|Professor (Modern African History) in the Department of History||+44 (0) 191 33 41073|
Justin Willis' work has been largely concerned with identity, authority and social change in eastern Africa over the last two hundred years. With colleagues from Warwick and Birmingham, he recently completed work on a major ESRC-funded comparative history of elections in Kenya, Ghana and Uganda. He is developing a new project on the history of saving and lending in Africa since the 1940s.
Areas of Postgraduate Supervision
Professor Willis has supervised doctoral students working on various aspects of modern eastern African history. Currently he has students working on politics and islam on the Kenya coast since the 1950s; the history of banking in Sudan since the 1950s; ethnicity in northern Uganda in the twentieth century; and women's testominies around violence in the Rwanda genocide. Prospective students who would like to discuss ideas for doctoral research are very welcome to contact him.
- electoral history
- saving and money in Africa
- Sudan in the 19th and 20th centuries
- modern East Africa
- : Chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes Academiques
Available for media contact about:
- Africa: Modern history and politics of eastern Africa, with a particular focus on elections. The social and economic history of alcohol in Africa.
- Willis, J. (2002). Potent Brews. A Social History of Alcohol in East Africa 1850-1999. Oxford: British Institute in Eastern Africa in association with James Currey.
- (1993). Mombasa, the Swahili and the Making of the Mijikenda. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Chapter in book
- Willis, Justin & Mwakimako, Hassan (2020). La côte kényane religion, race, ethnicité et la notion fuyante de communauté politique’. In Le Kenya en Marche 2000-2020. Open editions. 343-64.
- Willis, Justin (2014). Alcohol licensing hours: time and temperance in Kenya. In Drugs in Africa: Histories and Ethnographies of Use, Trade and Control. Klantschnig, G., Carrier, N. & Amber, C. Palgrave. 89-104.
- Willis, Justin (2013). Chieftaincy. In The Oxford Handbook of Modern African History. Parker, John & Reid, Richard Oxford: OUP. 208-23.
- Willis, Justin. (2010). Protecting young people. Alcohol, advertising and youth in Kenya. In Generations Past. Youth in East African History. Burton, Andrew. & Charton-Bigot, Helene. Ohio University Press. 279-90.
- Willis, Justin. (2009). The King of the Mijikenda, and other stories about the kaya. Heritage, politics and histories in multi-party Kenya. In Recasting the past. History writing and political work in modern Africa. Peterson, Derek. & Macola, Giacomo. Athens, OH.: Ohio University Press. 233-250.
- Ryle, J., Willis, J., Baldo, S. & Jok, J. M. (2011). The Sudan Handbook. James Currey.
- Lynch, Gabrielle, Cheeseman, Nic & Willis, Justin (2019). From peace campaigns to peaceocracy: elections, order and authority in Africa. African Affairs
- Cheeseman, N., Lynch, G., Kanyinga, K., Ruteere, M. & Willis, J. (2019). Kenya's 2017 elections: winner-takes-all politics as usual? Journal of Eastern African Studies 13(2): 215-234.
- Willis, J., Lynch, G. & Cheeseman, N. (2018). Voting, nationhood, and citizenship in late-colonial Africa. The Historical Journal 61(4): 1113-1135.
- Cheeseman, Nic, Lynch, Gabrielle & Willis, Justin (2017). Ghana: the ebbing power of incumbency. Journal of Democracy 28(2): 92-104.
- Perrot, S., Pommerolle, M.-E. & Willis, J. (2016). La fabrique du vote: placer la matérialité au cœur de l’analyse. Politique africaine 144(4): 5-26.
- Willis, J., Lynch, G. & Cheeseman, N. (2016). La machine electorale: culture materielle des bureaux de vote au Ghana, au Kenya et en Ouganda. = The Voting Machine: The material culture of polling stations in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda. Politique africaine 144(4): 27-50.
- Deacon, G., Gona, G., Mwakimako, H. & Willis, J. (2017). Preaching politics: Islam and Christianity on the Kenya coast. Journal of Contemporary African Studies 35(2): 148-167.
- Willis, Justin, Lynch, Gabrielle & Cheeseman, Nic (2017). “A valid electoral exercise”? Uganda’s 1980 elections and the observers’ dilemma. Comparative Studies in Society and History 59(1): 211-238.
- Mwakimako, Hassan & Willis, Justin (2016). Islam and democracy: debating electoral involvement on the Kenya coast. Islamic Africa 7(1): 19-43.
- Cheeseman, N., Lynch, G. & Willis, J. (2016). Decentralisation in Kenya: the governance of governors. The Journal of Modern African Studies 54(01): 1-35.
- Willis, Justin (2015). The Southern Problem: representing Sudan's southern provinces to c. 1970. Journal of African History 56(02): 281-300.
- Willis, Justin (2015). “Peace and order are in the interests of every citizen” Elections, violence and state legitimacy in Kenya, 1957-74. International Journal of African Historical Studies 48(1): 99-116.
- Willis, Justin, Cheesman, Nic & Lynch, Gabrielle (2014). Democracy and its discontents: understanding Kenya’s 2013 elections. Journal of Eastern African Studies 8(1): 2-24.
- Willis, Justin & Chome, Ngala (2014). Marginalization and participation on the Kenya coast: the 2013 elections. Journal of Eastern African Studies 8(1): 115-134.
- Willis, Justin & Gona, George (2013). Tradition, tribe and state in Kenya: the Mijikenda Union, 1945-1980. Comparative Studies in Society and History 55(2): 448-473.
- Willis, J. & Gona, G. (2013). Pwani C Kenya? Memory, documents and secessionist politics in coastal Kenya. African Affairs 112(446): 48-71.
- Willis, Justin. (2011). Sudan's election: voting for authoritarians. Africa Review 3(1): 47-64.
- Willis, Justin. (2011). Tribal gatherings: colonial spectacle, native administration and local government in Condominium Sudan. Past and Present 211(1): 243-268.
- Willis, Justin & al-Batthani, Atta (2010). "We changed the laws." Electoral practice and malpractice in Sudan since 1953. African Affairs 109(435): 191-212.
- Mutisya, Dorothy. & Willis, Justin. (2009). Budget drinking: alcohol consumption in two Kenyan towns. Journal of Eastern African Studies 3(1): 55-73.
- (2008). What has he got up his sleeve? Advertising the Kenyan presidential candidates in 2007. Journal of Eastern African Studies 2: 264-71.
- Willis, J, Cheeseman, N. & Lynch, G. (2017). Kenya 2017: the interim election.
- Willis, Justin & Mwakimako, Hassan (2014). Islam, politics and violence on the Kenya coast.