Chipo Dendere

Chipo Dendere
cd1@wellesley.edu
Africana Studies
B.A., Linfield College; M.A., Ph.D., Georgia State University

Chipo Dendere

Assistant Professor of Africana Studies


I am a Zimbabwean born scholar of political science. I study factors that influence party survival and democratization in the developing world. I completed my Bachelor of Science Degrees in Political Science and Psychology at Linfield College, OR. I earned my Ph.D. in Political Science, 2015 at Georgia State University under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Young. My doctoral dissertation and subsequent book manuscript is on the impact of voter exit (via emigration or withdrawal from politics) on the survival of dominant parties. 

I study democratization, elections and voting behavior in Africa as well as the impact of social media on politics. My research drawn from interviews with migrants in four countries shows that emigration plays an important role in shaping the politics of poor countries. When people emigrate their exit often bolsters undemocratic regimes. New work on social media shows a complex relationship between online behavior and support for democracy. 

It is a rare opportunity to have a job that one absolutely loves. I can not do good research without teaching and I can not teach without engaging in rigorous research. When I teach my goal is get students excited about the complexity that is Political Science. When I teach African politics, my goal is to get students to challenge previously held assumptions about Africa. At the end of semester students should at the very least understand that Africa is not a country. They should understand that political institutions began before colonialism and that pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial politics influence contemporary African politics. I challenge students to think critically about methodology and theory.

I am engaged in a lot of service- I am on the African Politics Conference Group committee, NEWSA Program committee and blog often for the Washington Post's Monkey Cage as well as the Mischiefs of Faction. I also share political analysis on BBC, Al Jazeera and CNN among other media outlets.

I love doing yoga, walking/jogging, reading a lot of fiction, watching TV, blogging about personal finance and thinking about entrepreneurship.