Mahmood Mamdani, PhD.
Director of the Institute of Social Research at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, and the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government at Columbia University, NY.
In June 2010, Mahmood Mamdani was appointed Director of the Makerere Institute for Social Research (MISR) in Kampala, Uganda, which he since developed into what is arguably the premier center for graduate education in the social sciences and the humanities on the continent. On December 1, 2018, at the Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association in Atlanta, Georgia, Mamdani delivered the Hormood Lecture. His theme was “Decolonization and higher education: the experience of Makerere Institute of Social Research.” Parts—on the history of intellectual debates over the nature of the African university—of Mamdani’s lecture have appeared in this London Review of Books article. A major influence on Mamdani’s mission for MISR was the late Samir Amin, the Egyptian intellectual who passed away in August 12, 2018. Soon after Amin passed, we published a post by Max Ajl on Amin’s contributions to historical social science—and revolutionary theory. Ajl concluded that Amin’s contributions span an almost mind-boggling breadth. After hearing Mamdani remembering Amin, I approached him about publishing that section of his remarks on Africa is a country. He obliged. – Sean Jacobs.
Abel B.S. Gaiya, A student of Christian apologetics and social theology
Walt Rostow (1959) infamously put forth a five-stage theory of economic development, extrapolating from the experiences of the great industrialized nations. However, as dependency theories strongly pointed out, the conditions under which those countries industrialized is significantly different from those that prevailed after decolonization. In addition to this, democratic capitalism experiences turbulence, which I argue makes development under this global system a struggle against powers and against what I call “Burawoyan Cycles”.
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