School of International Service
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.
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).