International Forum for Democratic Studies Research Council Member

Richard Joseph

Northwestern University

Richard Joseph, a nonresident senior fellow in Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution, is John Evans Professor of International History and Politics at Northwestern University. A former fellow of The Carter Center, he focuses on African governance, political economy, and democratization. As a lecturer at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, Joseph’s understanding of the misuse of Africa’s human, physical and natural resources underwent a fundamental shift as reflected in his essay Affluence and Underdevelopment: The Nigerian Experience (1978). During the subsequent three decades, he has confronted directly – in publications, seminars, lectures, and collaborative research programs – impediments in Africa to democracy and economic growth, the building of efficient public and private institutions, the reduction of systemic corruption and poverty, and the ending of violent conflict. Dr. Joseph also maintains AfricaPlus, a website intended to serve as a discussion forum about the promotion of democracy, growth, and security in Africa,

In a USIP Special Report in 2002, entitled Smart Partnerships for African Development, he drew on lessons learned over the previous twenty-five years that include two years as a Ford Foundation program officer and six years of direct engagement with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter conducting peace and democracy initiatives in several African countries, notably Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Sudan and Zambia. With the support of the Dutch Foreign Ministry, he initiated at Northwestern the Consortium for Development Partnerships (CDP) in 2004 and oversaw projects by West African researchers on governance, democracy and agribusiness. A grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2006 supported the creation of the Research Alliance to Combat HIV/AIDS (REACH). Survey research has been completed on HIV prevention and treatment in several Nigerian communities involving dozens of researchers, graduate students, and field assistants backed by an international team.

Forum Publications

“Growth, Security, and Democracy in Africa,” Journal of Democracy (Oct. 2014)