Bobi Wine Profile

Robert Kyagulanyi Sssentamu, famously known by his stage name Bobi Wine (Bobi, a homage to his music idols Bob Marley and Bobby Brown, and Wine because he realized he only gets better with age), is a rapper/singer turned politician in Uganda. A member of parliament since 2017, Wine employs music to rally his People Power Movement in resistance to the autocratic, repressive, and corrupt rule of longtime President Yoweri Museveni’s government. In 2020, he became the leader of a small opposition party, the National Unity Platform, in order to run as a presidential candidate, challenging Museveni in the 2021 election. 

Under its current leadership, MassGOP has lost more than elections

This op-ed originally appeared in the Boston Globe *** In 2016, amid the Republican National Committee kowtowing to the policies and rhetoric emanating from our nation’s capital.of Donald Trump, my 16-year-old self, a political newcomer, found solace and a political home in the Massachusetts Republican Party. At the time, MassGOP offered a sharp contrast to… Continue reading Under its current leadership, MassGOP has lost more than elections

Mau Mau and the Kikuyu

First published in 1952 at the precipice of the Mau Mau uprising, Mau Mau and the Kikuyu is a short book by Louis Leakey, a Kenyan-born British paleoanthropologist. Intended for British audience, Leakey’s primary motive for penning the book stems from his desire to inform British readers about important Kikuyu customs (given his experience growing up among the Kikuyu and studying their traditions) and also to argue for how the introduction of British colonialism upended these longstanding social customs, ultimately resulting in grievances that brought about the Mau Mau uprising. In the first chapter, Leakey writes, “if we are to understand the underlying causes which made it possible for the movement to come into being and to reach the proportions which it has reached, we must know something of the history and customs of the Kikuyu” (1). Throughout the book, Leakey explains how the social grievances underlining the Mau Mau uprising stemmed from the breakdown of Kikuyu customs (such as those pertaining to the Kikuyu system of clan-based authority and marriage) resulting from British colonization and land dispossession. In contrast to A Grain of Wheat, which focuses on ties of Mau Mau to a broader Kenyan identity, Mau Mau and the Kikuyu specifically focuses on the breakdown of Kikuyu customs and identity as a result of colonization and as an impetus for Mau Mau. However, the two sources are similar in that they identify the breakdown of local customs and traditions stemming from European “modernization” and land dispossession as core grievances stimulating the Mau Mau movement.

It’s up to Gen Z to chart a new vision for the GOP

As we’ve grown up in politics, the Republican Party has gifted us many things: a political home, sound principles, and, most of all, each other. But while this party has brought our friendships closer together, its current iteration of right-wing Trumpian populism has been tearing our country apart. In a sense, we’ve become politically alienated, as rhetoric and policies move toward the extreme.

Reframing “Ethnic Conflict” as “Politicized Ethnic Conflict”

Currently, “ethnic conflict” appears to be a useful label for understanding political and social violence around the world. One only needs to search for this term on an academic search engine or database to notice the plethora of studies and articles surrounding this topic. This paper strives to reframe the term “ethnic conflict” as “politicized ethnic conflict” in order to more accurately reflect both the ultimate and proximate causes of this type of violence. By using literature on ethnic conflict and politicized ethnicity, along with the comparative cases of Kenya and Tanzania, this paper argues for the incorporation of the term “politicized ethnic conflict” into the literature since it is evident that politicized ethnicity ultimately drives many instances of ethnic conflict, with ethnic difference serving as a proximate cause and delineator. 

Explaining Disparities in Electoral Concession and Peaceful Presidential Power Alternation in 21st Century Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire

This paper argues that the ultimate reason explaining the disparate concession outcomes is a function of zero-sum politics versus positive-sum politics, which are present in Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal respectively. Through exploring two underlying, pre-democratization variables, the catalyst of democratization, and two consequential, post-democratization variables, this paper will demonstrate how and why Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire differ in terms of zero-sum/positive-sum politics, and how this ultimate reason explains why Wade chose to peacefully concede his defeat while Gbagbo did not.

Gender Quotas in Sub-Saharan African Legislatures: Feminist Justifications and Implications

Over the past few decades, gender quotas have become an increasingly common policy around the world. Since the late 1980s, more than 70 countries have implemented laws requiring that women compose a minimum percentage of electoral candidates or seats in the national legislature, with the goal that such policies will increase the amount of women in elected legislative positions. Current scholars generally agree that gender quotas have led to an increase in the presence of women in legislatures around the world, presumably demonstrating that gender quotas achieve a feminist goal of increased representation for women and a more equal opportunity for women to contest such elections. This paper will focus on gender quotas in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region with significant implementation of gender quota policies (half of the countries in the region have mandated gender quotas) and the fastest and largest rate of change in women’s political representation in recent decades.

Democracy and Human Rights in Zimbabwe Post-2018 Elections

While it is unclear what will develop in the near future, it is imperative that the United States continues to enforce its sanctions and uphold its support for democracy and human rights. The United States should promote an end to attacks on political opposition and civil society, the elimination of repressive laws, transparent economic management, and election reform with meaningful national dialogue. Lastly, while the United States should strive to assist with the development of Zimbabwe, it cannot lose sight of the necessary conditions of good governance and respect for human rights.

China’s Involvement in Africa in the Past 20 Years

Concurrent with China’s rapid economic growth over the past two decades has been China’s increasingly deep interest, investment, and relationship with the African continent. China has engaged in considerable trade with African countries and heavily financed development projects. China’s expanding geopolitical influence through the media, military involvement, and diplomatic engagement has introduced ubiquitous new realities on the continent, which the United States should investigate and address more actively. As economic and political ties have deepened between China and Africa, some in the West have become skeptical of China’s intentions and whether negative impacts will arise from Chinese engagement with Africa. On the contrary, many African governments and citizens openly welcome China’s involvement, a major reason being China’s ability to address the infrastructure gap. However, this situation is not purely dichotomous and thus a more nuanced approach is required to assess the potential outcomes for African countries and the United States.

The Role of National Anthems in Constructing National Identities in the Atlantic World

Beginning in the late 18th century, the Atlantic world experienced a birth of new states rooted in common ideas such as liberty. These newly created nations were no longer connected by ethnic similarities, but instead by ideas and values, bringing together people of more diverse backgrounds than nation-states in the centuries before. New legal systems and governments outlined these new ideas in constitutions, but this was mere state-building. Identity on the other hand, is rooted in nation building. The births of the French Republic, the United States, Liberia, and Haiti involved revolutionary action that united them during their struggle against superior powers. However, this unifying idea of revolution tends to fade once the oppressor is removed, resulting in crucial years of instability. One way to unify people during this time was music. Historically, music has played a central role in forming cultural identities. For many years, music was intrinsically tied to ethnicity, serving as a form of homogenous bond. In the absence of homogenous bonds, members of these new countries combined music with the states’ foundational ideals, leading to the creation of national anthems. National anthems combined shared ideas, values, and history in an emotional context, ingraining these unifying forces into a new culture and creating national identities in nascent, revolutionary states.