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Mahmood Mamdani

Mahmood Mamdani

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Mahmood Mamdani is an academic, author and political commentator. He is a Professor and Director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research at Makerere University, Kampala
Kampala is the largest city and capital of Uganda. The city is divided into five boroughs that oversee local planning: Kampala Central Division, Kawempe Division, Makindye Division, Nakawa Division and Lubaga Division. The city is coterminous with Kampala District.-History: of Buganda, had chosen...

, Uganda, and the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government at Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

, New York. He grew up in Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

 and acquired his B.A from the University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh, commonly referred to as Pitt, is a state-related research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Founded as Pittsburgh Academy in 1787 on what was then the American frontier, Pitt is one of the oldest continuously chartered institutions of...

, before going on to attain his Masters and PhD from Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 in 1974. Mamdani specializes in the study of African and international politics, colonialism and post‐colonialism, and the politics of knowledge production.

His works explore the intersection between politics and culture, a comparative study of colonialism since 1452, the history of civil war and genocide in Africa, the Cold War and the War on Terror, and the history and theory of human rights. Prior to taking the directorship of MISR in 2010 and joining the Columbia faculty in 1999, Mamdani was a professor at the University of Dar‐es‐Salaam (1973‐79), Makerere University (1980‐1993), and the University of Cape Town (1996‐1999).

In 2008, in a open online poll, Mamdani was voted as the 9th topmost intellectual person in the world on the list of Top 100 Public Intellectuals by Prospect Magazine
Prospect (magazine)
Prospect is a monthly British general interest magazine, specialising in politics and current affairs. Frequent topics include British, European, and US politics, social issues, art, literature, cinema, science, the media, history, philosophy, and psychology...

(UK) and Foreign Policy (US). He received honorary doctorate from Addis Ababa University and the University of Johannesburg, both in 2010. From 1998 to 2002 he served as President of CODESRIA (Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa). His essays have appeared in London Review of Books, among other journals.


  • "Uganda Studies in Labour (Codesria Book Series)"
  • "Scholars in the Marketplace. The Dilemmas of Neo-Liberal Reform at Makerere University, 1989-2005"
  • "From Citizen to Refugee: Uganda Asians Come to Britain"
  • "Academic Freedom in Africa"
  • "Imperialism and Fascism in Uganda"
  • "Studies in Labor Markets (National Bureau of Economic Research Universities-National Bureau Conference Ser)"
  • "Politics and Class Formation in Uganda"
  • "African Studies in Social Movements and Democracy (Actes-Sud Papiers,)"
  • "Beyond Rights Talk and Culture Talk: Comparative Essays on the Politics of Rights and Culture"
  • "The Myth of Population Control: Family, Caste and Class in an indian Village"
  • "Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism"
  • When Victims Become Killers
  • Good Muslim, Bad Muslim
  • Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror

External links