This podcast offers an insightful interview with Robert L. Rotberg,author of Transformative Political Leadership: Making a Difference in the Developing World and Africa Emerges: Consummate Challenges, Abundant Opportunities. In this interview, Rotberg speaks about the role that structure and agency play in his two books respectively. This podcast also addresses the critiques that Rotberg has faced in regards to his emphasis on agency and selection of cases in Transformative Political Leadership: Making a Difference in the Developing World.
Transformative Political Leadership:
Making a Difference in the Developing World
In Transformative Political Leadership, Robert I. Rotberg focuses on the role of leadership in politics and argues that accomplished leaders demonstrate a particular set of skills. Through illustrative case studies of leaders who have performed ably in the developing world—among them Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Seretse Khama in Botswana, Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore, and Kemal Ataturk in Turkey—Rotberg examines how these leaders transformed their respective countries. The importance of capable leadership is woefully understudied in political science, and this book will be an important tool in exploring how leaders lead and how nations and institutions are built.
Africa Emerges: Consummate Challenges, Abundant Opportunities
Sub-Saharan Africa is no longer a troubled ‘dark continent.’ Most of
its constituent countries are now enjoying significant economic growth and political progress. The new Africa has begun to banish the miseries of the past, and appears ready to play an important role in world affairs. Thanks to shifts in leadership and governance, an African renaissance could be at hand.
Yet the road ahead is not without obstacles. As world renowned expert on African affairs, Robert Rotberg, expertly shows, Africa today maybe poised to deliver real rewards to its long suffering citizens but it faces critical new crises as well as abundant new opportunities. Africa Emerges draws on a wealth of empirical data to explore the key challenges Africa must overcome in the coming decades. From peacekeeping to health and disease, from energy needs to education, this illuminating analysis diagnoses the remaining impediments Africa will need to surmount if it is to emerge in 2050 as a prosperous, peaceful, dynamic collection of robust large and small nations.
Africa Emerges offers an unparalleled guide for all those interested in the dynamics of modern Africa’s political, economic, and social development.
Robert Rotberg, Background
Robert Rotberg is the inaugural Fulbright Research Chair in Political Development at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and Visiting Fulbright Scholar at Centre for International Governance Innovation. In Autumn 2012, he was the inaugural Fulbright Research Chair in Political Development at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, and at the North-South Institute. Rotberg is the founding director of the Program on Intrastate Conflict and Conflict Resolution at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He is President Emeritus of the World Peace Foundation and was previously Professor of Political Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, academic Vice President of Tufts University, and president of Lafayette College. Rotberg is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Recorded March 2013