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Why are there more democracies in Africa than there should be?

Date(s)
06 November 2015 (16:00-17:00)
Description

The School of International Studies is pleased to invite you to a seminar presented by Professor Dwayne Woods. He is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Comparative Politics in the Department of Political Science at Purdue University.

About the talk

The Lipset thesis posits that there is a strong relationship between increasing per capita income and democracy. Interestingly, over the past 20 years, the World's poorest continent has seen an important rise in the number of democracies. African countries are therefore currently too democratic relative to their incomes levels. In other words, they are punching above their per capita income grade. The interesting question is why? This talk argues that the answer lies outside of the Lipset thesis.

About the speaker

Currently a visiting professor at Fudan University and a graduate of the prestigious University of Chicago, Professor Dwayne Woods is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Comparative Politics in the Department of Political Science at Purdue University.

He is a widely published author whose scholarship has appeared in high impact Journals like Comparative Politics, Democratization, Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, Migration and Development, African Studies Review, Journal of modern African Studies, Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies, Journal of Political Ideologies, Africa, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, West European Politics among others in addition to numerous book chapters.

His research and teaching interests span fields in Comparative Politics, Political Economy, Research Methods and have a cross regional focus in Western Europe with special emphasis on Italy and Switzerland and Africa. Currently he is working on the rhetoric of identity populist movements like the Northern League in Italy and the Swiss People's Party and its relationship to international migration and globalization.  In addition, his research explores the effect of political regimes on distributive and redistributive outcomes regarding social policies such as education and health in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prof Woods speaks fluent Italian and French, can read Germany, Spanish and Portuguese.