School of International Service
LeVan focuses on comparative political institutions, democratization, and African security. His influential critique of power sharing in Africa appeared in the January 2011 issue of "Governance," and his he has also published articles on the Department of Defense's U.S. Africa Command. His 2011 essay "Questioning Tocqueville in Africa," won the Frank Cass Prize for Best Article by a Young Scholar from Routledge/Taylor & Francis Publishing. An article to be published in 2013 identifies "analytic authoritarianism" as an emerging area of comparative research.
He recently finished a book manuscript comparing the delivery of local and national collective goods in Nigeria since independence. He co-led the American Political Science Association's 2011 Africa Workshop with SPA Professor Todd Eisenstadt, funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation. They are currently collaborating on a new project on comparative constitutionalism, using a global dataset.
Prior to joining academia, he worked for U.S. Representative John Conyers (D-MI) and then as the National Democratic Institute's country director in Nigeria. He publishes the blog, development4security, and frequently consults for the State Department.
DegreesPhD, political science, University of California, San Diego; MA, political science, American University; BA, political science, George Washington University
Favorite Spot on Campus:The Davenport, I think
Favorite Place in Washington DC:I like Open City, Politics & Prose, and Qualia. I try to go to either the Black Cat or the 930 once a month!
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Partnerships & Affiliations
Chair, Peace & Security Section
American Political Science Association
Midwest Political Science Association
Fulbright Alumni Association
Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities
Dr. LeVan's research interests include comparative democratization, political institutions and economic development, and authoritarianism.
Honors, Awards, and Fellowships
- Co-Leader, American Political Science Association's Africa Workshop, funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, 2011
- AU Curriculum Development Award for "Representation in the Developing World," 2011
- USAID in-kind grant for AU workshop on "The Consequences of Inclusive Governance," 2009
- American Political Science Association travel grant for Annual Conference, 2006
- Institute for International, Comparative and Area Studies field research grant, 2005
- Fulbright grant for dissertation research in Nigeria, 2003 – 2004 academic year
- Seymour Melman Fellowship, Institute for Policy Studies, 2001
- Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science National Honor Society, 1998
- Pi Alpha Alpha Public Affairs National Honor Society, 1998
- Secretary, Board of Directors, the Daima Project
- Member, American Political Science Association
- Member, African Studies Association
- Member, Midwest Political Science Association
- Member, International Studies Association
- Member, African Politics Conference Group
- Member, Nigerian Studies Association
- Member, Working Group and African Political Economy
- Member, Fulbright Association
- Member, National Board of Directors, Education for Peace in Iraq Center (2003 – 2004)
- "Analytic Authoritarianism and Nigeria," Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Studies (forthcoming 2012)
- "Power Sharing in Africa's Uncertain Democracies," in Governance: an International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions, Vol. 24, No. 1, January 2011.
- "Questioning Tocqueville in Africa: Continuity and Change in Civil Society During Nigeria's Democratization," Democratization, January 2011.
- "The Consequences of African Cabinet Size, 1972 - 2004," with Assen Assenov (under review).
- "Decentralization and Corruption in Nigeria's Education Sector," (working paper).
- "Keeping Baloney Out of Africa," The Hill, 2008.
- "Next Steps for Nigeria's Democracy,"International Affairs Forum, January 2008.
- In Democracy's Shadow: the Secret World of National Security, co-edited with Marcus Raskin, Nation Books, 2005.
- "Be Careful Libby Case Doesn't Lead to More Secrecy," The Hill, November 2005.
- "Elections in Nigeria: Is the Third Time a Charm?" (Principal co-author, with Joyce Pitso and Bodunrin Adebo) in Journal of African Elections 2, 2003.
Briefing chair, "African Security Policy," Subcommittee on International Operations, House Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. Congress (December 2008)
Area of Expertise: Nigeria, African politics, development, democratization
Additional Information: Carl LeVan has recently published articles about the U.S. Africa Command (in Africa Today),Nigerian democratization (in the journal Democratization), and the problems presented by African power sharing agreements (in the journal Governance). Prior to academia, he worked as the legislative director to U.S. Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and served as the National Democratic Institute's country director in Nigeria. He is currently carrying out research on the economic consequences of Africa’s cabinets and is writing a book about Nigerian government performance. He publishes the blog Development4security.
To request an interview please call AU Media Relations at 202-885-5950 or submit an interview request form.