Rod Alence – University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Rod Alence is Associate Professor and currently serves as Head of the Department of International Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He is a specialist on the political economy of governance and development in Africa. His work has been published in journals such as the Journal of Democracy, the Journal of Modern African Studies, and the Journal of African History. He was a Fulbright scholar in Ghana in 1992, and his Ph.D. (Stanford, 2001) won the American Political Science Association prize for best thesis in political economy. He spent the 2008-2009 academic year as Visiting Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Michigan (UM), and he has taught several courses on quantitative research methods in Africa under the auspices of the UM African Social Research Initiative and of the Afrobarometer project. A major focus of his current work is the political economy of institutions and natural resources in Africa.
Sylvia Croese – Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Sylvia Croese is a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Stellenbosch University. Her PhD thesis, entitled Post-war state-led development at work in Angola: The Zango housing project in Luanda as a case study, looked into the ways in which distributive policies such as housing are used to contribute to regime legitimacy and survival in the city of Luanda, thereby bringing together two theoretical bodies of work: one on political regimes and one centered around urban studies in Africa. Her current research further examines how governments that are formally democratic, but authoritarian in practice manage their rapidly growing cities and how this in turn affects city dwellers’ perceptions of and engagements with the state.
Brian Min – University of Michigan, USA
Brian Min is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan. He studies the political economy of development with an emphasis on distributive politics, public goods provision, and ethnic conflict. His current research uses satellite imagery of nighttime lights and other geo-coded data to show how the distribution of electricity is shaped by electoral politics across the developing world. He has recently completed a book manuscript on the subject, entitled Power and the Vote. Min received the 2011 Gabriel Almond Award from APSA for best dissertation in comparative politics for the project. He has conducted studies on behalf of the World Bank using satellite imagery and ground surveys to evaluate the Bank’s power sector investments in Senegal, Mali, Vietnam, and India. He has also conducted research on ethnic politics and conflict, including the construction of the Ethnic Power Relations (EPR) dataset of all politically relevant ethnic groups around the world from 1946–2005. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the World Bank, and the International Growth Centre and appears in outlets including World Politics, Annual Review of Political Science, and the American Sociological Review. Min received his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, MPP from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and BA from Cornell University.
Anne Pitcher – University of Michigan, USA
Anne Pitcher has an A.B. in Political Science and History from Duke University and an M.Phil. and D. Phil. in Politics from Oxford University, England. She is a Professor of African Studies and Political Science at the University of Michigan. Her research interests include comparative political economy, party politics, and private sector development in Africa. She has conducted fieldwork and/or surveys in Mozambique, Angola, South Africa, Zambia and Uganda. Her publications include Politics in the Portuguese Empire (Oxford University Press, 1993), Transforming Mozambique: The Politics of Privatization, 1975-2000 (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and many articles in scholarly journals and edited collections. Her most recent book, Party Politics and Economic Reform in Africa’s Democracies (Cambridge, 2012), won Honorable Mention for the Best Book in 2012 Award from the African Politics Conference Group, an organized section of the American Political Science Association and a coordinate organization of the African Studies Association.
Carlos Shenga – Higher Institute of Public Administration
Carlos Shenga is a lecturer of governance, public policy and administration, and Academic Director at the Mozambique Higher Institute of Public Administration (ISAP). In 2008 and 2012 Carlos led nationwide research on the quality of democracy and governance in Mozambique on behalf of the Afrobarometer network and in 2013 led the girl education challenge project for ORB International/Coffey International/DFID. Recently he has been collaborating with the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) project, Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES), and Comparative National Election Studies Project (CNEP). In December 2014 Carlos is expecting to be awarded PhD in Political Studies at the University of Cape Town where he conducted research for the African Legislature Project in the Democracy in Africa Research Unit (DARU) of the Centre for Social Science Research (CSSR). His publications include articles on “Legislative Institutionalization in Mozambique” (Africa Peace and Conflict Journal); with Robert Mattes “Uncritical Citizenship: Mozambicans in Comparative Perspective” (book chapter: Voting and Democratic Citizenship in Africa, edited by Michael Bratton. Lynne Reinner publisher); with João Pereira and Sandra Manuel, “Mozambique: From Civil War to Loyal Opposition” (book chapter, Against all Odds: Opposition Political Parties in Southern Africa, edited by Hussein Solomon); “Elezioni del 2009 in Monzambico: la trasparenza è nel cuore della critica” (Africhi e Orienti); “The Influence of Ethnicity on Electoral Process in Mozambique” (OpenSpace); with João Pereira, “Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy in Southern Africa. Mozambique”, (South African Journal of International Affairs).