DSC_0144_JPGAssociate Professor
School of International Service
American University
Washington, D.C.
Telephone: (202) 885-2457

My research focuses on African political institutions, democratization, and political development. I teach courses on African politics, comparative politics, and political theory at American University in the School of International Service. I am the co-editor, with Patrick Ukata, of the Oxford Handbook of Nigerian Politics, forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2018.

I have provided analysis and commentary on Nigeria as a guest on the PBS Newshour, NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, MSNBC, Canadian TV, BBC, Al Jazeera, Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! and other programs. I am active with the African Politics Conference Group, a professional association that organizes panels at the annual conferences of the African Studies Association, the American Political Science Association, and at other academic meetings.

(L-R) Rep. John Conyers, me, and former U.S. Ambassadors Princeton Lyman, John Campbell, Howard Jeter, and Mark Bellamy (L-R) at the book launch at American University, January 2015.

(L-R) Rep. John Conyers, me, and former U.S. Ambassadors Princeton Lyman, John Campbell, Howard Jeter, and Mark Bellamy (L-R) at the book launch at American University, January 2015.

Forthcoming in 2017 from the Cambridge University Press Comparative Constitutional Law and Policy series: Constituents before Assembly: Participation, Deliberation, and Representation in the Worldwide Crafting of Constitutions, co-authored with Todd Eisenstadt and Tofigh Maboudi. Building on our 2015 essay in The American Political Science Review, (When Talk Trumps Text: the Democratizing Effects of Participatory Constitution-Making, 1974-2011“) we demonstrate the positive effects of participatory constitution-making on democracy. Using an original dataset covering all new constitutions since 1974, we also demonstrate that participation is especially important at the earliest stages of crafting a new constitution — unlike democracy promotion practices that emphasize later stages. Further, drawing on field research from three continents we show that participation is not endogenous to previous regime types (democracy or dictatorship).

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