Director, African Studies Program
Associate Professor | Georgetown University
I am a political scientist studying citizenship, migration and political institutions in Africa, particularly in East Africa and the Horn of Africa.
I seek to better understand the dynamic relationships between states and the constellations of citizens, non-citizens and citizens-in-the-making. That takes me from classrooms to refugee camps to government offices throughout the region, and occasionally beyond.
I use ethnographic and qualitative methods because I want to understand politics as they are made and deployed by the people who are politicians and the people who use everyday politics to ‘act back.’ I have been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright-Hays, and the US Fulbright Program.
I study how citizens engage with states and help make the content of citizenship through the formation and contestation of citizenship.
I call this ‘meaningful citizenship’ because it is not just the formality of having the documentation that the state provides or denies. Rather, it is the activities of being a citizen.
My book, Making Citizens in Africa: Ethnicity, Gender, and National Identity in Ethiopia, is now available on Amazon.
“Wealthier Nations can Learn from How Tiny Djibouti Welcomes Refugees."
with Lauren Carruth
Washington Post, March 2017.
“Interdisciplinary Research Team Studies the Environmental Impact of Long-term Refugee Camps in Zambia.”
Georgetown University, April 2019.
"Interview with Ufahamu Africa on Refugees and Migrants in the Horn of Africa."
Ufahamu Africa, April 2017