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Disaster Capitalism and Political Instability in Africa: The Case of the Perennial Conflict in the DRC


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Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs 

Maxwell African Scholars Union presents

Disaster Capitalism and Political Instability in Africa: The Case of the Perennial Conflict in the DRC 

Disaster capitalism is an extreme form of capitalism by which disasters, both natural and manmade, are turned into lucrative money-making opportunities for corporate interests; and an opportunity for political elites to implement otherwise unpopular policies that serve the special interests of capital. In this public lecture, I explore this phenomenon of disaster capitalism with a focus on the conflict in the DRC. The goal is to demonstrate the corporate interests that have benefitted and continue to benefit from the crisis of instability in the Congo and the fact that disaster capitalism has become the modus operandi of capitalism in our contemporary world. 

Shadrack Wanjala Nasong’o

Professor of International Studies

Rhodes College 

Shadrack Wanjala Nasong’o holds a Ph.D. in Public and International Affairs from Northeastern University, Boston and a B.A. in Political Science and Linguistics and M.A. in International Relations both from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. He is Professor of International Studies at Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee, where he teaches courses in comparative politics, international relations, and African politics. He has previously taught at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, University of Nairobi, and Kenyatta University, both in Kenya. Additionally, Prof. Nasong’o has held summer fellowships at Riara University and Egerton University, both in Kenya. A political comparativist, Prof. Nasong’o’s research interest lies in the areas of democratization, identity politics, social conflict, governance, and development. He is author, editor, and co-editor of nine books, dozens of peer reviewed book chapters and articles in refereed journals. His latest publication is an edited volume, African Governance, Security and Development (Lanham: Lexington, 2021). For his prolific scholarly work, Prof. Nasong’o has been honored with the Rhodes College’s Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity, and the Ali Mazrui Award for Research and Scholarly Excellence from the University of Texas at Austin.  

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