Dr David Kiwuwa

Acting Head of International Studies, Associate Professor in International Studies, School of International Studies

International Studies / Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Staff Profile Portrait Image



Room 385, IEB


University of Nottingham Ningbo China


199 Taikang East Road, Ningbo, 315100, China


+86 (0)574 8818 0000-8989


BA Hons (UoM),


PhD (UoN)



  • Introduction to Comparative Politics (Year 2)
  • Introduction to European Politics (Year 3)
  • Policies, Policy making and Law in the European Union (Year 3)
  • Nationalism, Ethnicity and the State (Year 4)


  • Issues in Contemporary Political Communication (Post Graduate)
  • Peace and Conflict Resolution
  • Democratization in Asia, Africa and Latin America

Previous taught/developed programmes:

2003-2007 – Convenor and or tutor (UON), (a) Power and Leadership: Democracy and the State (b) Power and Leadership: Beyond Institutional Democracy, Security and Foreign Policy Analysis, Problems in Global Politics, Politics and Political Systems of Sub-Saharan Africa, History of Great Power Intervention in Africa, War and the Clash of Ideologies, The Contemporary World Since 1945, Imperialism and Decolonisation (undergraduate); (UNNC) Introduction to European Politics; Understanding the Politics of the European Union  

PhD Supervision

I welcome supervision of PhD projects on the broad areas of ethnic, identity and nationalists conflict, democratic transition and democratisation, security and peacekeeping, Nation and Peace Building and Conflict Resolution, post conflict reconstruction and Regime types and China-Africa Relations. I have a general specialism on areas of Great Lakes Region and Rwanda in particular. 

Former PhD student:

Li Kanzhen: China and its Peacekeeping role in Africa (completed) 

Research interests

Expertise Summary

David E. Kiwuwa is an Associate Professor in the School of International Studies. Previously he was Acting Head of School, Deputy Head of School and currently the School Director of Research and Faculty Coordinator of the Distinguished Speakers’ Series. He earned his PhD at the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham UK where he was later Faculty in both SPIIR and the School of History before his secondment to Ningbo. Most recently he was a visiting fellow, Sydney Democratic Network, School of Social Sciences at University of Sydney (Australia), a visiting research Fung Global Fellow, at Princeton Institute of International and Regional Studies, Princeton University (USA), and a previous winner of the Lord Bryce prize of the Political Science Association. His research mainly looks at democratic transition and democratization processes in deeply divided societies, ethnic and nationalism politics, conflict analysis, electoral studies and China-Africa contemporary political relations. He is a published author with a major academic press and a number of discipline Journals. He is a political commentator who has been often quoted in a number of leading presses around the world and his opinion pieces carried by CNN, the Guardian, The Conversation to mention but a few.

Principal research interests

  • Democratic Theory, Democratic Transition and Comparative Democratization
  • Conflict and Post conflict Reconstruction
  • Ethno-politics, Violence and Ethnic Conflict
  • Politics and Political Systems of Sub-Saharan Africa, African Politics
  • China-Africa Relations

Current Research Projects

  • The Politics of Language: From Francophone to Anglophone, the Rwandan Dilemma
  • Trust and Democratization: The Case of Rwanda
  • Bringing Culture back in; The CCP and Chinese Cultural leadership
  • China and the Politics of Infrastructural Development in the Global South

Awards / Patents

Prestigious Awards

Lord Bryce Prize for best International Studies/Comparative Politics Dissertation 2005/6 awarded by the Political Science Association of the UK


Recent publications


Ethnic Politics and Democratic Transition in Rwanda, London: Routledge (2012)

Peer Reviewed articles:

'Democracy and the Politics of Power alternation in Africa’ Journal of Contemporary Politics vol.19, no.3 (2013)

Democratization and Ethnic Politics: Rwanda's Electoral Legacy, Journal of Ethnopolitics vol.4 no.4 (2005) also in Beiber Florian and Stepan Wolff (2009) eds., The Ethnopolitics of Elections, Routledge

‘Internationalizing Curriculum’, Political Science and Politics, vol. 42 no.3 (2009) with Rachel Ellett and Joseph Roberts

Book chapters

“Explaining Détente in the Great Lakes Region” in the Karl Cordell and Stefan Wolff eds., (2016) Routledge Handbook of Ethnic Conflict, Second Edition, London.

“Not Ethnicity but Race: Unity and Conflict in Rwanda Since the Genocide” in Santosh C Saha ed., (2006) Perspective on Contemporary Ethnic Conflict: Primal Violence or the Politics of Conviction, London: Lexington Books. (with Helen Hintjens)

'Post Ethnic Conflict Reconstruction and the Question of National Identity in Asia and Africa’ in Santosh Saha ed., 2007 The Politics of Ethnicity and National Identity, New York: Peter Lang


‘A Hypothetical Model of a New Business System Responsive to the Global Environment: A Connected Model, Journal of Transitional Studies Review vol.16 no.2 (2009) with Jia Yi, Lu Shenglan and Zhuang Xiaona

“Why its not business as usual for leaders south of the Sahara” The Conversation 15th May 2015

“Al Bashir: South Africa’s glory and Shame” The Conversation, 19th June 2015

“Burundi and Rwanda at 53: What sets the conjoined Twins apart” The Conversation 8th July 2015

“Africa’s old men’s club out of touch with continent’s suave burgeoning youth” The Conversation 8th October 2015

“The Gambia keeps dream of deepening democracy in Africa alive” The Conversation, 6th December 2016

“Why there may be a silver lining to Ali Bongo’s power grab in Gabon” The Conversation, 4th March 2018

“Why China’s removal of term limits is a gift to African despots” The Conversation, 8th March 2018

“Buhari and Trump: a chance to reset Nigeria’s relationship with the US” The Conversation, 26th April 2018

“Rapprochement between two leaders isn’t enough to fix Kenya’s deep divisions” The Conversation, 10th May 2018

Recent papers at Conferences, Workshops & Seminars

‘The Politics of Term Limits in Africa’, The Presence of the Past? Africa in the Twenty First Century, International Conference hosted by the ASAUK at University of Central Lancaster, 11th September 2008.

‘Teaching Political Science in China’, American Political Science Association Teaching and Learning Conference, Baltimore, 6th- 8th February 2009.

‘Understanding the Politics of Term Limits in Africa’, New York Political Science Association Conference, John Jay College, New York, 24th-25th April 2009.

Conference Organizer and Chair/Discussant, International Conference on China’s 30 years of Opening up and Reform, Continuities and Change, University of Nottingham, Ningbo 16th-18th September 2009.

Key Note Address

‘Quality Assurance and staff Development, The University of Nottingham Experience,’ China Annual National Education Reform Conference, Xi’an China December 2009

‘Examining Rwanda’s 2008 Parliamentary and 2010 presidential elections, is the jury still out’? ASUK Biennial Conference, St Anthony’s College, University of Oxford 16th-19th September 2010

‘Revisiting Rwanda’s democratic transition credentials’ African Diaspora and Diasporas in Africa: 53rd African Studies Annual Meeting, San Francisco November 18-21 2010

Panel Chair, Panel: Elections and Political Parties, African Diaspora and Diasporas in Africa: 53rd African Studies Annual Meeting: Westin st. San Francisco November 18-21 2010

Panel Chair, 50 years of African Liberation, 54th African Studies Annual Meeting, Washington DC, November 16th- 19th 2011

‘Examining Rwanda’s Democratisation-Development Debate’ Integrating Global Society Workshop, University of Nottingham, 27th January 2012

‘When democracy killed: Revisiting the Rwanda Genocide narrative’ African Studies Association (UK) Conference: University of Leeds, September 6-8th 2012

‘Rwanda Genocide and the vagaries of democracy’ 55th Annual African Studies Association (USA) conference, Research Frontiers in the Study of Africa: Philadelphia, 29th November – 1st December 2012.

“Bonjour,? oh no we speak English: Rwanda’s Peace Building and the Politics of Language” The Politics of International Diffusion: Regional and Global Dimension, International Studies Association Annual Convention, San Francisco, 3rd-6th April 2013

Invited speaker, ‘Balloting Rwanda and the Democratic Question’ Indaba African Studies Speakers Series, Princeton University, 16th October 2013

Invited speaker, ‘Lost In translation’: Understanding Rwanda’s linguistic shift, Fung Global Speakers Series, Princeton University, 27th February 2014 

Post-Colonial Legacies of Colonialism Conference, “The Past, Present and the Future: Examining Rwanda’s “Relanguaging””, Language and Colonialism Workshop, Center for International Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, New York University, New York, 4th -5th April 2014.

“Relanguaging the state: Rwanda’s Post conflict reconstruction gambit” Rethinking Violence, Reconstruction and Reconciliation, African Studies Association (USA) Annual Conference, 20th -23rd November 2014, Indianapolis: Indiana

 “Speaking the language of the world: Standardizing English language use in Rwanda” Language and Authority: The authority of Standardization workshop, Princeton International and Studies, Princeton University, February 26th to 27th February 2015.