Northwestern Events Calendar


Governance and Development Study Group: Prof. Michael Bratton, MSU, “Power Politics to Democratic Elections? Zimbabwe 2018”

When: Tuesday, February 20, 2018
5:15 PM - 7:00 PM Central

Where: Scott Hall, Room 212, 601 University Place, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Brandon Ayersman  

Group: Governance and Development Study Group

Category: Academic


Topic: Zimbabwe

Presenter: Professor Michael Bratton, Michigan State University

*Food Will Be Served

After my October 24 lecture on Peace, Democracy, and Open Access to Knowledge, sponsored by Arch Library, Northwestern graduate student Patrick Mbulli asked about the democratic prospects of East African countries. At a subsequent dinner with my undergraduate class, research assistants (RAs), and other African graduate students, the need for deeper discussions of the political turbulence in Africa was evident. Building on the Forum Series on Democracy and Insecurity in spring 2017, and archival research on several African countries by RAs in summer 2017, it was decided to convene a Governance & Development Study Group. Six monthly sessions are envisaged in winter and spring 2018. Professor James Gathii of Loyola University Law School has accepted the invitation to lead the first discussion on Kenya on January 23rd. The Michigan State University political scientist, Professor Michael Bratton, will follow on February 20 after his January visit to Zimbabwe. The sessions will take place in Scott Hall, Northwestern Evanston campus, 5-7m. Subsequent sessions will be arranged on Cameroon, Uganda, Zambia, and Ethiopia. The first six countries are chosen because of their relative importance in Africa, their mix of autocratic and democratic features, their development prospects, and their security challenges. In view of the institutional variance among African countries, and even within them, it is important to conduct in-depth discussions of their governance and socio-economic configurations. This is a period of global flux and uncertainty. To safeguard democratic gains in Africa, and help guide countries through political upheavals, a better understanding is needed of their internal configurations. We will invite scholars who possess this level of awareness and insight to lead each session. Also envisaged is a series of working papers that can be posted on AfricaPlus, now hosted by Arch Library, and a conference in 2018-2019 similar to the agenda-setting one at MIT in March 1997.

-Richard Joseph

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