SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Dr Alastair Fraser

MA (Edinburgh), MSc (SOAS), DPHIL (Oxford)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications


Alastair Fraser
Department of Politics and International Studies

Admissions Tutor: MSc Politics of Africa

Centre of African Studies


Dr Alastair Fraser
Email address:
+44(0) 20 7898 4733
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic 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


For a list of and links to a longer list of Alastair’s publications, see: Alastair's publications


Alastair is a Member of the Editorial Working Group of the Review of African Political Economy, 2010-present roape.

He is also a Fellow of the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research, Lusaka, Zambia. 2014-present saipar.


Programmes Convened
Modules Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Hang Zhou, Bring African Bureaucracies back in: Negotiations and Implementation of Chinese Development Engagement in Uganda
  • Munalula Ngenda, State and Society in Zambia: 1990 - 2010
Principal supervisor - completed:
  • Stuart John Barton, History. (Cam, 2015)
    Policy Signals and Market Responses: A History of Zambia’s Relationship with Foreign Capital. 
  • Maha Rafi Atal, Politics. (Cam, 2018)
    When Companies Rule: Multinational corporations as governing authorities in India, Kenya and South Africa
Second supervisor - completed
  • Stephanie Diepeveen, Politics. (Cam, 2016)
    Information flows, mobile phones and practices of citizenship in Kenya.
Principal supervisor - ongoing
  • Calum Fisher, Politics (SOAS, 2014 entry)
    Being Political in Malawi – The lives and work of MPs.
  • Gabrielle Bayle, Politics (SOAS, 2015 entry)
    National self-perception and international aid conditionality: A case study of Ethiopia
  • Ibrahim Nyei, Politics (SOAS, 2016 entry)
    Decentralisation reforms and the implications for power and authority relations in a centralised unitary state. A study of decentralisation reforms in Liberia
  • 'Munalula Ngenda, Politics (SOAS, 2019 entry)
    State and Society in Zambia: 1990 - 2010
Committee member
  • Mr Matthew Beck Gordon, Politics, (SOAS, 2017 entry)
  • Ms Stephanie Griffin Hale, Politics, (SOAS, 2016 entry)
  • Miss Sheenah Kaliisa, Politics, (SOAS, 2016 entry)
  • Mr Mesrob Kassemdjian, Politics, (SOAS, 2016 entry)
  • Mr Dwi Kiswanto, Politics, (SOAS, 2016 entry)
  • Mr Chung Yin Kwan, Politics, (SOAS, 2016 entry)
  • Mr Magsud Mammadov, Politics, (SOAS, 2016 entry)
  • Mr Joshua Eliot Rigg, Politics, (SOAS, 2016 entry)
  • Mr Hang Zhou, Politics, (SOAS, 2016 entry)
  • Ms Leda Betti, Politics, (SOAS, 2016 entry)
  • Ms Robyn Waite, Development. (SOAS, 2015 entry)
  • Ms Anna E. Kensicki, Space, Time and Narrative: Mapping Mediated, Experiential and Imaginary Constructs (SOAS,)
  • Mr Hangwei Li, Media Politics In A Globalised World:The transformation of Chinese media in Africa (SOAS)

"I am interested in supervising PhD research on almost any topic about Zambia. I am also happy to consider proposals focused on other Southern African countries or on my thematic interests in: 1) relations between African citizens, African states and foreign investors, foreign donors and foreign NGOs; 2) the relationships between technocracy, democratisation and populist modes of political mobilisation; 3) the politics of social media and interactive broadcasting; or 4) decentralisation and/or evolving political structures and power relations at a local level."


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.



Fraser, Alastair (2017) 'Post-populism in Zambia: Michael Sata’s rise, demise and legacy'. International Political Science Review, (38) 4, pp 456-472.

Monographs and Working Papers

Fraser, Alastair (2016) Let's Be Responsible Citizens! Contesting the agenda of a sponsored call-in radio programme. PIMA Working Paper #6. Cambridge, UK: Centre of Governance & Human Rights (CGHR).

Fraser, Alastair (2016) The Political Economy of Sponsored Call-In Radio in Zambia. PiMA Working Paper #5. Cambridge, UK: Centre of Governance & Human Rights (CGHR).

Lopes, Claudia Abreu and Mudhai, Okoth Fred and Mitullah, Winnie V. and Simutanyi, Neo and Balongo, Sam and Diepeveen, Stephanie and Fraser, Alastair and Milapo, Nalukui and Mwangi, Sammy and Tembo, Emmanuel and Srinivasan, Sharath (2015) Interactive media audiences in Africa : A comparison of four constituencies in Kenya and Zambia. Cambridge: CGHR.

Simutanyi, Neo and Fraser, Alastair and Milapo, Nalukui (2015) Background Pape: Politics and Interactive Media in Zambia. Cambridge: CGHR.


Mudhai, Okoth Fred and Lopes, Claudia Abreu and Mitullah, Winnie V. and Simutanyi, Neo and Fraser, Alastair and Milapo, Nalukui and Mwangi, Sammy and Srinivasan, Sharath (2014) 'Background Paper: PiMA Survey Design and Methodology'.


This list was last generated on Sunday, 2nd October 2022, 10:56 Europe/London.