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Professor of Democracy, University of Birmingham

Nic Cheeseman is the Professor of Democracy at the University of Birmingham. He was formerly the Director of the African Studies Centre at the University of Oxford. His research addresses a range of questions such as whether populism is an effective strategy of political mobilization in Africa, how paying tax changes citizens’ attitudes towards democracy and corruption, and the conditions under which ruling parties lose power. In addition to a number of book chapters and articles, he has published two co-edited collections: Our Turn To Eat (2010), which covers the politics of Kenya since independence, and The Handbook of African Politics (2013). A monograph, Democracy in Africa, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015 and a second book, How to Rig An Election, is currently under contract with Yale.

Nic spends much of his time explaining the implications of his work to policy makers, including the Cabinet Office, Foreign Office, and the Department for International Development of the UK government, the Instituto Rio Branco of the Brazilian government, the Lagos State Government, the Pan African Parliament, and the World Bank. He is the joint editor of African Affairs, an advisor to the African Progress Panel, and a member of the advisory board of the UNICEF Chair on Communication Research (Africa). Finally, Nic writes a regular column for Kenya's Sunday Nation newspaper and is the founder of You can follow all of his research on Twitter @fromagehomme and at


  • 2017–present
    Professor of Democracy, University of Birmingham
  • 2008–2017
    Associate Professor of Africa Politics, University of Oxford