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Instructions for authors

To submit an article for consideration, please send it by email (in a .doc or .docx version) to The journal has a 10,000 word limit (including notes and bibliography). Submissions over this limit cannot be considered for publication. Due to the high number of submissions, we are only able to review one article per author at a time. Please make sure you have read and followed the journal's Instructions for Contributors before submitting your work.



Editorial Statement
The Journal of Modern African Studies offers a quarterly survey of developments in modern African politics and society. It seeks to publish original empirical research, which helps to illuminate broader issues affecting Africa. Papers derived from fieldwork in Africa are particularly welcome. Its main emphasis is on current issues in African politics, economies, societies, and international relations, seeking to benefit from the work of specialists in different academic disciplines, and of those who are currently engaged in the affairs of the continent. It does not normally publish general overviews, literature surveys, or expressions of personal opinion. While recognising that sound research is an essential prerequisite for public policy, its central concern is with understanding, rather than with policy implications. Historical studies will normally be accepted only when they are directly relevant to the understanding of modern Africa.

The Journal, which is fully refereed, seeks to promote a deeper understanding of what is happening in Africa today. It is intended not only for students and academic specialists, but also for general readers and practitioners with a concern for modern Africa, living and working both inside and outside the continent. Contributions should therefore be presented in such a way as to be accessible to any informed and interested reader, and papers which take a narrowly technical or disciplinary approach will not be accepted.

Editorial policy avoids commitment to any political viewpoint or ideology, recognising that a wide range of different approaches are needed in order to understand developments in Africa, and that approaches which are unfashionable at one moment may well become widely accepted at another. Controversial papers, and papers which seek to challenge current orthodoxies, are therefore welcome, subject only to the recognition that the purpose of the Journal is to promote understanding, rather than to act as the mouthpiece for polemic.

Contributions are invited from all over the world, and those from scholars and practitioners working in Africa are particularly welcome. Articles should not be longer than 10,000 words, including references and notes. Articles submitted to the Journal should be original contributions and not under consideration for any other publication at the same time. Exceptions to this rule should be clearly indicated at the time of submission. Following publication, authors are entitled to republish their articles elsewhere, in original or amended form, provided that prior publication in The Journal of Modern African Studies is acknowledged.
All correspondence and contributions should be addressed to the Editorial Office at:

Contributors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce any material in which they do not own copyright, to be used in both print and electronic media, and for ensuring that the appropriate acknowledgements are included in their manuscript.

English Language Editing and other Author Services. Authors, particularly those whose first language is not English, may wish to have their English-language manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. This is optional, but may help to ensure that the academic content of the paper is fully understood by the editor and any reviewers. Cambridge University Press partners with a third-party service specialising in language editing, translation, and manuscript preparation. Please see the Language Services page for more information. Please note that the use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author’s own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a journal published by Cambridge.

Submission of an article is taken to imply that it has not previously been published, and has not been submitted for publication elsewhere. If an author is publishing a related article elsewhere, this fact should be stated.

The policy of the Journal is that authors (or in some cases their employers) retain copyright and grant Cambridge University Press a licence to publish their work. In the case of gold open access articles this is a non-exclusive licence. Authors must complete and return an author publishing agreement form as soon as their article has been accepted for publication; the Journal is unable to publish the article without this. All Supplementary Material is subject to the same copyright requirements as primary material. Please download the appropriate publishing agreement here .

For open access articles, the form also sets out the Creative Commons licence under which the article is made available to end users: a fundamental principle of open access is that content should not simply be accessible but should also be freely re-usable. Articles will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY) by default. This means that the article is freely available to read, copy and redistribute, and can also be adapted (users can “remix, transform, and build upon” the work) for any commercial or non-commercial purpose, as long as proper attribution is given. Authors can, in the publishing agreement form, choose a different kind of Creative Commons license (including those prohibiting non-commercial and derivative use) if they prefer.

Please visit Open Access Publishing at Cambridge for information on our open access policies, compliance with major finding bodies, and guidelines on depositing your manuscript in an institutional repository.

Cambridge University Press’s policy on author self-archiving (also known as Green Open Access) applies to The Journal of Modern African Studies. In short, permissions for author self-archiving under this policy are as follows:

Personal WebpageDepartmental / Institutional RepositoryNon-commercial Subject RepositoryCommericalRepository / Social Media Sites
Submitted Manuscript Under ReviewAt any timeAt any timeAt any timeAt any time
Accepted ManuscriptOn acceptanceOn acceptanceOn acceptanceAbstract only
Version of RecordAbstract only plus link to Cambridge siteAbstract only plus link to Cambridge siteAbstract only plus link to Cambridge siteAbstract only plus link to Cambridge site

Book Reviews
Unsolicited book reviews are not accepted. Book reviews and occasional review articles are commissioned by the Book Review Editor:

Peg Murray-Evans, Book Review Editor, JMAS
Department of Politics
University of York
York, YO26 5QY

Instructions for the preparation of manuscripts follow below.



1) All material, including notes and references, should be double-spaced. All text should be in Times New Roman, and in 12-point except as noted; page width is 15.5cm, justified except for titles, with page numbers centred at the bottom of the page.

2) The author’s name, immediately below the title on the first page, should be centred in Small Capitals; immediately beneath, also centred but in italic, is the author’s mailing address and institutional affiliation; beneath that, in 10-point normal script, is the email address. An asterisked footnote on the first page should be used for any acknowledgements. All other footnotes should be numbered consecutively, and be placed at the end of the article. The author’s postal and email address appears on the title page; please inform the editor if this should be different from the address normally used in correspondence.
For multiple authors, each name should be followed by a superscript letter to designate different addresses (NAME SURNAMEa, NAME SURNAMEb, and so on).

3) A brief abstract of 100-150 words, should appear at the head of the article (11-pt).

4) Substantial quotations within the text are not indented, but are printed in 11-pt with a blank line above and below; quotations of fewer than 4 lines to be included in the main text.

5) References should follow the Harvard system, as detailed below.

6) Single quotation marks should be used, with double quotation marks only for quotations within quotations. British English (rather than American English) spelling is preferred, with -ise rather than -ize endings. ‘Per cent’ should be used where the figure preceding it is given in words (‘seven per cent’), % where it is given in numbers (‘53.6%’).

7) Headings and sub-headings:

Title should be centred in bold lower-case (14-pt)

Author’s mailing address and institutional affiliation in italic (12-pt)
email address (10-pt)


Sub-headings should be centred in italic (12-pt)

Sub-sub-headings should be from the left margin in italic (12-pt)

8) Figures should be of publishable quality and include reference to the source. Every figure must be cited in the paper in the order in which they are numbered. Accompanying figure legends must be supplied and placed at the end of the manuscript after the references (and should not be incorporated into the figure itself). Separate files for each figure must be provided, preferably as TIFF, EPS or high resolution JPEG files, and clearly numbered. The specifications for optimum results for printing purposes are given below.

Line artwork
Format: .tif or .eps
Colour mode: black and white (also known as 1-bit)
Resolution: 1200 dpi

Combination artwork (line/tone)
Format: .tif or .eps
Colour mode: grayscale (also known as 8-bit)
Resolution: 800 dpi

Black and white halftone artwork
Format: .tif
Colour mode: grayscale
Resolution: 300 dpi

For further details of file formats please see Cambridge Journals Artwork Guide.

9) Tables, must be cited in the paper and placed at the end of the paper after the references. All Tables must be numbered in the order in which they are cited in the paper. Please consult a previous number of the Journal for the layout of Tables. Table numbers and titles should not be incorporated into the table itself.

10) Notes should be placed (double-spaced, in 10-pt), at the end of the article, under a centred small caps title NOTES. The first line of each note (with the number) should be indented 0.5cm, and the number followed by a full stop / period:

1. This paper draws on my experience as OXFAM’s Country Representative for Sudan between 1985 and 1989 and, more recently, fieldwork completed in March-April 1996 and March 1999 as a consultant working for the UN and EU respectively.

11) Dates should be given in the form 21 November 2007, or in the abbreviated form (e.g. in references and footnotes) 21.11.2007.

12) Competing interests declaration: All authors must include a competing interests declaration in their manuscript (at the end of their text above their references). This declaration will be subject to editorial review and may be published in the article. Competing interests are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on the content or publication of an author’s work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations. If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting must include competing interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors. Example wording for a declaration is as follows: “Competing interests: Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.” If no competing interests exist, the declaration should state “Competing interests: The author(s) declare none”.

Standard Format for References

i) In the Text

The basic format is (Author date: page nos):
(Blundo 1995; Bayart et al. 1997: 53)
(see Bayart 1992: 70)
(New Times 10.4.1997)
(Teshome 2001 int.)
Notes: no comma after author; colon between date and page numbers; semi-colon between two references within the same bracket; ‘&’ rather than ‘and’ between names of authors of joint publications; for publications with three or more authors, use ‘Bayart et al.

Where the author’s name is referred to in the text, it may be omitted in the reference:
‘... the case of Nye’s (1967: 419) now classic definition …’

ii) In the list of References at the end of the article

References normally appear as a single consolidated list, in 11-pt, with first line hanging 0.5cm. under a centred small caps heading REFERENCES. Where a significant number of newspapers, websites or archive references are used, these may be placed in a section of their own, after the main list of references.

Abolafia, M. 1996. Making Markets: opportunism and restraint on Wall Street. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Bayart, J.F., S. Ellis & B. Hibou 1997. La Criminalisation de l’État en Afrique. Paris: Editions Complexe.
Colclough, C. & J. Manor, eds. 1991. States or Markets? Neoliberalism and the development policy debate. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Griswold, W. 2008. Cultures and Societies in a Changing World. Third edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Reno, W. 1995. Corruption and State Politics in Sierra Leone. Cambridge University Press.
Tilley, N. 2008. ‘Modern approaches to policing: community, problem-oriented and intelligence-led’, in T. Newburn, ed. Handbook of Policing. Second edition. Cullompton: Willan, 373–403.

Note: principal words in the book’s main title have a capitalised first letter, but those in the subtitle do not; place of publication for books published in the United States is followed by the standard two-letter code for the state.

Raynaut, C. 1977. ‘Circulation monétaire et évolution des structures socio-économiques chez les Haoussas du Niger’, Africa 47, 2: 160-71.
Scott, J. 1969. ‘The analysis of corruption in developing nations’, Comparative Studies in Society and History 11: 315-41.

Note: the first letter of principal words is not capitalised; the name of the journal (italic) is followed by the volume number (in roman script), issue number: page numbers.

Chapters in Books
Grosh, B. 1988. ‘Comparing parastatal and private manufacturing firms: would privatisation improve performance?’, in P. Coughlin & G.K. Ikiara, eds. Industrialisation in Kenya: in search of a strategy. Nairobi: Heinemann Kenya, 251-64.
Heidenheimer, A. 1989. ‘Perspectives on the perception of corruption’, in Heidenheimer & al. Political Corruption. [where full reference appears elsewhere in the References]

Note: where one or two chapters are cited from the same book, the reference is given in full for each citation; where three or more are cited, the book itself is included in the References under the name of its editor, and the references to individual chapters are given in the abbreviated form above.

Official Publications
United Nations Centre for Environment and Development (UNCED). 1992. Agenda 21: Rio Declaration, Forest Principles. Rio de Janeiro: UNCED.
Zanzibar Revolutionary Government (ZRG). 1990. Zanzibar: the informal sector 1990. Zanzibar: ZRG Department of Statistics.

Academic Publications
Blundo, G. 1998. ‘Elus locaux, associations paysannes et courtiers du développement au Sénégal: une anthropologie politique de la décentralisation dans le Sud-Est du bassin arachidier (1974-1995)’. Lausanne, thèse de doctorat.
Sindzingre, A. 1994. ‘État, développement et rationalité en Afrique: contribution à une analyse de la corruption’. Bordeaux: CEAN, Travaux et Documents, 43.

A list of newspapers and magazines referred to, with their place of publication, is provided in a separate section after the main list of references:
East African Standard, Nairobi; Le Monde, Paris; The Times, London.

Unpublished Sources
Blundo, G. 1996. ‘Bavardages, rumeurs et accusations: d’une ethnographie de la corruption ?’, ms.
Myers, G. 1995b. ‘Survey of Construction Industry Operators’ (unpublished fieldwork).
Zanzibar National Archives (ZNA). 1938, file AW 2/100, The Ng’ambo Area Folder. Zanzibar: Protectorate of Zanzibar.

Website references
Website references are included in the main reference section. Give an abbreviated title and date in the normal format in the text, and repeat this in the list of references at the end, followed by the full website address within sharp brackets, and the date at which the material was accessed.
US Dept. of State. 1998.
html>, accessed 12.6.2004.

Interview material should be referenced in the text, in the form (Teshome 2001 int.), and the details given in a separate section in the References, with the interviewee’s full name, a brief description to indicate the interviewee’s standing (i.e. why that person is in a position to provide the information), and the date and place of the interview, e.g.:
Teshome Abdu, zonal agricultural officer, Dembidolo, 27.11.2001

Where the names of interviewees have to be kept confidential for security reasons, please give as much information as you can provide without endangering your source, e.g.:
Women’s group leader, Kwale, Delta State, 11.8.2003.


Proofs are sent out to authors by email 3-4 months before the month of publication: e.g. for the June issue, they are sent out in February/March. Authors are requested to return their proof corrections and signed author publishing agreement form within three days of receipt. Please let the Editorial Office know if you are likely to be away for any extended period at that time, or if the proofs should be sent to anywhere other than your normal email address. The publisher reserves the right to charge authors for excessive correction of non-typographical errors.

A copyright assignment form is sent at the same time, which can be downloaded by email but has to be signed and returned by ordinary mail. For legal reasons, articles cannot be published unless this is received.

Authors of articles and review articles (but not book reviews) will receive a .pdf file of their contribution upon publication.

Book Reviews

Book reviews are commissioned by the Book Review Editor, to whom they should be returned at the address above. They should be double-spaced in Times New Roman 12-pt, with details of the book at the head of the review in the format:

No-party Democracy: Ugandan politics in comparative perspective by GIOVANNI CARBONE
Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2008. Pp. xii+259. US$58.50 (hbk).

with the reviewer’s details at the foot, in the format:

University of East Anglia

Note: Title in bold; principal words of main title capitalised, but sub-title not capitalised; author’s name in SMALL CAPITALS
Place of publication (with state code, if in USA): Publisher, date. Number of pages. Price if available (distinguishing hardback and paperback).
Reviewer’s name in SMALL CAPITALS, and brief institutional affiliation in italic.

Last updated December 2020