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Lecturer in criminology, Edinburgh Napier University

Dr Kamau Wairuri is a researcher, educator and policy consultant with expertise in the politics of policing, violence and criminal justice in Africa. Presently, he is a lecturer in criminology at Edinburgh Napier University (Edinburgh, United Kingdom) and a Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Policy and Governance at the Strathmore University Business School (Nairobi, Kenya).

His research is focussed on three major themes: (1) the discourses and practices of policing, especially relating to the police abuse, police reform and police accountability, (2) the policing of people belonging to marginalised groups — especially poor, young men, sex workers, queer people and people who use drugs — who are over-policed and under-protected by the police, and (3) violence, relating to both violent crime and political violence, including terrorism and riots. He has published some of his work in respected peer-reviewed academic journals, such as African Affairs, and in books.

Kamau is an experienced educator in the Higher Education sector having delivered lectures and classroom teaching at Edinburgh Napier University, the University of Edinburgh and Strathmore University. He is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK).

Kamau has extensive experience advising leaders and organisations in the public, private and development sector on matters relating to politics, public policy and governance. Some of the organisations he has worked with include donor agencies such as DANIDA, local NGOs like the Economic and Social Rights Centre (Hakijamii) and government agencies like the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC), and the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF). Previously, he worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Co, where he advised senior government leaders in Africa on various areas of development.

Kamau has also written for popular audiences in Kenyan newspapers (Daily Nation, The Standard and The East African) and respected blogs such as African Arguments. He is the host of The Kenyanist, a podcast that explores the social and political issues that Kenyans face.

Kamau holds a PhD in African Studies from the University of Edinburgh, an MSc in African Studies from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Arts degree (Political Science and Sociology) from the University of Nairobi.


  • 2022–present
    Lecturer, Edinburgh Napier University