Shadrack Nasong′o | Associate Professor, Chair
Office: 113 Buckman Hall | Phone: (901) 843-3823 | Email:


Professor Nasong′o′s CV (PDF)


I typically offer courses in comparative politics and international relations with an area focus on Africa. These courses include Government and Politics of Africa; Ethnic Conflict in Africa; Pan-Africanism and the Politics of African Unity; Revolution in World Politics; and International Conflict Management. I have also previously taught Introduction to International Relations and Introduction to Comparative Politics. In my teaching, I seek to enhance my students’ 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.


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.


In addition, my two recent opinion pieces comment on the problem of Islamist Terror in Kenya and its implications for peace and stability in the Horn of Africa; as well as on the impact of democratization and the end of the days of the dictator in Africa.

My current research focuses on postgenocide reconstruction in Rwanda, protracted ethnic conflicts in Eastern Africa, and the nature of political man in the Kenyan public space.



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

  • International Relations 100 – Introduction to International Relations

    International Relations 200 – Introduction to Comparative Politics

    International Relations 251 – Government and Politics of Africa

    International Relations 252 – Pan-Africanism and the Politics of African Unity

    International Relations 253 – Ethnic Conflict in Africa

    International Relations 420 – Revolution in World Politics

    International Relations 422 – International Conflict Management

    International Relations 431 – Topics: Africa and the Global System

    International Relations 451 – International Law

    International Relations 485 – Senior Research Seminar

Selected Publications


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, 2012 (forthcoming).

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


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 Postgenocide 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.

Nasong’o, S.W. “From an Extractive State to a Rentier Economy: Roots of Kenya’s Development Impasse,” in Amutabi, M.N. (ed.). Studies in the Economic History of Kenya. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2009, pp. 321-354.

Nasong’o, S.W. “Nationalist Myth-Making, Cultural Identity and Nation Building: African Minorities in the U.S. and Latin America,” in Falola, T. and Afolabi, N. (eds.). African Minorities in the New World. New York: Routledge, 2008, pp. 23-50.

Nasong’o, S.W. and Risley, A.E. “From Aesthetic Creativity to Political Profundity: Popular Music and Politics in Kenya and Argentina,” in Falola, T. and Ngom, F. (eds.). Oral and Written Expressions of African Culture. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2009, pp. 69-89.


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.