Welcome! I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and a member of OU’s African Studies program. My research and teaching interests focus on West African politics, religion and politics, and democratization, and in particular, on Islam and politics in Nigeria. I’m currently completing a book manuscript, tentatively entitled Muslims Talking Politics: Islam, Democracy, and Law in Northern Nigeria, that focuses on the politics of Islamic law (sharia) implementation in 12 Nigerian states, and its effect on popular perceptions of democracy and democratic effectiveness. I’m also interested in the politics of formal and informal powersharing in deeply-divided states, and my most recent work explores the relationship between powersharing and democratic nation-building across West Africa.

Finally, I offer frequent commentary and occasional consulting services on West African politics. I’ve been interviewed on-air by the BBC World Service and BBC 4 Radio and published with the Washington Post, and I’ve provided briefings and analyses on political and religious affairs in Nigeria for numerous governmental agencies.


At OU, I currently teach four classes: POLS 1500 (Themes in Global Politics) and POLS 4410/5410 (African Politics) in the fall, and POLS 4400/5400 (Politics of Developing Areas) and POLS 4495/5495 (Challenges of Democratization) in the spring.  All three of my upper-level courses count towards the “Social Science” requirements of OU’s African Studies MA program, and I serve as a MA advisor for students in both the African Studies and Political Science graduate programs.   Old syllabai and links to past course blogs can be found under “Course Gateway.