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Thursday April 14th, 2011

Democratic Peace and War in Africa: A Comparison of Risk, Reciprocity and Citizenship in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire

Lauren M. MacLean, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Political Science at Indiana University

Thursday April 14, 2011, 4:30-6:00 p.m.

This program was made possible by the generosity of Ms. Eloise Briskin and sponored by the Center for Policy Studies at the Case Western Reserve University

Lauren MacLean discusses the divergent paths of democratization in neighboring Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. Why has Ghana turned over power to the opposition in peaceful, competitive elections while Cote d’Ivoire has been wracked with ethno-regional civil war? Rather than focus on the roles of international mediators and national political elites, she will take us to rural villages in very similar regions on either side of the border for an analysis of everyday politics at the grassroots. Based on eighteen months of survey research and in-depth interviews at the village level, her findings point to the key role of changing informal institutions of reciprocity (that is, the way village residents exchange help with their families, friends and neighbors) in shaping differences in indigenous notions of citizenship and political participation in neighboring Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

Additional Information About Our Guest

Lauren M. MacLean is an assistant professor of political science at Indiana University. MacLean’s research interests focus on the politics of state formation, social welfare and citizenship in Africa and in American Indian/Alaska Native communities in the U.S. She earned her Ph.D. in 2002 from the Department of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley and then completed a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan (2002–2004). She has a book entitled Informal Institutions and Citizenship in Rural Africa: Risk and Reciprocity in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire (Cambridge University Press) and several articles published and forthcoming in Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Studies in Society and History, the International Journal of Public Administration, the Journal of Modern African Studies, Studies in Comparative International Development and World Development. MacLean is currently co-authoring a book, Field Research in Political Science, with Diana Kapiszewski and Ben Read (under contract with Cambridge University Press) and co-editing a volume, The Politics of Non-State Social Welfare Provision in the Global South, with Melani Cammett.