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, a collection of 44 original essays on Nigeria published by Oxford University Press (2018). My latest book explains how Nigeria’s ruling party lost in 2015. It traces the party’s decline to elite deals struck during the transition to civilian rule, and contains three chapters that empirically examine the content of party campaigns, voting patterns across states, and the motivations of individual voters. Click here to read more about Contemporary Nigerian Politics: Competition in a Time of Transition and Terror.
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 a founding member of 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.
In 2017 I published a book with Todd Eisenstadt and Tofigh Maboudi about constitution-making, entitled Constituents before Assembly: Participation, Deliberation, and Representation in the Crafting of New Constitutions. In this global study of all new constitutions since 1974, we demonstrate the positive effects of participatory constitution-making on democracy. Specifically, we show first how participation is especially important at the earliest stages of crafting a new constitution. Further, drawing on field research from three continents, we show that participation is not endogenous to previous regime types (democracy or dictatorship). Click here to buy a copy.