Mr James Hamill



BA (Leicester), MA (York)

Contact Details

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2710
  • Fax: +44 (0)116 252 5082
  • Email:
  • Office: Attenborough Tower 1005
  • Office Hours: TBC

Personal details


James Hamill is a lecturer at the University of Leicester and has a strong focus on a range of issues in South African foreign policy, particularly the country’s role in building sub-regional and continental security, policy towards Zimbabwe, and Pretoria’s aspirations to play a middle power role in international relations.


Hamill teaches across a range of modules in the department at both the Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels. At the Undergraduate level he is the module leader on ‘International Relations Since 1945’ (Year 1), ‘Globalisation’ (Year 2), and ‘South African Politics’ and ‘South African Foreign Policy’ (Year 3). At postgraduate level he is the module leader for ‘Post Cold War World Order’. This is a core module for students taking the MA in International Relations & World Order and an optional module for other MA students. He is also the module leader for ‘South African Foreign Policy: The Diplomacy of Isolation,’ an optional module available to all MA students.


Recent journal articles

Book chapter


My principal research interest is party politics in South Africa, particularly the implications for democratic government of the electoral dominance of the African National Congress, and the prospects for opposition politics in South Africa.

Current research

I am currently working on a number of projects:

  • A jointly authored monograph with Professor John Hoffman on South Africa’s ‘quiet diplomacy’ approach towards Zimbabwe (for Palgrave).  
  • An article assessing the rise to power and presidential record of Jacob Zuma.
  • An article assessing the supposed ‘leftism’ of President Jacob Zuma and the prospects for the South African left in view of its close association with Zuma.

Recent research activities

From 2004-2009 my research on ANC dominance in South Africa was sponsored by the British Academy. This supported a major research trip to South Africa in 2007 and generated a number of publications on South Africa for The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, The World Today, Contemporary Review and a significant article on the 2009 general election for Politikon. In collaboration with Professor John Hoffman I have also worked on a number of articles on the Zimbabwean crisis and the South African response for The Round Table and Contemporary Review. I also organised a one day conference on South African domestic and foreign policy at the University of Leicester in September 2009 which was attended by some of the most prominent authorities in the field.


I am currently supervising doctoral students in the areas of southern African development corridors, the African Union, UK policy towards apartheid South Africa, and transitional justice in Rwanda.

Learn more and apply for research degrees in Politics and International Relations.


  • ‘Zimbabwe: The Tragedy of Quiet Diplomacy’, Africa Today, July 2008.
  • ‘For Zimbabwe, national unity is  a dead end’, The Guardian 2 July 2008.
  • South Africa: Struggling to COPE?’, Africa Today, February 2009.
  • South Africa: Can Zuma Deliver?’, Africa Today, June 2009.
  • Assessing South Africa In all its Dimensions’ World Politics Review, January 2010.

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Contact Details

School of Politics and International Relations

University of Leicester
University Road
Leicester, LE1 7RH
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2702


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