Julie Lunde Lillesæter/PRIO
Julie Lunde Lillesæter/PRIO

Kristian Hoelscher has been granted YRT funding from the Research Council of Norway for the three-year project Political Transformation in African Cities (PACE). As project leader, Kristian will collaborate with Sean Fox from the University of Bristol, Jeffrey Paller from the University of San Francisco, Taibat Lawanson from the University of Lagos and Melanie Phillips from UC Berkeley.


Over the course of three years, PACE will examine the question: How does urban growth in Africa affect political and societal change?

It does this by undertaking continent-wide data collection on the political dynamics of African cities, and survey data collection and qualitative fieldwork in Accra, Kampala, Lagos, Lusaka and Nairobi.

Through this research, the project aims to:

  • Understand how urban growth shapes political change in African cities.
  • Identify how political change in African cities affects broader socio-political change.
  • Advance the empirical measurement of Africa's urban polities to catalyse new scholarship and support evidence-based policy.
  • Synthesise and communicate findings in support of the Sustainable Development Goal agenda, particularly Goal 11 to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

More information about PACE will follow, and the planned start-up of the project is August 2021.