SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Mr Peter Chonka

BA Politics and Chinese (SOAS, University of London) MSc State Society and Development (SOAS, University of London)
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Department of Politics and International Studies

Teaching Fellow

Mr Peter Chonka
Email address:
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
Wed 9am - 10am and 11am - 12 noon
Thesis title:
‘Imagining the Somali lands: local news media, a transnational public sphere and the political reconfiguration of Somalia’
Year of Study:
Viva passed Dec 2016


My previous degrees were completed at SOAS (BA Chinese and Politics, MSc. State Society and Development).

After graduating, I spent two years in Somaliland/Northern Somalia working in educational development for the University of Hargeisa. Between 2012 and 2015 I was employed as a Somali interpreter for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) working in places of detention across Somalia.

I have recently submitted my PhD thesis on Somali-language news media, conflict and political reconfiguration in Somalia at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre of African Studies (viva pending).


Peer-reviewed journal articles:

‘Spies, stonework and the suuq: Somali nationalism and the narrative politics of Harakat Al Shabaab Al Mujaahidiin’s online propaganda’ (2016) Journal of Eastern African Studies, 10(2) 247-265 (2016)

Cartoons in conflict: Amin Arts and transnational geopolitical imagination in the Somali-language public sphereCritical African Studies (Published online November 2016)

Book reviews:

‘Elusive Jannah: The Somali diaspora and a borderless Muslim identity’ by Cawo M. Abdi, Reviewed for Journal of Islamic Studies, published online May 2016

‘The real politics of the Horn of Africa: money, war and the business of power’ by Alex de Waal, Reviewed for Journal of National Identities, June 2016

Articles/public engagement:

'Regional' representation and resistance: Is there a link between 2017 elections in Somalia and Somaliland?' Horn of Africa Bulletin 29 (1) January/February 2017

‘What you need to know to understand Al Shabaab’ ‘Long read’ commentary for Centre on Religion and Geopolitics, September 21, 2016

‘News media, political reconfiguration ethno-nationalism in the ‘public spheres’ of Somalia’ Presentation on doctoral research in progress at British Institute in Eastern Africa, Ipsos, EU Somalia Working Group and US Embassy, Nairobi (January 28, February 24/25, May 12 2015). Recording available at:

Performance, protest and 'post-post'-independence nationalism in Hargeysa, capital city of the Republic of Somaliland.” BISA PGN conference paper: School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary, University of London 19th-20th July 2012.



News media and discursive ethno-nationalism in the public spheres of Somalia/Somaliland.