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Carl LeVan

American University
Associate Professor, School of International Service
Washington D.C. Metro Area
LeVan focuses on comparative political institutions, democratization, and African security.  His book,"Dictators and Democracy in African Development: The Political Economy of Good Governance in Nigeria" (Cambridge University Press, 2015) explains two categories of public policy performance over fifty years, challenging conventional explanations that blame ethnicity, oil, foreign debt, and other factors. African Studies Quarterly calls it a "seminal book." His co-authored book with SPA Professor Todd Eisenstadt and Tofigh Maboudi on constitution-making around the world since 1973 will be published by Cambridge University Press in August 2017. Building from their 2015 American Political Science Review article, they find that citizen participation in constitution-making has long term positive effects on the level of democracy. LeVan has also published influential critiques of power sharing in Africa and on the Department of Defense's U.S. Africa Command. His 2011 essay "Questioning Tocqueville in Africa" won the Frank Cass Prize for Best Article by a Young Scholar from Routledge/Taylor & Francis Publishing. Other recent research examines the economic consequences of coalition governments in Africa, and property rights and migration in Abuja, Nigeria. He is currently writing a book about the end of Nigeria's transition to democracy, and is engaged in preliminary research on refugees in the US.