Klaas van Walraven

Klaas van Walraven is a historian and political scientist who is currently working on the history of colonialism and decolonisation in French Equatorial Africa. He is particularly interested in biographical perspectives on history, which are pursued through research for a biography of Barthélémy Boganda, priest and politician in Oubangui-Chari (the present-day Central African Republic), 1910-1959. This biographical focus elaborates on the social-history and ‘life-histories’ perspectives that Van Walraven employed in earlier research on the history of decolonisation in Niger, West Africa. This research culminated in a monograph entitled The Yearning for Relief: A History of the Sawaba Movement in Niger (Brill: Leiden & Boston, 2013), which traced the role of the Sawaba movement in the decolonisation of Niger and its rebellion against the French-protected regime during the 1960s (French translation Le désir de calme: L’histoire du mouvement Sawaba au Niger [Presses Universitaires de Rennes: Rennes, 2017 – forthcoming]).

In the past Van Walraven engaged in political science research (international relations) and was co-editor of the Africa Yearbook: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara (Brill Academic Publishers).

Keywords: French Africa; French empire; decolonisation; biography.

Fellow member
African Studies Centre
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