Contact Info

Campus Mail
Drawer 63



229 Landrum Bolling Center

Jennifer Seely

Associate Professor of Politics


  • Politics
  • African and African American Studies
  • International Studies


  • Ph.D., Washington University
  • M.A., Washington University
  • B.A., Northwestern University

Selected Courses

Democracy & Democratization
African Politics
Approaching Political Puzzles
Politics of Global Inequality
International Political Economy


I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and always thought I wanted to be a teacher. In college I realized that I was fascinated by the developing world, so I joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Cote d'Ivoire. It was a transformative experience and led me to graduate study in Political Science, focused on questions of democratization and development in Africa.

After earning my Ph.D. from Washington University I was awarded a Carnegie Mellon Fellowship from Brandeis University, and joined Earlham's Politics Department in 2008. I teach courses in the subfield of Comparative Politics, seeking answers to questions about why some countries transition to democracy or are systematically able to improve the lives of their populations.

Research Projects

“Is Citizenship the Key to Peace and Democracy in Africa?” In progress.

““Second Class Citizens? Gender in African Citizenship Law” Co-authored with Emma Diambogne Diouf, Charlotte-Anne Malischewski, Maria Vaikath, and Kiah Young-Burns. Citizenship Studies 17, 3-4: 429-446 (June 2013).

“It’s All Relative: Modeling Candidate Support in Benin.” Co-authored with Martin Battle. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 16: 1 (January 2010).

The Legacies of Transition Governments in Africa: The Cases of Benin and Togo. Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

Professional Memberships

American Political Science Association
African Studies Association
African Politics Conference Group
Midwest Political Science Association
West Africa Research Association

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