PhD Richard Larry Whitehead

Richard L. Whitehead holds a Ph.D. from Temple University's Department of Political Science, with Democratization and African politics as area of specialization.

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My foremost academic interest is African politics south of the Sahara. Within Africa, I am especially motivated by topics on democratization, human rights, elections, and political parties. Currently, my research addresses how identity and class structures, together with state development policies impact the opportunities for political elites to mobilize contention into sustained social movements and political parties. More recently, my interests have turned to assessing the relationship between governance on one hand and international aid to political parties on the other hand.

Aside from my interest in African politics and democratization, I have a variety of other topical interests. I find social and political theory to be highly inspiring, especially Critical Theory in the Frankfurt School tradition. Therefore, I am animated by concepts such as communicative rationality, dialectical methods, and enlightenment. Also, I have a rich appreciation for the philosophy of science and fashion myself as a scientific realist of sorts, a perspective which shines through in my Ph.D. dissertation.

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