My dissertation project consists of three papers on the politics of higher education in East Africa.

  • The Distributive Politics of Higher Education in East Africa: The number of public universities in Africa has nearly quadrupled since the late 1980s.  In this paper, I develop a new dataset on the annual per-student funding of East African universities from 1960 – 2015, and examine whether the locations and amount of funding allocated to new public universities are driven by electoral concerns.
  • Repertoires of Repression: Campus Activism and State Response in East Africa: African universities have often been the foci of anti-government activism.  In response, governments have developed repertoires of different tactics for quelling dissent, ranging from discrete actions like regulating the use of specific textbooks or expelling individual students, to major actions like shutting down campuses or allowing police to fire on striking students.  In this paper, I examine the frequency with which these different repressive strategies have been used at universities in Kenya from 1962 – 2015.
  • Academic Research and the Policymaking Process in Kenya: Academics often hope to carry out “policy relevant” research that will inform government policies.  However, little meta-research has been done on when and how government officials decide to make use of academic research, particularly in low income countries.  In this paper, I survey current and former Members of Parliament (MPs) in Kenya on the sources of information they use in their policymaking decisions.

I’ll post working papers and datasets here as they’re available.