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I am a Five Colleges Professor in the School of Critical Inquiry at Hampshire College, Amherst, MA. I received my PhD in 2009 from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. I hold an LLB from the University College London.

My research interests are in African politics and qualitative research methodologies. Specifically, my work focuses on state-society relations in post-conflict societies. I study individual strategies of everyday resistance to government policies in Africa, with emphasis on rural Rwanda. My current research analyses political patronage networks in two urban slums in Nairobi, Kenya. I also study interpretative, ethnographic and narrative research methods, with particular focus on research ethics and doing research in difficult environments.

My work has been published in numerous journals, including Canadian Journal of African Studies; International Journal of Transitional Justice, and Peace Review, and edited volumes, including Africa Yearbook: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara (Brill, 2009) and Surviving Field Research: Working in violent and difficult situations (Routledge, 2009).

www.susanmthomson.com

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010 (2 comments)     

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Kagame will be Rwanda's next president. Then what? Recent calls from prominent members of the international community to allow for a free and fair election when Rwandans go to the polls on 9 August 2010 are not enough to challenge Rwandan president Paul Kagame's grip on power. The article argues for members of Rwanda's donor community to acknowledge Kagame's central role in Rwandan politics, and to push him to open up political space and dialogue.