Event Details


Tuesday, Nov 15, 2011 - Tuesday, Nov 15, 2011



Constitutional Design And Conflict Management In Africa Conference

Constitutional Design And Conflict Management In Africa Conference

Tuesday, Nov 15, 2011 - Tuesday, Nov 15, 2011  |     | 

The Robert S. Strauss Center's Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) program invites you to a conference on Constitutional Design and Conflict Management in Africa on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. The conference is open to policymakers, practitioners, researchers, students, and the public. Active participation by attendees is encouraged.

Leading global scholars and practitioners will debate new case studies of seven African countries and an innovative database of political institutions across all of Africa. The conference culminates two years of research by international experts under the CCAPS program's Constitutional Design and Conflict Management project, directed by Dr. Alan J. Kuperman, Associate Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin.

Countries to be discussed include Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, offering insights for the rest of the continent and beyond. The research aims to spotlight African countries that are especially vulnerable to political instability, and to identify the beneficial political institutions that the United States could promote through its democracy and governance aid programs.

Conference Agenda

AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center 
University of Texas at Austin
1900 University Avenue
Austin, Texas

8:00AM    Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30AM    Project Overview
Francis J. Gavin, Robert S. Strauss Center
Alan J. Kuperman, University of Texas at Austin

9:00AM    Constitutional Strategies
All Africa: Eliezer Poupko, University of Texas at Austin
Nigeria: Eghosa E. Osaghae, Igbinedion University, NIGERIA
Burundi: Filip Reyntjens, University of Antwerp, BELGIUM
    Zachary Elkins, University of Texas at Austin
    Pierre Englebert, Pomona College

11:00AM  Separation Anxiety
Sudan: Stefan Wolff, University of Birmingham, UK
Senegal: I. William Zartman, Johns Hopkins University
    Catherine Boone, University of Texas at Austin
    Herman J. Cohen, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (Ret.)

12:30PM   Lunch & Keynote Address  
Alan Goulty, UK Ambassador to Sudan/Tunisia (Ret.)   

2:00PM     Shocking Elections
Kenya: Gilbert Khadiagala, U. of Witwatersrand, SOUTH AFRICA
Ghana: Justin O. Frosini, Bocconi University, ITALY
Zimbabwe: Andrew Reynolds, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
ordon Crawford, University of Leeds, UK  
    Lahra Smith, Georgetown University

4:00PM    Lessons Learned
    Mohamed Salih, Institute of Social Studies, NETHERLANDS
    Bernard Grofman, University of California, Irvine
    Alan J. Kuperman, University of Texas at Austin

5:30PM    Reception


To register for this free conference, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


A hotel room block has been arranged at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center for November 14-16. Please call (512) 404-3600 or (877) 744-8822 and be sure to ask for the "LBJ School: Constitutional Design and Conflict Management" room block when making your reservation to receive the group rate of $169/night. Or you may make your reservation online by clicking here. The deadline to receive the room block rate is October 13.

More Information

For questions or more details regarding the conference, please contact Dominique Thuot, CCAPS Program Coordinator, at 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information on the CCAPS program's research in this field, see the Constitutional Design and Conflict Management project on the CCAPS website. Read more about the CDCM project in the new research brief, Can Political Institutions Avert Violence from Climate Change?

Panelist Biographies

Catherine Boone is Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in comparative politics, with an emphasis on theories of political economy and economic development. She has conducted research on industrial, commercial, and land tenure policies in West Africa, where her work has been funded by the Social Science Research Council, Fulbright, the World Bank, and the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies.  She also served as President of the West Africa Research Association from 2005-2008, overseeing the West African Research Center in Dakar, Senegal.  Her books include Merchant Capital and the Roots of State Power in Senegal, 1930-1985 (Cambridge, 1992), and Political Topographies of the African State: Rural Authority and Institutional Choice (Cambridge, 2003), winner of a 2005 award from the Society for Comparative Research.

Herman J. Cohen is a 38-year veteran of the U.S. State Department Foreign Service.  Ambassador Cohen has devoted his professional career to African and European affairs. He worked in Africa for twelve years in five countries, including three years in Senegal as the American Ambassador.  His Washington assignments included four years as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research, two years in the National Security Council as President Reagan's Senior Director for Africa, and four years as Assistant Secretary of State for Africa under President George Bush (1989-1993).  Mr. Cohen was Senior Adviser to the Global Coalition for Africa from 1994 to 1998, and is currently President of the Africa-oriented consulting firm Cohen and Woods International. He travels to Africa regularly on behalf of American business firms.  His book, Intervening in Africa: Superpower Conflict Resolution in a Troubled Continent (Palgrave Macmillan) won the award for best book on diplomatic practice in the year 2000 from the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Gordon Crawford is Professor of Development Politics at the School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds, UK, where he is also the Director of the Centre for Global Development. He is co-editor of the journal Democratization, and co-convener of the Governance and Development Working Group of the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI). He has authored articles and books on issues of democracy promotion, notably by the European Union, and on decentralization in Africa. Much of his recent work has focused on Ghana, including several journal articles: "The World Bank and Ghana's Poverty Reduction Strategies"¬ù (in Labour, Capital and Society), "Consolidating Democracy in Ghana"¬ù (in Democratization), and "Decentralisation and struggles for basic rights in Ghana"¬ù (in International Journal of Human Rights). He has also co-edited (with Gabrielle Lynch) a 2011 special issue on "Democratization in Africa: Challenges and Prospects"¬ù (Democratization 18,2), including an introductory article on "Democratization in Africa 1990-2010: an assessment."¬ù He is currently working on a research project entitled "˜human rights, power and civic action' in collaboration with Prof. Bard Anders Andreassen of the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights at the University of Oslo.  (See

Zachary Elkins is Associate Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin.  His research focuses on issues of democracy, institutional reform, research methods, and national identity.  He recently co-authored The Endurance of National Constitutions (Cambridge UP, 2009), which explores the factors that lead to the survival of national constitutions.  Currently, he is completing a book manuscript, Designed by Diffusion: Constitutional Reform in Developing Democracies, which examines the design and diffusion of democratic institutions.  He also co-directs (with Tom Ginsburg of the University of Chicago) the Comparative Constitutions Project, an NSF-funded initiative to understand the causes and consequences of constitutional choices, and the website, which provides resources and analysis for constitutional drafters in new democracies.

Pierre Englebert is Professor of African politics at Pomona College in Claremont, California, and the author of Africa: Unity, Sovereignty and Sorrow (Lynne Rienner 2009) and State Legitimacy and Development in Africa (Lynne Rienner 2000).

Justin O. Frosini holds a Ph.D. in Constitutional Law from Bologna University.  In Italy, he is presently Lecturer of Public Law at the Bocconi University, Milan, and Director of the Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development, Bologna. He has been visiting professor at several universities in Europe, the United States and Canada, and he is an affiliated scholar of the Bologna Center of The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).  He has published widely in the field of Comparative Constitutional Law and is on the editorial board of several comparative law journals.

Alan Goulty served for 40 years in the British Diplomatic Service, culminating as UK Ambassador to Tunisia (2004-2008) and Sudan (1995-1999). In addition, he was UK special representative to Sudan (2002-2004) for the peace negotiations that successfully ended a long-running civil war, and subsequently for Darfur's peace negotiations (2005-2006). His academic postings include a fellowship at Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and an adjunct professorship at Georgetown University. Most recently, he has been Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in Washington, DC, leading a project on "Peacemaking in Sudan."¬ù

Bernard Grofman is the Jack W. Peltason Chair and Professor of Political Science, and an Adjunct Professor of Economics, at the University of California, Irvine, where he also is Director of the Center for the Study of Democracy.  He is an authority on American politics, comparative election systems, and social choice theory, and has served as an expert witness or court-appointed consultant in state legislative and congressional lawsuits in 11 states.  His co-authored books include Minority Representation and the Quest for Voting Equality (Cambridge UP, 1992), and A Unified Theory of Party Competition:  A Cross-National Analysis Integrating Spatial and Behavioral Factors (Cambridge UP, 2005).  His co-edited books include Representation and Redistricting Issues (Lexington Books, 1982); Choosing an Electoral System (Praeger, 1984); Electoral Laws and Their Political Consequences (Agathon Press, 1986); and The Evolution of Electoral and Party Systems in the Nordic Countries (Agathon Press, 2002).

Gilbert M. Khadiagala is the Jan Smuts Professor of International Relations and Head of the Department of International Relations at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He has previously taught comparative politics and international relations in Kenya, Canada, and the United States.  Dr. Khadiagala holds a doctorate in international studies from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), the Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C. His research focuses on security and politics in Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, and the Great Lakes region. He is the recent author of Meddlers or Mediators? African Interveners in Civil Conflicts in Eastern Africa (2007), editor, Security Dynamics in Africa's Great Lakes Region (2006), co-author, Sudan: The Elusive Quest for Peace (2007), and co-editor Conflict Management and African Politics: Ripeness, Bargaining, and Mediation (2008). He is currently doing research on leadership in post-conflict reconstruction in Africa and mediation of electoral conflicts in Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Alan J. Kuperman leads the CCAPS project on Constitutional Design and Conflict Management in Africa.  He is Associate Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, and previously coordinated the international relations program at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Bologna, Italy.  He is author of The Limits of Humanitarian Intervention: Genocide in Rwanda (Brookings, 2001) and co-editor of Gambling on Humanitarian Intervention: Moral Hazard, Rebellion and Civil War (Routledge, 2006).  His articles have appeared in journals and newspapers including Foreign Affairs, International Studies Quarterly, and The New York Times, and he has chapters in edited volumes including Conflict Management and Africa: Negotiation, Mediation, and Politics (Routledge, 2008).  In 2009, he was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in Washington, DC.  Prior to his academic career, he worked as legislative director to Congressman Charles Schumer and legislative assistant to the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Thomas Foley.  He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from MIT (2002).

Eghosa E. Osaghae, Ph.D. (Political Science, University of Ibadan 1986) is Professor of Comparative Politics and Vice Chancellor of Igbinedion University, Okada, Nigeria. He was leader of the Ford Foundation's Program on Ethnic and Federal Studies and Director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Ibadan where he has taught since 1982, and has held academic positions in Liberia, South Africa, Sweden, USA, UK and India. Osaghae chaired the Pan-African Working Group on "Building Institutional Effectiveness in Africa"¬ù hosted by the Institute for Global Dialogue (South Africa) and Federal Trust Fund (UK) in 2005/6, and has been a member of the Technical Advisory Panel and Network on Parliaments and Parliamentary Institutions of the African Capacity Building Foundation, Harare, Zimbabwe, since 2003, as well as member of the Centre Advisory Review Group, Development Research Centre on Citizenship, Participation and Accountability, IDS, University of Sussex, UK. He is founder and chair of the Governing Board of the Community Relations and Conflict Resolution Centre in Ibadan and serves on the editorial boards of international journals. His publications include Between State and Civil Society in Africa; Ethnicity, Class and State Power in Liberia; Crippled Giant: Nigeria Since Independence; and Researching Conflict in Africa: Insights and Experiences; as well as several articles in learned journals.

Eliezer Poupko is a doctoral student in public policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and graduate research assistant for the CCAPS project on Constitutional Design and Conflict Management at the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law, University of Texas at Austin. He holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from the LBJ School and a Juris Doctor from the University of Florida, and previously practiced as a legal aid attorney in Florida and California.  His current research interests include democratic theory, constitutional design, and comparative electoral studies.

Andrew Reynolds is Associate Professor of Political Science and Chair of Global Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  He received his M.A. from the University of Cape Town and his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego. His research and teaching focus on democratization, constitutional design and electoral politics. Among his books are the following: Designing Democracy in a Dangerous World (Oxford, forthcoming), The Architecture of Democracy: Constitutional Design, Conflict Management, and Democracy, ed. (Oxford, 2002), Electoral Systems and Democratization in Southern Africa (Oxford, 1999), Election '99 South Africa: From Mandela to Mbeki, ed. (St. Martin's, 1999), and Elections and Conflict Management in Africa (USIP, 1998), co-edited with T. Sisk. He has served as a consultant on issues of electoral and constitutional design for Afghanistan, Angola, Burma, Egypt, Fiji, Guyana, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Mongolia, Nepal, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

Filip Reyntjens is Professor of African Law and Politics at the Institute of Development Policy and Management, University of Antwerp. He is a full member of the Belgian Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences and a board member of several scientific organizations, including the Institute of Tropical Medecine (Antwerp), the International Third World Legal Studies Association (New York) and the Development Research Institute IVO (Tilburg). Among other assignments, he has been a visiting professor in Paris, Pretoria, Butare (Rwanda), Kinshasa and Mbarara (Uganda) and the vice-rector of the University of Mbuji-Mayi (DRC). For over thirty years, he has specialized in the law and politics of Sub-Sahara Africa, and the Great Lakes Region in particular, on which he has published a dozen books and hundreds of scholarly articles. He has acted as an expert witness on the law and politics of Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC in national courts in countries such as Belgium, France, Switzerland, Tanzania, the UK and the US, as well as before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Court. He has done consultancy work for several ministries of Foreign Affairs and Development Co-operation and for international NGOs.

Mohamed Salih is Professor of Politics of Development at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague and the Department of Political Science, University of Leiden in the Netherlands.  Previously, he was leader of the Research Program on Human Life in African Arid Lands at the Nordic Institute of African Studies in Uppsala, Sweden.  His research focuses on the politics of development, sustainable development, theories and applications of governance, rural transformation, pastoral and peasant studies, conflict studies, political institutions (including parliaments and political parties) and democracy promotion.  He is a 2007 co-Laureate of the Nobel Prize for Peace for contributing (as Review Editor of the Working Group on Climate Change and Sustainability) to the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) IVth Report, an award shared with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.  His books include African Democracies and African Politics, (Pluto, 2001), African Parliaments between Government and Governance (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2006), and Climate Change and Sustainable Development: New Challenges for Poverty Reduction (Edward Elgar, 2009).  He has advised national governments, civil society, and non-governmental, bilateral, regional and multilateral organizations, and is on the editorial board of several journals.

Lahra Smith is Assistant Professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service with a particular interest in African politics. Her current research interests include citizenship in contemporary African states, comparative study of citizen education, and the role of changing religious dynamics in peace and conflict in the Horn of Africa sub-region.  She is author of the 2009 article, "Explaining violence after recent elections in Ethiopia and Kenya,"¬ù in Democratization 16, 5.  She also has worked and studied in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Djibouti and Zimbabwe, including for USAID and Oxfam America, and as an election observer in Ethiopia and Kenya.

Stefan Wolff is Professor of International Security at the University of Birmingham, England, UK.  A political scientist by background, he specializes in the management of contemporary security challenges, especially in the prevention and settlement of ethnic conflicts and in post-conflict reconstruction in deeply divided and war-torn societies. Wolff's publications to date include twelve books and over twenty journal articles and book chapters. His latest monograph is Ethnic Conflict: Causes"”Consequences"”Responses (Polity 2009, with Karl Cordell). Wolff is the founding editor of Ethnopolitics (, a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the study of ethnic conflicts and their management around the globe. Stefan Wolff holds a Masters Degree from Magdalene College, Cambridge, and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

I. William Zartman is the Jacob Blaustein Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of The Johns Hopkins University in Washington, and member of the Steering Committee of the Processes of International Negotiation (PIN) Program. He has been a Distinguished Fellow of the United States Institute of Peace, Olin Professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, Elie Halévy Professor at Sciences Pô in Paris, and holder of the Bernheim Chair at the Free University of Bruxelles, and received a lifetime achievement award from the International Association for Conflict Management.  He is author of a number of books, including Negotiation and Conflict Management: Essays in Theory and Practice, The Practical Negotiator, Ripe for Resolution and Cowardly Lions: Missed Opportunities to Prevent Deadly Conflict and State Collapse, and Morocco: Problems of New Power, and co-editor of Terrorist Negotiations: Who Holds Whom Hostage? and State Engagement with Terrorists: Negotiating Ends and Means.   He is also president of the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM), and was founding president of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies and past President of the Middle East Studies Association. His doctorate is from Yale (1956) and his honorary doctorate from Louvain (1997).