Department of Politics and International Studies

Professor Julia Gallagher

Key information

Department of Politics and International Studies Professor of African Politics Centre of African Studies Member
Department of Politics and International Studies
Russell Square: College Buildings
Email address
Telephone number
+44(0) 207 898 4753
Support hours
Thursdays 3:00pm- 5:00pm (link in Bio)


Julia Gallagher is a Professor in African Politics. Her research explores citizens’ conceptions of statehood and state-society relations, combining political, social, aesthetic and psychoanalytic theory with extensive fieldwork. She has written on UK-African relations, Images of Africa and Zimbabwean conceptions of the state in relation to the wider world.

Julia currently leads an ERC-funded project on architecture and statehood in Africa.

She is a Senior Research Fellow at the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study, University of Johannesburg, a member of the Editorial Board of African Affairs and a member of the Advisory Board of the John and Elnora Ferguson Centre for African Studies, University of Bradford. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Julia served as a specialist advisor on an Inquiry into UK-Africa relations for the House of Lords Committee on International Relations and Defence, 2019-20.

Previously Julia taught at Royal Holloway, University of London where she established the Global Politics and Development Centre. She has worked as a science teacher in Zimbabwe, as a political journalist and editor, and for the UK government and a number of NGOs. Julia has a PhD and MSc from SOAS and a BSc in Physics from the University of Manchester.

For academic support hours, use this link: MS Teams

Research interests

Julia currently leads a five-year project, Understanding Statehood through Architecture: a comparative study of Africa’s state buildings (ASA). This project draws on fieldwork in countries across 12 countries to explore how African architecture manifests statehood, and how statehood is understood in the ways citizens use, view and engage with the buildings of the state. 

Find out more about Julia’s project:

PhD Supervision

  • African state and politics
  • Urban politics in Africa
  • African politics and arts
Name Title
Matthew Beck Gordon ‘Making Somaliland: Sovereignty and the Social Covenant, 1991- 2019’
Arkmore Kori Parliamentary Committees and Good Governance in Africa: A Comparative Study of Kenya and Zimbabwe
Jessica Ré Phillips Picturing Power: Visual Images of China-Africa Relations
Jessica Ré Phillips Picturing Power: Visual Images of China-Africa Relations


Contact Julia