Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Butler University
Comparative politics, African Politics, state-society relations, political economy, rural politics, South Africa, politics of tradition, tourism, property rights, gender, representation, tourism studies, environmental justice
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Personal Info

About Me

I am an associate professor of political science at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana and research associate of the Society, Work, and Development Institute (SWOP) at the University of the Witswatersrand. I earned a doctorate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley, a masters degree in social science (African politics) from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and a bachelor’s degree in public policy studies and certificate in women’s studies from Duke University.

My research focuses principally on state-society relations and political economy in southern Africa. I use interviews, ethnography, archival research, and surveys to examine the interplay between state policies and local practices over time and to look closely at how past and present ways of structuring property and authority shape local political economies and influence constructions of identity.

My research, writing, and teaching span multiple fields, including development studies, tourism studies, political ecology, and geography as well as political science and African studies. The courses I teach at Butler contribute to the core curriculum, to the interdisciplinary programs in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies, International Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Science, Technology, Environment, and Society; and to political science.

Recent Publications

Lasting Legacies: Contemporary Struggles and Historical Dispossession in South Africa. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 36 (2), 275-292, 2016 DOI:  10.1215/1089201x-3603343.

Peace-building without Western Saviors? An Approach to Teaching African Gender and Sexuality Politics to American students. In Maureen P. Flaherty, Tom Matyók, Jessica Senehi, Sean Byrne, and Hamdesa Tuso, editors, Gender and Peacebuilding: All Hands Required, 321-338. New York: Lexington Books, 2015.

Youth, ‘Tradition,’ and Peace Building: Mobilizing for Just Governance in Rural South Africa. Peacebuilding. DOI: 10.1080/21647259.2015.1052628, 2015.

Traditional, Democratic, Accountable? Navigating Citizen-Subjection in Rural South Africa. Africa Spectrum, 49(1): 27-54, 2014.

Land Restitution, Traditional Leadership, and Belonging: Defining Barokologadi Identity. Journal of Modern African Studies 51(3): 507-531, 2013. DOI:10.1017/S0022278X13000384.

With David K. Leonard, Jennifer Brass, Michael Nelson, Sophal Ear, Dan Fahey, Tasha Fairfield, Martha Johnson Gning, Michael Halderman, Brendan McSherry, Devra Coren Moehler, Wilson Prichard, Tuong Vu, and Jeroen Dijkman. Does Patronage Still Drive Politics for the Rural Poor in the Developing World? A Comparative Perspective from the Livestock Sector. Development and Change 41(3):475-494, 2010. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7660.2010.01647.x.

Communities, Wildlife Conservation, and Tourism-based Development: Can Community-based Nature Tourism Live Up to Its Promise? Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy 7: 161-182, 2004. DOI: 10.1080/13880290490883232. Co-published in the University of California International and Area Studies Digital Collection, 5, 2006.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
South Africa

Research Areas

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