- Understanding African Poverty over the Longue Durée.
- This Initiative is actively conducting research
- In 2009–2010, the team of Professor Emmanuel Akyeampong of the Department of History, Professors Robert Bates and James Robinson of the Department of Government, and Professor Nathan Nunn of the Department of Economics began the ninth Weatherhead Initiative entailing research on “Understanding African Poverty over the Longue Durée.” Through this project the researchers sought to achieve a better understanding of why Africa’s economic performance has been so poor in the 50 years since independence, and also to address why Africa seems to have been so poor historically—and, of course, whether this has really been the case. The team approached the question of African poverty through both collective and individual undertakings. First, they gathered a diverse group of leading scholars for two conferences: one at the International Institute for the Advanced Study of Cultures, Institutions and Economic Enterprise (IIAS) in Accra, Ghana, and another at the Weatherhead Center. With participants’ conference papers, they produced a book. Second, Professors Bates and Robinson designed and taught an undergraduate course, debuted in the fall of 2009, entitled “Why is Africa Poor?”. Finally, in order to enhance these collective endeavors, each member of the team undertook an individual research project that fit within the larger rubric.
- Conference Chair
- Akyeampong, Emmanuel
- Faculty Associate. Professor of History, Department of History;
Professor of African and African American Studies, Department of African
and African American Studies, Harvard University; Harvard College
- Bates, Robert H.
- Faculty Associate (on leave
2012–2013); Harvard Academy Senior Scholar. Eaton Professor of the
Science of Government, Department of Government; Professor of African
and African American Studies, Department of African and African American
Studies, Harvard University.
- Robinson, James A.
- Executive Committee; Steering Committee; Faculty Associate; Harvard
Academy Senior Scholar. David Florence Professor of Government,
Department of Government, Harvard University.