Prof. Kendhammer decided to become a political scientist as an undergraduate at Coe College in Cadar Rapids, Iowa. At the University of Wisconsin, he focused his doctoral training on African politics, and was a Fulbright Fellow in Sokoto, Nigeria in 2007-08. He didn’t really become interested in development until the Boko Haram conflict in Nigeria forced him to think about what exactly the US and other international donors could do in the short and long-term to end the causes of conflict, and his very first “development project” was a report for USAID about how to use development policy to combat violent extremism.
Since then, he’s published two books and a number of articles about governance, democracy, religion, and violence in West Africa, and served as an adviser, speaker, and consultant for numerous US government agency on development and governance and development and conflict issues. Most recently, he was in Cameroon this spring working on a project for the US Institute for Peace about the experiences of Muslim college students, and looking for ways to support their educational goals.
At OU, he’s been on the faculty of the Department of Political Science since 2010, and the director of the International Development Studies program since 2016.
Favorite Athens Restaurant: Casa Nueva
Favorite Political Science Book: Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy by Barrington Moore
Favorite West African Dish: le Poulet D.G. (“the boss’s chicken”) (Cameroon)
Contact, Office Hours and Location
Office: 215 Bentley Annex
Office Hours: 9 AM-11 AM Mondays and Wednesdays, and by appointment