Department of Political Studies


Political Studies

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Bruce Berman

B.A. (Dartmouth); M.A. (LSE); M.Phil., Ph.D. (Yale) 


After spending 1968-69 at the Institute for Development Studies at the University ofNairobi , and 1970 as an instructor at Yale, Professor Berman was appointed as a lecturer in the Department of Political Studies at Queen's in 1971. Professor Berman's major field of interest is in the political economy of development, with special reference to Africa . He has conducted research in Kenya , Ghana and South Africa and during his years at Queen's has taught undergraduate courses in African politics, the politics of science and technology, and the graduate seminar in development theory. He is currently teaching an undergraduate course in development theory and a new course in the development studies program on Technology and Development. Professor Berman is widely acknowledged as one of Canada 's leading experts  on African politics: he served as president of the Canadian Association of African Studies in 1990-91, co-chair of the national program committee for the 1994 annual meeting of the African Studies Association of the U.S. In 2003 he was elected vice-president of the ASA and became president of the ASA in November 2004.. Professor Berman has published widely in the field of African politics, with two of his books winning prizes: Control and Crisis in Colonial Kenya: the Dialectic of Domination (1990) won the Joel Gregory Prize in 1991 and Unhappy Valley: Conflict in Kenya and Africa (1992) won the Trevor Reese Memorial Prize in 1994. His latest publications include Critical Perspectives on Politics and Socio-Economic Development in Ghana (edited with W. Tettey and K. Puplampu, Brill, 2003), Ethnicity and Democracy in Africa (edited with W. Kymlicka and D. Eyoh, Ohio University Press and James Currey, 2004), and “ ‘A Palimpsest of Contradictions': Ethnicity, Class and Politics in Africa”, International Journal of African Historical Studies, 2004. Students whose doctoral theses have been supervised by Professor Berman are now in government service or teaching and researching in Canada , the West Indies, South Africa , Kenya and Rwanda . In 2003 he was nominated for the Geoffrey Marshall Mentoring Award offered by the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools. Professor Berman is a founding member of the Research Group on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multicultural Citizenship (RGoNEMC) at Queen's.