Shadrack Nasong'o

Associate Professor of International Studies
(901) 843-3622

Curriculum Vitae

TEACHING

In my teaching, I seek to enhance my students’ analytical competency and capacity for critical thinking so that they leave my courses with an inquisitive mind wedded to the quest for further knowledge and understanding, constantly asking and proffering plausible answers as to the ‘what’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ of the political world from multiple theoretical and conceptual perspectives. Towards this end, I typically offer courses in comparative politics and international relations. These courses include Government and Politics of Africa; Ethnic Conflict in Africa; The Politics of Pan-Africanism; Revolution in World Politics; International Law, International Conflict Management, Introduction to International Relations, and Introduction to Comparative Politics.

RESEARCH

My research interest lies in the areas of the politics of democratization, ethnonationalism, and social conflict with particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa. My first book, Contending Political Paradigms in Africa, is a comparative study of democratization in Kenya and Zambia. It focuses on the rational calculations and strategic choices of the political elite, both incumbent and oppositional, within the context of transitional politics. My second book, a coedited volume entitled Kenya: The Struggle for Democracy evaluates the struggle for democracy in Kenya since independence in 1963.

My singly-edited volume, The African Search for Stable Forms of Statehood, examines, from a critical perspective, the quest for stable forms of statehood in nine African countries. In my fourth publication, a monograph entitled The Human Rights Sector in Kenya: Key Issues and Challenges, I undertake a theoretical and conceptual problematization of the human rights sector in Kenya and attempt an empirical survey of the methodological, strategic, and training needs of key actors in the sector. My latest book, a coedited volume entitled Regime Change and Succession Politics in Africa, examines the dynamics of regime change and succession politics in ten African countries from multiple interdisciplinary perspectives.

My three forthcoming edited volumes focus on issues of ethnic conflict, gender empowerment, and contentious politics in Africa, respectively. The first volume, The Roots of Ethnic Conflict in Africa: From Grievance to Violence, is set to be released by Palgrave Macmillan in October 2015.  This book examines the root causes of ethnic conflict in Africa. The main thesis of the book is that ethnic political mobilization results from deeply-felt grievances on the part of the group so mobilized. Such grievances revolve around political and socio-economic marginalization, including perceived skewed distribution of both material and symbolic resources. However, the recourse to violence stems from the nature of government's response to the mobilized - whether the government responds positively and thus seeks to redress the grievances of the mobilized group or whether the government responds negatively and seeks to suppress such groups, thereby radicalizing them. The other two volumes, Gendering African Social Spaces: Women, Power, and Artistic Expressions, and Contentious Politics in Africa: Identity, Conflict, and Social Change, both co-edited with Toyin Falola , are scheduled to be released by Carolina Academic Press in November and December 2015 respectively.

My current research focuses on post-genocide reconstruction in Rwanda, protracted ethnic conflicts in Eastern Africa, and the nature of political actors in the Kenyan public space.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

BOOKS:

Nasong’o, S.W. (ed.). The Roots of Ethnic Conflict in Africa: From Grievance to Violence. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

Nasong’o, S.W. Contending Political Paradigms in Africa: Rationality and the Politics of Democratization in Kenya and Zambia. New York: Routledge, 2005.

Nasong’o, S.W. The Human Rights Sector in Kenya: Key Issues and Challenges. Nairobi: Kenya Human Rights Institute, 2009.

Nasong’o, S.W. (ed.). The African Search for Stable Forms of Statehood: Essays in Political Criticism. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2008.

Amutabi, M.N. and Nasong’o, S.W. (eds.). Regime Change and Succession Politics in Africa. New York: Routledge, 2013.

Murunga, G.R. and Nasong’o, S.W. (eds.). Kenya: The Struggle for Democracy. London and Dakar: Zed Books and CODESRIA, 2007.

Falola, T. and Nasong’o S.W. (eds.). Gendering African Social Spaces: Women, Power, and Cultural Expressions. Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2015.

Falola, T. and Nasong’o, S.W. (eds.). Contentious Politics in Africa: Identity, Conflict, and Social Change. Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2015.

SELECTED BOOK CHAPTERS:

Nasong’o, S.W. “From Grievance to Ethnic Mobilization: An Introduction,” in Nasong’o, S.W., ed. The Roots of Ethnic Conflict in Africa: From Grievance to Violence. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp. 1-9.

Nasong’o, S.W. “Explaining Ethnic Conflicts: Theoretical and Conceptual Perspectives,” in Nasong’o, S.W., ed. The Roots of Ethnic Conflict in Africa: From Grievance to Violence. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp. 11-20.

Nasong’o, S.W. “Deep-Seated historical and Economic Grievances: The North-South Conflict in Sudan,: in Nasong’o, S.W., ed. The Roots of Ethnic Conflict in Africa: From Grievance to Violence. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp. 21-35.

Nasong’o, S.W. “Managing Ethnically Divided Societies: Conclusion,” in Nasong’o, S.W., ed. The Roots of Ethnic Conflict in Africa: From Grievance to Violence. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp. 171-182.

Nasong’o, S.W. “Revisiting ‘the Two Faces of Civil Society’ in Constitutional Reform in Kenya,” in Murunga, Godwin R., Duncan Okello, and Anders Sjögren, eds. Kenya: The Struggle for a New Constitutional Order. London: Zed Books, 2014, pp. 97-115.

Nasong’o, S.W. “Recreating the State, Reimagining the Nation: Paul Kagame’s Rwanda,” in M.N. Amutabi, ed. Politics, Governance, & Development in Africa: Retrospection of Fifty Years of Self Rule. Nairobi: Catholic University Press, 2013, pp. 18-36.

Amutabi, M. N. and Nasong’o, S.W., “Regime Change and Succession Politics in Africa: Introduction,” in Amutabi, M.N. and Nasong’o, S.W., eds. Regime Change and Succession Politics in Africa. New York: Routledge, 2013, pp. 1-16.

Nasong’o, S.W. “Reshaping the Global Economy: The South-South Economic Partnership,” in Mbah, E.M. and Salm, S.J. (eds.). Globalization and the African Experience. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2012, pp. 61-81.

Nasong’o, S.W. “Ecological Roots of Social Conflict in Kenya: Land, Pastoralism, and the Development Paradox,” in Falola, T. and Amutabi, M.N. (eds.). Perspectives on the African Environment, Science and Technology. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2012, pp. 221-243.

Nasong’o, S.W. “Reengineering Social Institutions for Peace and Development: The Case of Post-genocide Rwanda,” in Agwuele, A. (ed.). Development, Modernism and Modernity in Africa. New York: Routledge, 2012, pp. 304-320.

Nasong’o, S.W. “Tanzania: Political Culture and Democratization,” in Sarsar, S. and Adekunle, J.O. (eds.). Democracy in Africa: Political Changes and Challenges. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2012, pp. 191-203.

Nasong’o, S.W. “Constitutional Reform and the Crisis of Democratization in Kenya,” in Branch, D., Cheeseman, N., and Gardner, L. (eds.). Our Turn to Eat: Politics in Kenya Since 1950. Berlin: Lit Verlag, 2010, pp. 221-241.

SELECTED JOURNAL ARTICLES:

Nasong’o, S.W. “The ‘Red’ Ambassador vs. the ‘Rogue’ Ambassador:  U.S. Diplomacy Towards Kenya in a Changing Global Context,” under review by Africa Today, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Nasong’o, S.W. “Political Transition without Transformation: The Dialectic of Liberalization without Democratization,” African Studies Review. Vol. 50, No. 1, 2007, pp. 83-207.

Nasong’o, S.W. “From Political Dictatorship to Authoritarian Economism: Plural Politics and Free Market Reforms in Africa,” Journal of Third World Studies. Vol. XXI, No. 2, 2004, pp. 107-124.

Nasong’o, S.W. and Murunga, G.R. “Lack of Consensus on Constitutive Fundamentals: Roots of the Sudanese Civil War and Prospects for Settlement,” African and Asian Studies. Vol. 4, No. 1-2, 2005, pp. 51-82.

Murunga, G.R. and Nasong’o, S.W. “Bent on Self-Destruction: The Kibaki Regime in Kenya,” Journal of Contemporary African Studies. Vol. 24, No. 1, 2006, pp. 1-28.

OPINION PIECES:

Nasong’o, S.W. “Al-Shabaab Terror in Kenya: Implications for Peace and Security in the Region,” Kujenga Amani, Social Science Research Council Forum, October 15, 2013 available Online here

Nasong’o, S.W. and M.N. Amutabi. “The Days of the Dictator are Well-nigh Over,” The Africa Report, September 17, 2013; available Online here.

Education

2004, Ph.D., Public and International Affairs, Northeastern University
1995, M.A., International Relations, University of Nairobi, Kenya 
1990, BA (Honors), Political Science and Linguistics, University of Nairobi, Kenya