Ian Christopher Taylor

Professor of International Relations

Ian Zanzibar

9 January 1969 – 22 February 2021


Earlier in February 2021, Ian was awarded a D.Litt. by the University of St Andrews. This was in recognition of his lifetime’s academic achievements, based on a portfolio of his published works. Click here to view a video of the conferment ceremony.


I am a Professor in International Relations and African Political Economy in the School of International Relations, University of St. Andrews and Chair Professor in the School of International Studies, Renmin University of China in Beijing.

I am also Professor Extraordinary in Political Science at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, a visiting professor at the University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and an Honorary Professor in the Institute of African Studies, Zhejiang Normal University, China.

I’ve been lucky enough to have been invited to present my research in 55 different countries, ranging from Estonia to New Zealand, North Korea to Argentina.

I am currently joint editor of the Journal of Modern African Studies.

My h-index is currently 48 and my work has been cited by others over 9,500 times.

Before entering academia, I worked for the UNHCR in Hong Kong on the Vietnamese “Boat People” issue.

I earned a DPhil from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa and an MPhil from the University of Hong Kong. I also hold a teaching certificate from the International Language Institute, Cairo, Egypt and a certificate in Theology from the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Prior to joining St Andrews, I taught African politics and development in the Department of Political and Administrative Studies at the University of Botswana for four years.

I have also taught courses at Ben-Gurion University (Israel); University of Edinburgh; University of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia); Dalhousie University (Canada); University of Hong Kong; Mbarara University (Uganda); Renmin University (China); and Zhejiang Normal University (China).

I have visited 44 African countries (plus RĂ©union) and am well-travelled in Europe, Asia, and North America.

My work has been translated into Afrikaans, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.