Collaborative Research Group African Politics and International Relations

The CRG African Politics and International Relations provides a network for Europe-based researchers working on politics in Africa. Members have a political science background or work in sociology, anthropology, political geography or other disciplines. In the general spirit of AEGIS, the thematic group represents and promotes interdisciplinary research.

The group fulfils the important task of bringing together those interested in African politics and IR and supporting networking across Europe and Africa, especially through promoting presenting Africa-related research at conferences dealing with politics and IR broadly understood. These include African Studies, Political Science and International Studies conferences in Europe such as ECAS, ECPR and EISA where it seeks to sponsor and support panels. At international conferences such as IPSA and ISA, and with regard to North American conferences, the CRG has established close cooperation with the African Politics Conference Group (APCG) in the United States. It also aims to enhance contact with African research associations. The CRG also serves as platform for sharing information on events, research activities and publications.

In addition, the CRG aims at organizing further thematic conferences on political issues affecting Africa. Indeed, the group was initiated in 2013 through a thematic conference which took place at Leuphana University Lüneburg (Germany) which was co-hosted by AEGIS centres in Bordeaux, Hamburg and Oxford. The group was formally approved by the AEGIS board in 2014. Business meetings where held at ECAS 2015 in Paris and ECAS 2017 in Basel.

Members of this CRG are interested in a variety of research domains related to the African continent, including, but not limited to, the following.

  • democratization and democratic institutions
  • nationalism, nation and state-building
  • parties, elections, and political competition
  • Africa in global politics, global politics in Africa
  • security and development interventions
  • governance by state and non-state actors
  • regional integration

CRG Coordinators

Dr. Giulia Piccolino

Lecturer in Politics and International Relations

Politics and International Studies, Loughborough University (UK)

Email: G.Piccolino [at]


Dr. Charlotte Heyl
Research Fellow
GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies (Germany)
Email: charlotte.heyl [at]
Dr Jörg Wiegratz
Lecturer in Political Economy of Global Development
School of Politics and International Studies, Leeds University
Email: J.Wiegratz [at]

Join the CRG

The CRG is open to researchers interested in African politics and international relations. Membership is free. There is no requirement for members to be affiliated to an AEGIS centre.

If you would like to join the CRG, please send your name, position, institutional affiliation and three to five keywords about your research domains to:


You can also follow us on social media:

Twitter: @CRG_PoliticsIR

Workshop ‘Non-Western Actors in Africa: Interests, Conflicts and Agency’

Organized by the Collaborative Research Group (CRG) African Politics and International Relations

Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies

21-22 January 2021 – Online via Zoom


The Collaborative Research Group (CRG) African Politics and International Relations of the Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies (AEGIS), in collaboration with GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, is organizing a virtual workshop on ‘Non-Western Actors in Africa: Interests, Conflicts and Agency’.

The workshop brings together eight contributions of scholars from different parts of the world who seek to explore recent cases of non-western actors reviving and/or expanding their engagement in Africa.

The AEGIS CRG group is looking for new members and two new convenors - please attend the workshop if you are interested.

In order to register as an external attendant, please go to the EventBrite page of the event:

For full Programme with abstracts, please download the pdf file below.


First day - Thursday, 21 January 2021

9:30 – 9:45 (GMT) - Welcome and introduction from the convenors of the AEGIS CRG (Charlotte Heyl, GIGA – German Institute of Global and Area Studies; Giulia Piccolino, Loughborough University; Jorg Wiegratz, University of Leeds)


9:45-11:15 - Panel 1: Africa and the Middle East: involvement and security implications

Chair: Jorg Wiegratz; Discussant: Yolanda Spies

Alexandra Magnólia Dias, Universidad Nova De Lisboa: "The Horn of Africa and the changing international order"

Tabitha W. Mwangi, King's College London: "Security Implications of Gulf States Activities in the Horn of Africa"

Adedeji Ademola, Obafemi Awolowo University: "A Vital or Superficial Ally? Interrogating Israel’s New Engagement with African Countries"

11:15-11:45 GMT break


11:45-13:15 GMT - Panel 2: China’s involvement in Southern Africa

Chair: Charlotte Heyl, GIGA; Discussant: Mandira Bagwandeen, Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS)

Yuezhou Yang, London School of Economics: "Property Institutions, Politics, and Foreign Investments in Africa"

Tim Zajontz, University of St Andrews : "The Chinese infrastructural fix in Africa: Lessons from the Sino-Zambian ‘road bonanza’"

Innocent Batsani Ncube, School of Oriental and African Studies : "Understanding the phenomenon of Chinese Funded Parliament buildings in Africa"



Second day: Friday, 22 January 2021

9:30 – 11:00 Panel 3: China and India: South South cooperation, rivalry and African agency

Chair: Giulia Piccolino, Loughborough University; Discussant: Pedro Seabra, University of Lisbon

Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Hong Kong Baptist University: "India-China Competition in Africa and the Indian Ocean: The Case of Seychelles "

Elisabeth Hofmann, University Bordeaux Montaigne, Kamala Marius, University Bordeaux Montaigne and Valentin Karm, Barefoot College: "Exporting women empowerment from India to Africa? Reflections based on the case study of the African expansion of Indian NGO Barefoot College"

11:00 – 11:15 Break


11:15-12:15 Final discussion, AEGIS CRG business and goodbye.



Past CRG Events

Panels at ECAS 2019

'Populism and democracy in Africa' convened with Alexander Beresford (University of Leeds):

'Politics after war: armed actors in post-conflict societies' convened with Ewa Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs (Folke Bernadotte Academy):