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Dr Justin Pearce

Dr Justin Pearce

Lecturer in African politics


Justin Pearce is a temporary lecturer in African politics at POLIS, a bye-fellow of King's College, and a Research Associate of St John's College. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Southern African Studies. He completed his doctorate at Oxford in 2011 on political mobilisation in the Angolan civil war. He was subsequently an ESRC postdoctoral fellow at SOAS, University of London, and a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in POLIS. Before studying for his doctorate, Justin worked as a journalist in South Africa, Angola and the UK.

Research Interests

Justin Pearce is conducting research on the roots and the character of political legitimacy in contemporary southern Africa, using a comparative case study of Angola and Mozambique. His broader research interests include the politics and history of Lusophone Africa and of southern Africa, with a thematic interest in civil conflict, peace making, the continuities between wartime and peacetime politics, and the politics of memory and memorialisation. His approach to research puts a strong priority on gathering interviews in order to examine popular as well as elite discourses on power and identity. 


POL15, The Politics of Africa (course co-ordinator)

POL2, International Relations (supervisor at King's College)

African Politics module for MPhil in African Studies and MPhil in Politics and International Relations

Key Publications

Political Identity and Conflict in Central Angola 1975-2002

Cambridge University Press 2015

"Angola’s Elections and the Politics of Presidential Succession" (co-authored with Didier Péclard and Ricardo Soares de Oliveira), African Affairs, January 2018. 

"Global ideologies and local politics: The Cold War as seen from Central Angola"

Journal of Southern African Studies 43 (1) pp 13-17, January 2017.



"Peace agreements in Angola: Contesting the meaning of success."

in Grace Maina and Erik Melander (eds), Peace Agreements and Durable Peace in Africa, University of KwaZulu Natal Press, 2015.


“Contesting the past in Angolan politics”

Journal of Southern African Studies, 41 (1) pp 103-119, January 2015


“Control, politics and identity in the Angolan civil war”

African Affairs, 111 (444) pp 442-465, July 2012.


“Angola: Changing nationalisms, from war to peace”

in Eric Morier-Genoud (ed) Sure road? Nations and Nationalisms in Lusophone Africa. Brill, Leiden, 2012.


“From rebellion to opposition: Unita in Angola and Renamo in Mozambique”

in Wafula Okumu and Augustine Ikelegbe (eds), Militias, Rebels and Islamist Militants: Human Insecurity and State Crises in Africa.

Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria, 2010.


“L’Unita à la recherche de « son peuple »”

Dossier Angola, Politique Africaine 110, June 2008.