Historic Research Interests

He has conducted sociological research as a Senior Visiting Fulbright Fellow in South Africa in 1994-95 and previously in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Kenya. In addition to many articles and book chapters, his publications include: International and Language Education for a Global Future: Fifty Years of the U.S. Title VI and Fulbright-Hays Programs, Senior Co-editor, East Lansing, MI: MSU Press (2010); Negotiating Environment and Development in South Africa (1996); Managing Waste More Sustainably in Inanda: A Report and Recommended Programmes, (Durban, South Africa, 1995); Southern Africa: Society, Economy and Liberation (1980); Group Portrait: International Education in the Academic Disciplines (1990), Academic Analysis and U.S. Foreign Policy-Making on Africa (1991); The Third World: Africa (1984), Africa on Film and Videotape (1982). Currently, he is editor of the quarterly journal African Rural and Urban Studies.

Current Research Interests

The Militarization of Africa

This research project combines historical research on the periods of world trade with Africa and the colonization of the continent with a contemporary focus on the militarization of Africa in the Cold War and post-9/11/2001 periods. Africa has been the target of foreign militaries since the beginning of its contact with the West. This has been accelerated especially in the Cold War years with the support of African militaries, client revolutionary movements, and military dictators, especially in the Congo, Somalia, Sudan, and Angola. Currently, the U.S. has increased its military focus on Africa with the new U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) to pursue the U.S. Global War on Terror (GWOT) and the interest in African natural resoures, especially petroleum.

Negotiating Environment and Development in South Durban (South Africa): Communities, Industries, and the State

This study continues and began with a Fulbright-Hays Research Fellowship year in Durban at the University of Durban-Westville in 1994-95. I participated in a research project by the Institute for Social and Economic Research for the City of Durban. The City has been designated a model city under the international Local Agenda 21 Program, and this study provided the socio-economic research for this effort. My research focused on how black and white communities have mobilized to mitigate pollution in the industrial zone of post-apartheid Durban and on sustainable waste management programs in African communities in Inanda, a new portion of Durban. The studies continue and are located in the political and economic contexts of the local, provincial, and national governments and the global economy.

Fragile Lakes, Fragile Lands: Environment and Development Issues in the Lakes of Eastern Africa

This is a collaborative study (four MSU social scientist principal investigators with Kenyan, Ugandan, Tanzanian, and Malawian collaborators) of biological and socio-economic change in the fisheries of Lakes Victoria and Malawi. This Program on the Lakes of East Africa is described in more detail at: http://africa.msu.edu/PLEA/. The research problem is how to seek stable and sustainable use of these common property natural resources in the face of burgeoning pressures on every front. These pressures include: foreign fish species introductions which have decimated indigenous species, water hyacinth growth in inlets, over-fishing in response to high world market demand for fish, destruction of wetlands fish breeding grounds, industrial and urban pollution, physical alterations of the lake (causeways, etc.), and reduction of intake water in the lakes as upstream users increase their take. The study investigates the human impacts on the lakes, the impacts on the humans of changes in the lakes, and the mechanisms to seek sustainable management of these common property resources.

Religion and Social Class in Zambia and Zimbabwe

This study assessed how the religious and denominational organizations and the religious belief and behavior of their members reflect the social and economic stratification (usually classes) of the community, from ruling and economic elites to peasants and squatter residents. Empirical work has been conducted in Zambia (Lusaka, Kitwe, and Ndola) and Zimbabwe (primarily indigenous Christian religious movements).

Socio-Economics of Squatter, Site and Service, and Council Housing in Lusaka, Kitwe, and Ndola, Zambia

This study was conducted for the Zambian National Housing Authority of 3,200 households of residents of "high density" urban areas, their socio-economic characteristics, housing history and plans, occupational status and histories, urban and housing goals and priorities, social networks, an evaluation of life chances. It was used in securing World Bank housing loans for squatter upgrading in the three cities.

Images of Africa in the Popular Media

This research consisted of a formal evaluation and assessment by Africans and academic Africanists of circa 1,000 documentary films and video productions about Africa for their accuracy, bias, datedness, quality of photography, and their theoretical assumptions. The project has turned now to identifying the popular culture images of Africa and African peoples in the United States and methodologies for remediating those stereotypes and prejudice. A database of circa 14,000 videos and films about Africa is available on a web-searchable database at http://www.amp.msu.edu/.

Academic Analysis and U.S. Foreign Policy-Making on Africa

This research interest was implemented with an initial study of 600 African studies academics and 108 U.S. makers of foreign policy toward Africa for their different assumptions and priorities - and now continues informally.


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