The Fall International Seminar Series, A New Normal in a Global Context, continues at noon, Wednesday, October 27, with Dr. Ken Opalo’s talk on “Government in the Time of COVID: Success and Failures Across African States.” The event will be presented as a live Zoom webinar which is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required to receive the Zoom link.

Dr. Opalo’s presentation—”Government in the Time of COVID: Success and Failures Across African States”—will focus on four main points: 1) what the pandemic means for our understanding of state capacity and policymaking in African states; 2) the impact of the pandemic on African economies; 3) public health systems and preparedness for crises in the region, and 4) what we have learned so far about politics and electoral accountability amidst crises in the region.

Dr. Opalo is an assistant professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. His research interests include legislative politics, subnational administration and local government, and the political economy of development. His first book, titled Legislative Development in Africa: Politics and Post-Colonial Legacies (Cambridge University Press, 2019), explores how the adaptation of inherited colonial legislative institutional forms and practices continue to structure and influence contemporary politics and policy outcomes in Africa. Dr. Opalo’s current research projects include studies of the politics of service provision and accountability under devolved government in Kenya and education sector reforms in Tanzania. His works have been published in the British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Legislative Studies, Journal of Democracy, Democratization, Governance, Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, and the Journal of Eastern African Studies. He is a member of EGAP (Evidence in Governance and Politics), gui2de (Georgetown University Initiative on Innovation, Development, and Evaluation), and a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development.

The International Seminar Series has become one of the most popular internationally focused events on the Illinois State campus and continues to provide international perspectives on critical issues around the world. This semester, the series is a collaboration between the Office of International Studies and Programs and the Department of Politics and Government. The faculty coordinator is Dr. T.Y. Wang, University Professor and chair of the Department of Politics and Government.

The series continues with webinars at noon each Wednesday through November 3, 2021. Seminar series events are free and open to the public: Advance registration is required to receive the log-in link. Those who have questions or who need an accommodation to participate fully should contact or call (309) 438-5276.