Yomi Durotoye


Associate Teaching Professor, emeritus

African Studies Website: college.wfu.edu/politics/africanstudies/





Yomi Durotoye holds a joint appointment as Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Center for International Studies. He is also the Coordinator of the African Studies Minor program at Wake Forest University. His research focuses on military regimes and democratization and  opposition politics in Africa. Before he joined Wake Forest University, he taught at North Carolina A & T University and the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria where he served as the Chair of the Department of Political Science.


BA            1970, University of Ibadan (Nigeria)
MA           1973, Georgia State University
PhD          1978, Duke University

Academic Appointments

Wake Forest University, Senior Lecturer; Associate Teaching Professor, 1995-2016
Previous appointments: North Carolina A & T University; Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria)







Pol 116 International Politics

This course introduces the student to the theories and evidence that enable us to understand the pattern of relations among relevant actors in world politics.  In doing this, the student will be taken through the historical developments that have shaped the international system of relations and the competing perspectives that have justified and challenged recurring patterns of international behavior.  This will be followed by an examination of the dominant issues in international politics.  Of particular interest are the emerging trends and challenges in the post-Cold War, post-9/11 period.

Pol 233     Blacks in American Politics

The course explores the proposition that the location and role of blacks in the American political system and process are constrained by the nature of the political economy and the historical development of America’s democracy as well as by the experience of enslavement and the racist consciousness it engendered.  Many questions around these issues and subjects will be raised and examined.  Some of these questions are recurrent, for example: What and whose interests serially underlay the slave economy; a century of state sponsored segregation; and the subsequent veiled opposition to full socio-political and economic de-marginalization? How are these interests projected and structured?  How does this structure determine the patterns of black politics in America and the shifting spaces for black political participation? Does the election of President Obama signify a post-racial or post-racist society? And what does this teach us about the dynamics of the democratic experiment in America and the prevailing assumptions about blacks in American politics?

Pol 242   Governments and Politics of Africa

As far as governments and politics go, Africa seems to have them all.  Anarchy or near anarchy in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo; constitutional democracy in Botswana, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, etc.; one party rule in Eritrea, Uganda, etc; personal dictatorships in Equatorial Guinea, Libya, and Zimbabwe; and independent states that make up Africa south of the Sahara be possible?
This course is designed to demonstrate that a heavily qualified continental perspective is possible and valid to the extent that African countries commonly share certain important features of history, economy, class relations and state.  It will be shown that these features at once determine and constrain the patterns of governance and most political and economic practices in the continent.  Thus, the first major mission of this course is to map out the diversity of the continent on a wide range of subjects. The second objective is to analyze the events and features that determined and continue to sustain the emergent political-economy of African countries. The third objective is to critically examine the major issues confronting African economic development and political liberalization within the context of the changing international political economy.

INS 250 Seminar: International Studies

The world has witnessed some dramatic changes in recent times. These include rapid economic globalization and political transformation; increasing cross-cultural relations and migrations; ethno-national conflicts and international wars; widespread use of information technology and exchange; as well as rising ecological and health related crises. All these changes make international studies an important and necessary academic enterprise.
The objective of this course is twofold: (1) to help the students understand the dynamics of these changes; and (2) to provide the students with the framework that will enable them explain the changes mentioned above. To do this, we shall (a) explore the historical interconnections of different countries and cultures over the ages and identify the factors or system(s) that have shaped and continue to shape the world as we know it; (b) examine and challenge a number of the dominant theories that claim to explain the trajectories of the past and predict current and future histories; and (c) apply this critical perspective to engage a selection of global issues.

AFS 150    Introduction to African Studies

A considerable amount of time will be spent at the beginning of the course reviewing the sources of the popular images of Africa in the Western mind and identifying the underlying interests that generated and continue to sustain these (mis)representations. Following this, we will conduct a general survey of such subjects as African politics, history, economic development, art, society and religions.

First Year Seminar: Challenges to the Global Community

This seminar will provide students with the ability to view and analyze global issues from a variety of methodological perspectives.  We will explore the ways by which we identify, define, describe and explain all sorts of differences and the mechanisms by which people try to negotiate their differences in the world at large.  We will use these insights to explore familiar global issues such as ethnicity and racism, globalization and economic inequality, the environment, population growth and migration, gender inequality, human rights, and international security.

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