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Talk to examine authoritarianism and economic development in Ethiopia

by Jeanne Baron

Nov. 4, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of Dr. Chuck Schaefer.
KALAMAZOO--An economic historian will present a lecture on "Authoritarianism and Economic Development: Ethiopia's Investment Gamble" at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in Room 1025 of Brown Hall on Western Michigan University's main campus.

Dr. Chuck Schaefer, associate professor of history and chair of the Department of International Studies at Valparaiso University, previously taught at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia as a Fulbright Lecturer and has since focused his research in Ethiopia.

Schaefer has analyzed that country's integration into the world economy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, looking strictly at economic indices such as trade, capital creation, money supply and credit and lending to partially answer the question: Why is Ethiopia poor?

His more recent research initiative has focused on transitional justice to answer the question: Why is there conflict in Ethiopia and what can be done about it? He co-edited 2009 book, "The Ethiopian Red Terror Trials: Transitional Justice Challenged," and has researched methods of peace-building, reconciliation and restorative justice in Ethiopia.

Schaefer is interested in modern African and Middle Eastern history focusing specifically on political and social history. He regularly teaches survey courses on African history and global studies, upper-level classes in 20th-century African history and modern Middle Eastern history, and topics courses on human rights and humanitarian intervention.

His talk is being presented by the WMU Center for African Development Policy Research and cosponsored by WMU's Light Center for Chinese Studies; departments of Anthropology, Economics, Foreign Languages, Geography, History, Political Science and Sociology; Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Center for the Humanities; and Haenicke Institute for Global Education.

For more information about Chuck Schaefer talk, contact Dr. Sisay Asefa, director of the Center for African Development Policy Research, at or (269) 387-5556.