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Dr Charlotte Cross

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Professional biography

I joined the Open University in February 2016 as a Lecturer in International Development. Prior to this I lectured in International Relations and Politics at the University of Northampton. I hold a PhD in Development Studies (Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex), an MSc in African Studies (University of Oxford) and a BA in History and Politics (University of Oxford). 

Research interests

My research concerns politics, security and development in East Africa. I am particularly interested in the role of 'informal' institutions in local governance, the politics of development, and the policing of political and economic change. 

My current research, 'Securing Africa's Mobile Revolution: Political and Social Dimensions of Cyber Security in Tanzania', funded by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung, investigates the connections between increased digital connectivity and security in the daily lives of residents of urban Tanzania. I am interested in how users of mobile phones and the internet experience and understand the security implications of new technologies, and how security providers construct and act upon narratives of cyber security and cybercrime as part of broader processes of social and political ordering. 

I have previously also researched community policing initiatives in Tanzania. Working in Mwanza, I investigated how the city's residents perceive and use local security providers, the challenges to sustaining participation in community-based service delivery, and the relationship between policing and multi-party politics at local and national levels. 

I am part of the GCRF Climate Change and Urban Violence Network, which explores connections between climate change and urban violence in the Global South. 

I am also involved in Innovation for Cancer Care in Africa, an ESRC-GCRF funded East Africa-India-UK collaboration investigating how linking innovation in the industrial and health sectors might improve access to cancer care in Kenya and Tanzania. 

Teaching interests

I am currently involved in producing our new MSc Global Development as well as teaching the undergraduate modules DD102 Introducing the Social Sciences and TD223 International Development: Making Sense of a Changing World. 



Dissent as cybercrime: social media, security and development in Tanzania (2021)
Cross, Charlotte
Journal of Eastern African Studies ((Early Access))

Ulinzi Shirikishi: Popular Experiences of Hybrid Security Governance in Tanzania (2016-09-05)
Cross, Charlotte
Development and Change, 47(5) (pp. 1102-1124)

Community policing and the politics of local development in Tanzania (2014-12-31)
Cross, Charlotte
Journal of Modern African Studies, 52(4) (pp. 517-540)

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals - Focus on Forest Finance and Partnerships (2019-12)
Humphreys, David; Singer, Benjamin; McGinley, Kathleen; Smith, Roy; Budds, Jessica; Gabay, Monica; Bhagwat, Shonil; de Jong, Wil; Newing, Helen; Cross, Charlotte and Satyal, Poshendra
In: Katila, Pia; Pierce Colfer, Carol J.; de Jong, Wil; Galloway, Glenn; Pacheco, Pablo and Winkel, Georg eds. Sustainable Development Goals: Their Impacts on Forests and People (pp. 541-576)
ISBN : 978-1-108-48699-6 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press | Published : Cambridge

Cybercrime and the policing of politics in Tanzania (2019-07-15)
Cross, Charlotte
In: Dwyer, Maggie and Molony, Thomas eds. Social Media and Politics in Africa: Democracy, Censorship and Security
ISBN : 9781786995001 | Publisher : Zed Books

Community policing in Tanzania: Experiences and understandings of participation (2014)
Cross, Charlotte
In: Conteh, Charles and Huque, Ahmed Shafiqul eds. Public Sector Reforms in Developing Countries: Paradoxes and practices (pp. 77-92)
ISBN : 9780415858564 | Publisher : Routledge

Cancer patients’ pathways: evidence and implications for policy (2020-08)
Makene, Fortunata Songora; Ngilangwa, Richard Gordon; Mackintosh, Maureen; Santos, Cristina; Cross, Charlotte; Mujinja, Phares G.M. and Ngoma, Twalib
Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF), Innovation for Cancer Care in Africa (ICCA), The Open University