Professor Nic Cheeseman | University of Oxford

Professor Nic Cheeseman

Associate Professor in African Politics, African Studies Centre & Department of Politics and International Relations; Fellow of Jesus College


Professor Cheeseman works in the field of comparative politics with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa and processes of democratisation. He studies questions such as whether populism is an effective strategy of political mobilisation in Africa, how paying tax changes citizens’ attitudes towards democracy and corruption, and the conditions under which ruling parties lose power.

He is the founding Editor of The Oxford Dictionary of African Politics and the founding Editor in Chief of The Oxford Encyclopaedia for African Politics, both of which are due to be published by Oxford University Press in 2018. He is currently working on a monograph, How To Rig An Election, which is due to appear in late 2017, and is co-author of a book, also due to be published in 2017, Coalitional Presidentialism in Comparative Perspective, which examines the dynamics of executive-legislative relations in Africa, Latin America and the former Soviet Union.

He spends much of his time explaining the implications of his work to policy makers, including the Cabinet Office, Foreign and Commonwealth 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 also a member of the advisory board of the UNICEF Chair on Communication Research (Africa) and an advisor to, and writer for, Kofi Annan's African Progress Panel.

He also runs, a blog dedicated to the study of African democracy, and co-edits African Affairs, the number one ranked journal in both African Studies and all of Area Studies, according to Thomson Reuters Journal Citations Reports.


  • Elections in Africa
  • Election violence
  • Democratisation
  • Political office term limits and political crises
  • Kenyan politics
  • Zimbabwean politics
  • Ugandan politics
  • Nigerian politics
  • Populism
  • Taxation

Media experience

Professor Cheeseman has considerable media experience in national and international media, including a bi-weekly column in the Sunday Nation, the most read newspaper in Eastern Africa.