Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Politics and International Studies & Research Associate of St John's College Cambridge, University of Cambridge


Dr Pearce is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in POLIS and a Research Associate of St John's College. 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. Before embarking upon 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 current research is supported by a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, part funded by the Newton Trust. 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.

Key Publications

Political Identity and Conflict in Central Angola 1975-2002

Cambridge University Press 2015


  • –present
    Research Associate of St John's College, University of Cambridge