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François Sennesael

François Sennesael

Research topic:
African Politics; State Formation; African History; Political Economy; Ideologies; Humanitarianism

Academic Profile

Francois is a doctoral candidate in Politics at the Department of Politics and International Affairs, University of Oxford. His research focuses on historical state formation in Africa, more particularly the center-periphery interactions in South Sudan, supervised by Prof. Ricardo Soares de Oliveira. His work is at the intersection between comparative politics and international relations, mobilizing ideas, ideologies and political economy.

François has an extensive experience in Central and Eastern Africa, where he worked in the diplomatic and humanitarian sectors in Uganda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is still working as a consultant for various humanitarian and international organisations like Médecins Sans Frontières or the International Crisis Group.

Francois holds a BSc in Political Science (UCLouvain, Belgium), a Bachelor of Laws (UCLouvain, Belgium), a MPhil in International Affairs (UCLouvain, Belgium) and a MSc in African Studies (first-class) from the University of Oxford, where he also received the 'African Studies Centre Prize' for excellent dissertation.



The Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust Award (2021)

Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research Summer Program, University of Syracuse (2021)

Wallonia-Brussels International Scholarship of Excellence (2021)

Lady Margaret Hall Graduate Scholarship in Recognition of Excellent Results (2020)

Oxford African Studies Centre Prize for Excellent Dissertation (2020)

King Baudouin Foundation Scholar (2012-2013)



Sennesael, F. (2020). ‘Elections and the Politics of Fear in Uganda: The End of Post-Liberation Politics?’, OxPol Blog, 10/12/20

Sennesael, F. (2020). ‘Op-Ed: Why Humanitarian Advocacy Must Be Decolonized’, Humanitarian Alternatives, vol.15, pp.128-141

Sennesael, F. (2018). ‘Au Soudan du Sud, il est plus juste de parler de partage du gâteau que d’accord de paix’, Le Monde, 28/11/18

Conference Papers and Presentations

Sennesael, F. (2021). ‘The Visual Politics of the Primitive in Africa: Universalism and the Unfinished Business of Post-Colonialism in Western Humanitarianism’, St Mary’s University London, 27 May