My research interests

Current Research

My research and teaching interests are at the intersection of comparative politics, the political economy of development, and international relations with a regional focus on subsaharan Africa. My PhD research analyzed the processes of institutional transformation in contemporary Africa, tracing and delineating the paths to institutional transformation in Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, and Uganda. It explains the political foundations of institutional outomes, showing how coalition politics impacts on institutional evolution. My dissertation committee was chaired by Will Reno, professor of political science and Director of the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University. Jim Mahoney, Professor in  political science and sociology, and Chair of the Sociology Department, was the co-chair. Committee members are Rachel Riedl and Ato Onoma. Rachel is Assistant Professor in political science at Northwestern University while Ato heads the research department at the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), the Dakar-based pan-African research organization.


I have several working papers on the politics of state revenue capacity in Africa and the evolution of civil-military relations in Africa. Other working papers on democratic rollback in Uganda and the politics of regime endurance.


My other research agendas going forward include a study of the business fates of Africa's ruling parties and militaries. Why do some succeed while others fare not so well? Relatedly, I'm interested in exploring the politics of infrastructural development in Africa within the context of new foreign economic players especially China.


Networks and Affiliations

I am affiliated with the Centre for Basic Research in Kampala, a leading independent social science research organization in Uganda. CBR is at present my foremost intellectual home in Uganda. Also, over many years of doing field research in Africa, I have established both formal and informal links and affiliations with several universities, research organizations and policy think-tanks in Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda. Among these include the Forum for Social Studies in Addis Ababa, the Center for Democratic Governance and the Institute for Democratic Governance both in Accra, the Institute of African Studies of the University of Ghana, Legon, the Council for Development of Social Science Research in Africa in Darker, and the University of Dar es Salam.