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Dr William Ackah

Lecturer in Community and Voluntary Sector Studies

BA Politics and Sociology (Liverpool)
PG Cert Teaching in Lifelong Learning Higher Education
MPhil Politics and Communication Studies (Liverpool)
PhD Government and Politics (Manchester)


  • William has been a lecturer in Community and Voluntary Sector Studies at Birkbeck since 2005. Prior to that he was head of Widening Participation at the University of Bristol, and prior to that he was Equality and Diversity Manager at the Learning and Skills Council Gloucestershire. He has worked as an academic at a number of Higher Educaton institutions, including University of Edge Hill where he was Lecturer in Race Equality Studies, Liverpool Hope University and University of Liverpool.

Research and Teaching

  • Research Interests
  • My research interests include:
    • Political and social movements in the African Diaspora
    • Black Church political and community activism
    • Seventh Day Adventism religious and ethnic identities
    • Black and Minority Ethnic Community Organisations in the UK
  • Teaching
  • I teach the following topics:
    • Political Sociology
    • Community Development Theory and Practice
    • Race and Ethnic Relations
    • Diasporas
    • Equality and Diversity Legislations and Practice
  • PhD/MPhil Supervison
  • I am currently supervising the following students:
    • Marzhan Tleubayeva 'Analysis of sustainable development in transitional economies: case studies of Kazakhstan and Russia' (co-supervised with Dr Sian Sullivan)
  • I am interested in supervising in the areas of:
    • Black and Minority Ethnic Communities in the UK
    • African Diaspora Religion and Politics
    • Pan-Africanism


  • Books
    • Ackah, W (1999) Pan-Africanism: Exploring the Contradictions: Politics, Identity and Development in Africa and the African Diaspora. Aldershot, Ashgate
    • Ackah, W and Christian, M (ed) (1997) Black Organisation and Identity in Liverpool: A Local, National and Global Perspective. Liverpool, Charles Wootton College
  • Journal Articles
    • 'Conceptualizing Racialized Black Political Activity within European Spaces: A Political Opportunities Approach' African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal (2011), 4(2) 161 - 176
    • 'Back to Black or Diversity in the Diaspora: Re-imagining Pan-African Christian Identities in the 21st Century' Black Theology: An International Journal (2010), 8(2)
    • 'Do the Ties Still Bind: Reflections on Pan-African Consciousness and Identity in the Twentieth Century' Africa Quarterly (2001), 40(1)
  • Lectures
    • Co-convenor of Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race: 2012 conference held at Birkbeck University of London Black Church Activism and Contested Multiculturalism

Professional Membership

  • Political Studies Association
  • British Sociological Association
  • European Sociological Association
  • Society for the Scientific Study of Religion

Honours and Awards

  • PhD, University of Manchester, Department of Government
    • 'Political Opportunities' and Black Community Organisations: The Case of Structural Fund in Liverpool and Manchester - Supervisor Professor Martin Burch, external examiner Professor John Solomos. Winner of the 2006 Political Studies Association Walter Bagehot Prize for best dissertation in Government and Public Administration
  • Programme Director of Cert HE in Community Leadership - winner of 2009 Times Higher Education Supplement Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community Award


  • Co-Convenor of the Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race
  • R. Drew Smith, W. Ackah et al (eds) forthcoming 2013 Color and Transcendence: Contested Post-Racialism and Conflicted Churches in the US and South Africa. University of Mississippi and UNISA Press
  • July 2013 co-convenor of International Conference on Black Church Activism and 21st Century Captivities Accra Ghana

Contact details


Tel: + 44 (0)20 3073 8354