexual relationships. I am an editorial member and reviewer of some renowned journals in the humanities/social sciences including Men and Masculinities (Sage); Reproductive Health Matters (Taylor & Francis); Culture, Health and Sexuality (Rutledge); PLOS ONE, Journal of Homosexuality (Taylor and Francis), Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare (Elsevier), and others. In addition, I examine for leading universities in Africa such as the University of Cape Town in South Africa. I am also engaged in advocacy about non-binary and gender-variant lives in Ghana. I have won grants/fellowship from notable institutions namely: International African Institute, UK; American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), USA; Population Association of America, USA; the French Institute for Demographic Studies (INED), France; African Studies Association (ASA), USA; Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society (IASSCS); Trojan® Brand; CODESRIA; and Ghana Studies Association, USA. I am an AHP Fellow and a double recipient of the World Social Science Forum Fellowship Award supported by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). A Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Cape Coast, I founded the Centre for Men’s Health and Sex Studies; a not-for-profit organization to promote and gain support for work on men in Ghana.
I research comparative regionalism with a special focus on African regions and the EU. I interrogate the ‘Actorships’ of State, non-state and external actors in regionalism/ regional integration in Africa.
My research I work on the Timbuktu manuscripts, more specifically Islamic legal opinions, a genre of Islamic law (legal literature) as a historical source for the everyday lives and practices of Timbuktu’s wives and Muslim jurist consults during the colonial era (1907 – 1950). I also work on Timbuktu’s seventeenth, nineteenth and twentieth-century chronicles. However, I am also interested in decoloniality. The Timbuktu manuscripts as one of many precolonial written intellectual traditions in Africa constitute an archive toward decoloniality. (With Africa I mean the whole continent, not just so-called Sub-Saharan Africa as apart from so-called North Africa; this divide is a construct of a past colonialism and and existing coloniality). Teaching the Study of Religion I am interested in foundational religious texts and religious-intellectual traditions.