Department of Politics and International Studies

Dr Alastair Fraser

Key information

Department of Politics and International Studies Admissions Tutor: MSc Politics of Africa Centre of African Studies Member
Department of Politics and International Studies
MA (Edinburgh), MSc (SOAS), DPHIL (Oxford)
Russell Square: College Buildings
Email address
Telephone number
+44(0) 20 7898 4733
Support hours
Tuesdays 10:00am - 12 noon - link in Bio to book


I have taught African Politics at SOAS since 2015. I return repeatedly to Zambia as my main research case study and have written about: the politics of ‘call-in’ radio programmes; the political economy of copper mining; African state negotiations with Western aid donors; the ideological effects of African civil society's funding dependence on foreign funding; populist modes of party mobilization; and political contestation in local settings. I was born in South Africa but grew up in the UK. I completed a PhD at the University of Oxford in 2010 and worked at the University of Cambridge from 2010-2015. Before becoming an academic I worked for Action for Southern Africa, the successor organisation to the Anti-Apartheid Movement in the UK.

For private meetings or academic advice sessions, please book a slot on Google Calendar

Research interests

Most of Alastair’s research is about how foreign aid donors, international NGOs and multinational companies promote their preferred economic and social agendas in Africa, and how African elites and citizens respond to these influences. He returns repeatedly to Zambia as a main case study.
Alastair’s research has looked at: the politics of ‘call-in’ radio and television shows; the privatisation of the copper mining industry, including relations between workers, the state and both Western and Chinese investors; the strategies African states deploy to negotiate with foreign aid donors; the ideological effects on trade union leaders and NGO workers of ties to the international development industry; and the relationships between technocracy, democratisation and populist modes of political mobilisation.

PhD Supervision

Name Title
Munalula Ngenda State and Society in Zambia: 1990 - 2010
Mr Hang Zhou Bring African Bureaucracies back in: Negotiations and Implementation of Chinese Development Engagement in Uganda


Contact Alastair