Researcher To Focus On Africa’s International Relations In Personally Speaking Talk

In Africa’s International Relations: Balancing Domestic and Global Interests, UNC Charlotte political scientist Beth Elise Whitaker and co-author John Clark argue that the external relations of African countries are shaped mainly by domestic political imperatives.

Whitaker’s research and the book will be the focus of the second talk of the 2020-2021 season in the Personally Speaking published experts series, on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.

While the Personally Speaking conversation will be virtual, it will also be highly interactive with ample opportunity for questions. Slots are limited for the live talk. Attendees must register here no later than 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26. Registrants will receive a link to join the talk; a recording of the talk will be posted on the College’s YouTube channel later.

About the Talk

Most African leaders, even those chosen through elections, face threats to their power both from within their governments and from opposition groups. To mitigate such risks, leaders cultivate international relations that help secure their hold on power. Whether negotiating loans, responding to migration, or interacting with global powers, the pursuit of regime security influences the types of external actors with whom African leaders partner and the terms of resulting relationships.

About the Author

Beth Whitaker

Whitaker is a professor and director of the honors program in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration in UNC Charlotte’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. As a Fulbright Scholar in Kenya in 2005-2006, she examined U.S.-African counter-terrorism cooperation. She also has done fieldwork in Tanzania and Botswana. More recently, with a U.S. Department of Defense grant, Whitaker and colleagues have studied how rebel groups’ illicit funding strategies influence the dynamics of civil conflict. Whitaker worked previously at the Brookings Institution and the American Council on Education. Her co-author, John F. Clark, is a professor of politics and international relations at Florida International University.

About Personally Speaking

For 11 seasons now, with the 2020-2021 Series, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has invited the campus community and the broader community to join the Personally Speaking series that spotlights college faculty and the scholarly research and writing they pursue.

The remaining talks for the 2020-2021 season will be Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics by Gregory J. Gbur in January 2021 and The People of the River: Nature and Identity in Black Amazonia, 1835-1945 by Oscar de la Torre in March 2021. (Editor’s note: The final event was cancelled.)

By opening for the community the doors to their academic efforts, author/professors chosen for Personally Speaking strive to excite, entertain and, always, educate, whether their field is psychology or religion, political science or English, or any other of the liberal arts and sciences.

J. Murrey Atkins Library and The Dubois Center at UNC Charlotte Center City are partners with CLAS in presenting Personally Speaking. The Emerging Media Communications Team, part of Audiovisual Integration and Support for Learning Environments (AISLE), has provided support for the virtual presentations in the 2020-2021 season.