Jamie Hitchen

Jamie Hitchen is an independent research analyst and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, UK. Recent work has focused extensively on the socio-political impact of social media in Africa and the risk posed be disinformation, conducting studies in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda and The Gambia, and editing reports covering the entire West Africa region. Political processes and structures are another focus of his work, with recent work having focused on elections, the costs of seeking and maintaining electoral office and the politics of urban development.

Jamie has published think-pieces for the Washington Post, Al Jazeera and World Politics Review, co-authored articles for academic journals such as Party Politics and the Journal of Democracy and contributed a chapter on Sierra Leone’s 2018 election to an edited volume on Social Media and Politics in Africa (Zed Books, 2019). His co-edited volume, with Idayat Hassan, ‘WhatsApp and Everyday Life in West Africa: Beyond Fake News’, was published by Bloomsbury in 2022.

Recent publications:

WhatsApp and political communication in West Africa: Accounting for differences in parties’ organization and message discipline online, co-authored with Jonathan Fisher and Elena Gadjanova, Party Politics, July 2023.

WhatsApp and everyday life in West Africa: Beyond fake news, co-edited with Idayat Hassan, Bloomsbury, October 2022.

Uganda’s sub national ‘presidents’: Understanding the evolution, role and function of Resident District Commissioners, Konrad Adenaeur Stiftung Foundation, March 2022

Nigeria’s WhatsApp Politics, Journal of Democracy, July 2020.

WhatsApp and Nigeria’s 2019 elections: Mobilising the people, protecting the vote, Centre for Democracy and Development, July 2019.

Between Excitement and Scepticism: The role of WhatsApp in Sierra Leone’s 2018 elections, in M. Dwyer & T. Molony (eds) Social Media and Politics in Africa: Democracy, Censorship and Security, Zed Books, July 2019.

Steady Progress? 30 years of Museveni and the NRM in Uganda, Africa Research Institute, February 2016.


Associate member
University of Birmingham