East Africa

Interested Scholars

The following scholars are interested in this topic:

My research investigates the political economy of governance and environmental management in developing countries. One main strand of my research addresses the ways that foreign donors can support better environmental management in the countries where they work. My book Giving Aid Effectively examines when and why member states and civil society groups can make the multilateral development banks, which manage approximately half of all international development finance, responsive to their environmental performance. Other recent projects investigate when foreign aid catalyzes private sector investment in emerging technologies, when externally-financed institution building persists over time, and how remotely sensed data can be used as part of geospatial impact evaluation to improve the evidence behind environment and development interventions.

Another main strand of my research investigates experimentally the effects of transparency on governance and political accountability. I am currently leading or co-leading several field experiments that investigate when information about the programmatic performance of politicians changes vote choice, whether citizen-sourced data on public services improves the governance of urban public services, how transparency encourages citizens to seek accountability from governments, why national-level transparency rating programs affect the actions of local governments in authoritarian contexts. All of these field experiments are designed and implemented as part of strong partnerships with implementing agencies around the world.

I am interested in semantics, syntax, and lexical semantics and, especially, the syntax-semantics interface. In particular, I’m interested in the question of possible verb meanings and how the meaning of a verb derives argument realization. My dissertation (completed in May 2016) investigated the interface between verb meaning and morphosyntax in Bantu languages, looking at the syntax and semantics of applicative and causative morphology. Other topics of interest are copular verbs, agreement, grammatical complexity, lexical semantic typology, tense/aspect, and motion predicates. I have conducted fieldwork in East Africa on three languages: Kinyarwanda (Rwanda), Lubukusu (Kenya), and Chichewa (Malawi).

Dr. Leah Windsor is a Research Assistant Professor in the Institute for Intelligent Systems at The University of Memphis. She received her Bachelor of Science in Linguistics from Georgetown University in 1998, her Master’s degree in Political Science at The University of Memphis in 2005, and her Ph.D. in Political Science from The University of Mississippi in 2012. Dr. Windsor currently serves as PI for a Minerva Initiative grant administered by the U.S. Department of Defense that examines political communication in authoritarian regimes and opaque political groups. Her work uses computational linguistics and discourse analysis to answer questions about regime survival, political crisis and conflict, propaganda and persuasion, bluffs and threats, governance, and radicalization. Her interdisciplinary approach to understanding political language is situated at the intersection of political science, psychology, cognitive science, computer science, neurobiology, methodology, and linguistics. Dr. Windsor was selected as Smart City Fellow with the City of Memphis and the FedEx Institute of Technology where she analyzes issues in local Memphis politics. She is also interested in issues of bias and ethnocentrism in studying political language, including corpus selection, translation, and document preparation. In February 2017, Dr. Windsor’s lab was selected for a Team Initiation Grant by the University of Memphis’ Division of Research and Sponsored Programs to study how multimodal forms of communication including language, nonverbal cues, and audiovisual elements, can inform our understanding of methods of persuasion, elements of cognition, keys to decoding deception, and locus of attention. Dr. Windsor is also co-authoring a book on family formation in academia that presents research from an international survey about academic parents. Most recently she was invited to present her work to the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of Defense. Her work has been published in Terrorism and Political Violence, International Interactions, The International Feminist Journal of Politics, and Political Research Quarterly.

I joined Essex Business School in November 2013. Previously I held posts at Queen’s University Belfast (2007-2013) and Middlesex University Business School (1996-2007). I have published over 100 peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters and conference papers in areas such as social entrepreneurship, hybrid businesses, green supply chain management, the role of business in development, sustainability discourse, and ecopreneuring. I was the principal investigator on the ESRC funded Trickle Out Africa Project (2011 – present) which considers the impact of social and environmental enterprises on poverty alleviation and sustainable development across the 19 countries of Southern and Eastern Africa. The online Trickle Out Directory now lists over 2000 social purpose ventures. I am also the UK host of a Newton Advanced Fellowship with Dr Silvia Pinheiro from Brazil on “Inclusion and formalization of Amazonian informal entrepreneurs into MNC value chains – mechanisms, partnerships and impacts”. I also run the South Africa PhD partnership network in Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation. I am a member of the ESRC peer review college, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a member of the British Council social science funding panel.

My research was inspired by the wide concern about the security implications of climate change. I especially pay attention to the mechanism under which climate variability might exacerbate different types of intrastate conflicts, including non-violent and violent conflicts. In addition, I am also interested in how information-driven coordinating collective phenomena unfold with security threats in place. Specifically, I will focus on the signal processing between political elites and mass public to identify the relationship between information signal processing and the diffusion of conflicts in space and time. Individuals do not form opinions, beliefs, and actions in an isolated environment but are exposed to social influence through social networks and physical, ideological, cultural, or emotional proximity to others.

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