It is a rare opportunity to have a job that one absolutely loves. I can not do good research without teaching and I can not teach without engaging in rigorous research. When I teach my goal is get students excited about the complexity that is Political Science. When I teach African politics, my goal is to get students to challenge previously held assumptions about Africa. At the end of semester students should at the very least understand that Africa is not a country. They should understand that political institutions began before colonialism and that pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial politics influence contemporary African politics. I challenge students to think critically about methodology and theory.
Learning should be an enjoyable experience, my students are encouraged to debate each other, I bring in guest speakers and whenever possible we bring the world into our classroom.
Contemporary African Politics
This course offers an introduction to contemporary African politics. The primary goal is to introduce students to the diversity of challenges and development issues facing African countries since independence. Questions motivating the course include: (1) Why state institutions weaker in African than in other developing regions? (2) What explains Africa’s slow economic growth? (3) What can be done to improve political accountability on the continent? (4) Why have some African countries been plagued by high levels of political violence while others have not? In answering these questions, we will examine Africa’s historical experiences, its economic heritage, and the international context in which it is embedded. At the same time, we will explore how Africans have responded to unique circumstances to shape their own political and economic situations.
Comparative Race, Ethnicity and Identity in Politics
The class is designed to get students to think COMPARATIVELY about the role of race, ethnicity and identities (gender, sexuality, social class) in voting behavior.
Globalization in Africa
This course will explore contemporary globalization in Sub Saharan Africa and its effects on political change. Departing from the macro-perspective of Africa’s marginalized role in the global economy, this course will focus on the ways that international forces and new technologies are affecting citizens and countries on the continent. Through country case studies and reviews of current events in Africa, the course will explore a diverse set of topics including technological change and development, immigration, art and culture, foreign aid, and China’s role in Africa. The course will attempt to highlight the new opportunities for citizens as well as the challenges that remain for African countries in the globalized world.
Democracy, Elections and Voting Behavior in the Developing World
In the nearly two decades since Huntington wrote about the third wave of democracy the majority of countries in the developing world have held successful successive elections. From Albania to Zimbabwe even the most repressive of regimes have advocated for elections. There is great diversity in the quality of elections. While elections have become more common they have also become more violent. In this course we will explore the processes of democracy and de-democratization in the developing world. We will investigate how democracy functions in low income, conflict-ridden countries and those burdened with historical legacies of non-democratic rule.
Georgia State University & Globally
Politics in the Arts
Research Methods (Experimental, Qualitative and Quantitative)
Elections and Voting Behavior
Western Discourses – Africa’s Conflicts & Peace
The seminar will explore the sources and outcomes of a range of violence (societal, interstate, and transnational) in post-colonial Africa. We will explore the prevailing Western interpretations of these acts of violence and consider how they have been historically constructed. In exploring these acts of violence, we will examine the interests and motivations of the participants but also move beyond them, asking questions such as: Are these acts of violence significantly different than those which have occurred in the West or in other regions of the developing world? What role have former colonial powers have played in these violent conflicts? What role do international actors ranging from transnational corporations, international and regional organizations, NGOs, to mercenaries have performed? How have the prevailing Western perceptions of these conflicts influenced Western responses? And how do these responses affect the very nature of the violence in post-colonial Africa?
This seminar will explore the sources and outcomes of major political events (the end of Apartheid in South Africa, Land Reform Processes in Zimbabwe, Conflict in the DRC) in contemporary African states. We will explore the ways in which local and international political discourses shaped the decisions made by leaders and the varying outcomes. In doing so we move beyond the macro-perspective of Africa’s marginalized politics: what explains democratic success in some countries and the persistence of conflict and political instability in others? How do Africans perceive political transformations in their countries? We answer these questions through in-depth case study of past and current political events, art and field explorations.