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British Academy grant success

Posted on 9 March 2016

Dr Gerard McCann wins British Academy Small Research Grant for East Africa project

Dr Gerard McCann, with Dr Chris Vaughan (Liverpool John Moores University) and Dr Emma Hunter (University of Edinburgh), has won a British Academy Small Research Grant for a project called 'Negotiating region and state after independence: imagining and (de)constructing integration in East Africa, 1960s-70s'. 

The grant will fund fieldwork in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the USA, and build into Dr McCann's wider new research into East Africa's place in the global 1960s. 

Regional political unity in East Africa has been a persistently imagined yet weakly institutionalised agenda since independence. This project will investigate why moves towards unity at independence in the early 1960s collapsed in acrimony by the late 1970s. Was this caused by individual political rivalries among leaders; intra-regional differences in political economy; or increasing consciousness of national differences among a wider public in East Africa?
The project will also recapture the sense of possibility associated with imagining a supra-national African political community in the years following decolonisation. The ideal of unity survives to the present: the East African Community was re-established in 2000. The resilience of such imagination – and the persistent limits on how far leaders have been willing to surrender sovereignty to it – make investigation of the history of regional integration a matter of considerable importance.
Details of international conferences at the centre of the project will be announced in 2017. Watch this space!