David Anderson filled the position of Acting Director at the BIEA from 1 October 2009 until the end of September 2010. He took on his BIEA role during a period of study leave from the University of Oxford, where he is Professor of African Politics, Director of the African Studies Centre, and a Fellow of St Cross College.
Professor Anderson’s long-standing interest in the history and politics of eastern Africa is reflected in a range of current research projects. His work on the transnational political economy of khat (miraa), The Khat Controversy, was published in May 2007. He continues to work on the issue of khat consumption and marketing, and has recently completed a report on the social harms of khat for the UK government. He has also written a number of articles, to be published over the coming year, on the history of khat prohibitions.
Anderson continues to research and write on the theme of state violence and its consequences, and has recently completed a book examining Kenya’s post-electoral crisis of 2008. Uncivil Society: Violence and Politics in Kenya will be published in 2010. He also plans a collection of essays for 2010, taking up some of the still controversial themes surrounding the history of Kenya’s Mau Mau rebellion, about which he has written in Histories of the Hanged (2005).
Anderson also participates in a number of collaborations with other Africanist scholars based at Oxford. With Dr David Turton, Dr Marco Bassi, and Dr Graciela Gil-Romera he is engaged in a research project on the history of environmental change in the Lower Omo Valley of southern Ethiopia. This project, funded through the AHRC ‘Environment & Landscape’ Programme, takes up themes Anderson first explored in his 2002 book, Eroding the Commons. A monograph from this research, to be co-authored with David Turton, will be published in 2011. Anderson is an Editor of the BIEA-sponsored Journal of Eastern African Studies.
Professor Anderson is a very active graduate teacher and supervisor of doctoral students. Most of these students are drawn from the disciplines of Politics and History, but others are based in Anthropology or Development Studies. Over the past three years his students have undertaken research in a wide range of African countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Sudan, Zambia, Malawi, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and South Africa, often working on themes relating to violence, conflict and post-conflict reconstruction.