about Laura Seay
I am an assistant professor of government at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where I teach courses on African politics, conflict, and international affairs. My primary research interest is in the ways that communities respond to state weakness in sub-Saharan Africa. I'm involved in several research projects relating to this general theme, including a book project on civil society organizations that substitute for the state in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. You can read more about my research and professional work here. From 2009-13, I taught at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.
I have been studying central Africa since 1996 and conducted extensive dissertation fieldwork in the Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I've also lived, worked, and/or studied in Kenya and Cameroon, and traveled in much of the central, eastern, and southern portions of the African continent.
I started this blog in 2005 as a way to keep in touch with friends and family while I was in the D.R. Congo, and have maintained it since as a way to keep track of news and commentary on politics in African states and development issues. The topics discussed here reflect my research interests in state-building, security, and humanitarian and development policy. Opinions expressed on this blog are mine alone (with the exception of those expressed by invited guest bloggers) and in no way reflect the official positions of Colby College or any other organization.
- Got a comment or complaint? Email me. Please be aware that I do not generally reply to hateful email.
- I am happy to run constructive rebuttals from organizations whose methods or projects I criticize. Please email me with your concerns.
- Click here for information on my areas of expertise.
- I occasionally provide expert witness testimony in asylum cases involving persons from the Kivu provinces. Email me for more information.
- Interested in what it's like to live in the ungoverned spaces of the eastern DRC? Here are some reflections from my 2006 and 2007 sojourns in the Kivus.
- I try to catch and correct factual errors as soon as possible. If you see one, please leave a comment on the appropriate post and I'll look into it.