Since the end of the Cold War, policy and scholarly analyses of (in) security in Africa, and beyond, have shifted. Traditional frameworks which conceptualised the phenomenon through the eyes of the state have now given way to those which privilege the perspective of individuals. 'Human Security' takes the human being as the 'referent object' in the consideration of security threats and has thereby placed disease, climate change, poverty, and many other issues at the heart of the security agenda, alongside terrorism and war.
Practitioner and scholarly narratives on (in) security in Africa continue to be dominated, however, by those propounded by national and international political and security elites. We know surprisingly little about how individuals, groups and communities at the local, "everyday" level articulate and understand security threats. This paper therefore seeks to shed light on local and indigenous narratives on (in) security in Eastern Africa, focusing particularly on those which challenge Western epistemologies, notably "witchcraft".
Jonathan's research is focused on the place and agency of African states in the international system, particularly in the realm of security and conflict. Within this he is interested in the role played by African governments in shaping how they are perceived and engaged with by Western actors. He has a particular interest in eastern Africa and the influence of guerrilla heritage on contemporary patterns of governance, conflict and cooperation across the region. He is also interested in how 'knowledge' on African security and conflict is negotiated and constructed in a range of settings and is currently leading two Research Council-funded projects on this topic.
In 2015, Jonathan was awarded the SCOPUS (Elsevier/US-UK Fulbright Commission) Young Researcher of the Year (Social Sciences).