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Centre of African Studies: People


Peter Chonka

Peter Chonka
Peter Chonka
Edinburgh UK
Research Interests
Somalia, Political Islam, Popular Religion and Institutional Religion, nationalism and the post-colonial state in Africa, State-making, Horn of Africa, Political identities and citizenship, Ideology, Media and society

My Background

My previous degrees were completed at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (BA Chinese and Politics, MSc. State Society and Development). Before coming to Edinburgh I was based for two years in Hargeisa, Somaliland/Northern Somalia, and worked for the University of Hargeisa establishing and administering a new English language teaching program. Between 2012 and 2015 I worked as a Somali interpreter for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Somalia. My work involved visiting places of detention across Somalia and engaging with detainees, governmental authorities and arms-carriers with the aim of improving conditions of detention and promoting respect for International Humanitarian Law in the context of the ongoing conflict. I have recently submitted my PhD thesis on Somali language news media, discourses of Somali nationalism, and state reconfiguration.


‘Spies, stonework, and the suuq: Somali nationalism and the narrative politics of Harakat Al Shabaab Al Mujaahidiin’s online propaganda’ Journal of Eastern African Studies, 10(2) 247-265 (2016)

‘Cartoons in conflict: Amin Arts and transnational geopolitical imagination in the Somali-language public sphere’ Critical African Studies. Published online November 2016.


Twitter: @PeteChonka