Research Projects

Current research projects of MISR Research Fellows & Research Associates


  • Prof. Mahmood Mamdani - I am currently completing a book project on different historical experiences of settler colonialism (US, South Africa, Israel) and extreme violence (Germany, South Sudan). My aim is to think of justice in the aftermath of extreme violence.


  • Dr. Virginie Tallio -  I am currently working on two research projects. The first interrogates the cessation of status that is too often taken as the end of the “life as a refugee,” and also investigates relations between refugee communities in Uganda, i.e. where different nationalities are hosted in a context largely depicted as being extremely favorable to refugees but with resources that tend towards being scarcer. The second research interest revolves around oil, exploring the materiality and the symbolism of oil, and their weight into the strengthening of the national identity. The project also interrogates the links between oil and development, more especially within the realm of Corporate Social Responsibility.


  • Dr. Samson Bezabeh – I am presently finalizing my second book. The book focuses on the political history of Djibouti. Tentatively entitled as “Politics at the Red Sea Gate: Romance, Tragedies and Opportunities in Postcolonial Djibouti,” the book examines how the romantic political dreams that Djiboutians had at the threshold  of independence developed into tragedies and opportunities.


  • Dr. Benedetta Lanfranchi – I am currently working on a new methodological approach for research in African philosophy. This approach builds on the major debates raised by contemporary African intellectuals in the late 1970s and 1980 regarding the nature, sources, and history of African Philosophy, and reads them closely with the thought of Italian political theorist and activist Antonio Gramsci, as well as with the theoretical developments in the political anthropology school inspired by Gramsci. My aim is to think deeply on the role and significance of ‘fieldwork’ for a theoretical discipline such as philosophy, especially in contexts of communally generated and orally transmitted traditions of thought. This aspect of my research is to feature prominently in my book project on Acholi traditions of justice, which I am currently developing from my doctoral dissertation, ‘Judging Crimes Against Humanity in Acholi. A Philosophical Interpretation of the Use of Acholi Traditional Justice Mechanisms in the Aftermath of the War in northern Uganda’. I am also working on co-edited volume of essays in African Philosophy.


  • Dr. Lawyer Kafureeka – My work seeks to understand influencing variables of Global Oil and Gas prices, and in particular, understanding how the digital revolution technology-mix with other emerging technologies, is influencing the price trends in the industry, and its implications for developing countries. I am also studying rapid urbanization, the land question and development paradox in Uganda. I ask who are those who lose (in various ways), who retain their pieces and who in the process acquire lands? What are the drivers of loss and the modes of acquisition? In what activities is the money from land used? I am also studying the question of late industrialization in the context of a globalizing and digitalizing world.  What are the challenges, options and opportunities to industrialize for a developing country like Uganda with an economy that remains agriculture-dependent? I am trying to understand whether there are leverageable lessons in the theoretical, case-comparable and historical environment, which could be of use in the 21st century late industrialization ambition-driven countries in Africa.


  • Prof. Abdu Kasozi – I am currently developing a survey of academic staff capacities and postgraduate needs of Ugandan universities. The aims of the survey are to: Assess current qualifications of staff in Uganda’s universities; to map the PhD holders’ numbers in the university system; to assess PhD training status and training capacities of each university; and to catalogue and make an inventory of PhD graduates in training. My research responds to the need currently to update data on the quantity and quality of the academic staff in Uganda’s universities in order to establish staff training needs.


  • Dr. Grace-Edward Galabuzi – My current work’s focus is investigating resource extraction policy in Sub Saharan Africa and in particular the extent to which it addresses the question of local community benefits from extractive activities. Are local communities receiving any significant welfare wins from mining and to what extent and in what ways can local communities capture benefits from resource extraction? What is the role of the state and government policy in facilitating that prospect? I am also looking at the global-local dimensions of labour market precarity and their particular expression in and implications for the African and (Ugandan) contexts. The broader context is investigating how the political economy of global - North/South - capitalist relations of production is articulated through a global division of labour responsible for South-North and South-South migrations and its implications for modes of livelihoods in the places where it touches ground such as Uganda or Africa more broadly. Further, are these economies being proletarianized by these processes in any significant ways and if so what politics of labour will emerge from them?


  • Dr. Lyn Ossome – My current research in feminist political economy has a dual thematic focus. The first is collaborative and seeks to develop theoretical perspectives on the agrarian question of gendered labour. The project draws on empirical evidence from the global south to critique the idea of industrialization as the basic premise of agrarian transformation. In a book-length study, the research examines how contradictions borne of super-exploited and self-exploitative labour in the social reproduction of the global rural and surplus populace present gendered labour as a contemporary agrarian question. The second interrogates the ways in which the changing nature, aims and forms of the neoliberalizing state appropriate and reproduce social, political and cultural identities as modes of social control and legibility to the postcolonial state.


  • Dr. Florence Ebila – My research focuses on the narrative about food and the evocation of history, memory and nostalgia in Alibhai’s Brown’s autobiography; The Settler’s Cookbook. I investigate how the author uses her personal story to bring out broader themes of migration, racial and ethnic segregation and prejudice; these are significant themes that continue to affect the lives of migrants and immigrants. Through detailed description of food, of the ingredients and of the value attached to the different kinds of food that she writes about, Alibhai’s story ceases to be just a mere personal recollection of her childhood memories or of her life in Uganda and later in the United Kingdom. It is a story of survival, loss and perseverance. The aim of my study is to critically analyze the theme of nostalgia and identify the link between food and nostalgia as represented in this autobiography.