Dr Godwin R. Murunga

Godwin Murunga is the Acting Director of the African Leadership Centre and also a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Nairobi. He holds a BA and MA from Kenyatta University and an MA and Ph.D. in History from Northwestern University, Ill., USA. Dr. Murunga is a former Executive Committee Member of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) based in Dakar, Senegal. He is widely published in a number of international journals including Africa Development, African and Asian Studies, Journal of Eastern African Studies, Journal of Higher Education in Africa and the AU Herald, to name but these few. He is currently co-editor of Journal of Contemporary African Studies.

Dr. Murunga’s publications include Spontaneous or Premeditated? Post-Election Violence in Kenya, Discussion Paper 57 (Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute, 2011), a co-edited book titled Kenya: The Struggle for Democracy (CODESRIA in association with Zed Books, 2007), an edited collection of essays by Issa G. Shivji, Where is Uhuru? Reflections on the Struggle for Democracy in Africa (Oxford: Fahamu Books, 2009) and a co-edited special issue of Africa Development, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2008 on The Politics of Knowledge Production on Africa: Nurturing the Fourth Generation.

Dr. Murunga is a recipient of several research grants from CODESRIA, IDRC, Ford Foundation, and Heinrich Böll Foundation, among others. He was a visiting research fellow at the African Studies Centre of Oxford University in 2008 and at the Nordic Africa Institutes African Guest Researchers Fellowship in 2009. Dr. Murunga has also served on several advisory boards and evaluation committees of several funding and Fellowship programmes including those constituted by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Social Science Research Council and Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

Currently, Dr. Murunga focuses his research on the history of urbanization, the politics of knowledge production, Higher Education in Africa, democratization processes in Africa and on masculinities in Africa. He is working on a co-edited book Kenya: The Political Economy of a New Constitutional Order under contract with Zed Books.


Spontaneous or Premeditated? Mapping Post-Election Protest Violence in Kenya, Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) Discussion Paper (forthcoming).

Edited collection essays by Issa G. Shivji, Where is Uhuru? Reflections on the Struggle for Democracy in Africa, Oxford: Fahamu Books, 2009, iv+240pp. ISBN 978-1-906387-46-4.

Edited with Shadrack W. Nasong’o, Kenya: The Struggle for Democracy, Dakar and London: CODESRIA in association with Zed Books, 2007, xxi+344pp. ISBN: 978-1-84277-832-6 (Hb) 978-1 84277-857-9 (Pb).

Co-Edited (with Souleymane Bachir Diagne), Africa Development, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2008 Special Issue on The Politics of Knowledge Production on Africa: Nurturing the Fourth Generation.

2009: “Refugees at Home? Coping with Somalia Conflict in Nairobi, Kenya,” in Michel Ben Arrous and Lazare Ki-Zerbo (eds.) African Studies in Geography from Below, Dakar: CODESRIA Book Series, pp. 198-232.

2007: “The state, its reform, and the question of legitimacy in Kenya,” in George Klay Kieh, Jr. (ed.) Beyond State Failure and Collapse: Making the State Relevant in Africa, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2007. Originally published in Identity, Culture and Politics: An Afro-Asian Dialogue, Vol. 5, No. 1, (2004), pp. 179-206.

2005: “Inherently Unhygienic Races: Plague and the Origins of Settler Dominance in Nairobi, 1899-1907,” in Steven J. Salm & Toyin Falola (eds.) African Urban Spaces in Historical Perspectives, Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2005, pp. 98-130 

“African Women in the Academy and Beyond,” in Oyeronke Oyewumi (ed.) African Gender Studies: A Reader, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005, pp. 397-416 (ISBN 1-4039-6283-9). Also published in Jenda: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies, 2, 1, 2000 at http://www.jendajournal.com/ and reprinted in Nigerian Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 28, Nos. 1&2, 2002, pp. 340-376

2002: with Shadrack W. Nasong’o, “Bent on Self Destruction: The Kibaki Regime in Kenya,” in Journal of Contemporary African Studies, vol. 24, no. 1, 2006, pp. 1-28

2005-06: «Anesthésie du débat public au Kenya», in Manière de voir 84 DÉCEMBRE 2005 - JANVIER 2006, pp. 44-45

2005: “A Note on the Knowledge Question in Africa’s Development,” in CODESRIA Bulletin, Nos. 3 & 4, 2005, pp. 8-11. Also published as « Note sur la problematique du Savoir dans le developpement de l’Afrique,» in CODESRIA Bulletin,  No. 3&4, 2005, pp. 8-10

 “Conflict in Somalia and Crime in Kenya: Understanding the Trans-Territoriality of Crime,” in African and Asians Studies, Vol. 4, Nos. 1&2, pp. 137-161.

2003: “Ethnicity, Community Relations and Civil Society in Contemporary Kenya: Trends and Field Experiences,” in Ufahamu, Vol. XXIX, Nos. 2/3 Winter/Spring 2003, pp. 15-65.

2002: “A Critical Look at Kenya’s Non-Transition to Democracy,” in Journal of Third World Studies, Vol. XIX, No. 2, Fall 2002, pp. 89-111. 

2001: “Private Universities in the Kenyan Higher Education Experience,” in CODESRIA Bulletin, Nos 1&2, 2001, pp. 11- 15. Also published in French as « Les universités privées et l’expérience kenyane en matière d’enseignement supérieur, » Bulletin du CODESRIA, Nos, 1 & 2, 2001, pp. 13-18

2000: Civil Society and the Democratic Experience in Kenya: A Review of “Constitution-Making from the Middle: Civil Society and Transition Politics in Kenya, 1992-1997”, Sareat & Mwengo, Nairobi, 1999, in African Sociological Review, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2000, pp. 97-118.

1999: Urban Violence in Kenya’s Transition to Pluralist Politics, 1982-1992, in Africa Development, Vol. XXIV, Nos. 1 & 2, (1999), pp. 165-198