Location: Bowdoin / ealbaugh

Government and Legal Studies

Ericka Albaugh

Associate Professor of Government

Contact Information

Government and Legal Studies

Hubbard Hall - 209A

Teaching this semester

AFRS 1029/GOV 1029. Buried Treasure, Hidden Curse? Politics of Natural Resource Extraction in Africa

Oil, diamonds, gold. . . riches in the midst of poverty. How can Africa boast so many natural resources and yet remain the poorest continent on earth? What is the “resource curse?” Begins by putting Africa in the context of global resource extraction, oil in particular. Establishes Africa’s long pre-colonial experience with trade in iron, gold, salt, and slaves. The colonial period deepened the reliance of many territories on specific resources, a pattern that continues to the present. Uses Burkina Faso as a specific example of gold extraction, contrasting industrial and artisanal mining. Modern streams of prospectors throughout West Africa echo the California gold rush, but with important distinctions. An introduction to political science, the interplay between national and foreign governments, international and domestic firms, and local and migrant prospectors as they vie for access to valuable resources are highlighted.

GOV 2573. States of Languages and Languages of States

Examines the role of language in politics. Governments historically have tried to spread a single language within their populations through education and military conscription. What are the roots of this motivation? Does language standardization deepen the possibility for citizen participation and democracy? How have minority language groups responded? As the right to language has become a global norm, what effects will this have on the cohesiveness of existing states? Will globalization bring with it linguistic fragmentation or the worldwide spread of a few languages such as English, Arabic, and Chinese? Looks at the language question in the United States as well as in cases drawn from Europe, Asia, and Africa. Students choose a country in which to evaluate the historical and present state of languages and language(s) of state. Topics touched by language include democracy, state-building, colonization, violence, education, human rights, and globalization.

Ericka Albaugh: Bowdoin College


  • Ph.D., Duke University Durham, NC
  • M.A., Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University Medford, MA
  • B.A., Pepperdine University Malibu, CA

State-Building and Multilingual Education in Africa. Cambridge University Press, 2014State-Building and Multilingual Education in Africa.  Cambridge University Press, 2014

“An Autocrat’s Toolkit: Adaptation and Manipulation in ‘Democratic’ Cameroon” Special Issue of Democratization 18: 2 (April 2011)

Review of The Perils of Belonging: Autochthony, Citizenship, and Exclusion in Africa and Europe by Peter Geschiere, Journal of Interdisciplinary History 41:1 (Summer 2010)

“The Colonial Image Reversed: Language Preferences and Policy Outcomes in African Education.” International Studies Quarterly 53: 2 June 2009.

Language Choice in Education: A Politics of Persuasion.Journal of Modern African Studies 45:1 (March 2007).

Review of Mobilizing the Masses: Gender, Ethnicity, and Class in the Nationalist Movement in Guinea, 1939-1958 by Elizabeth Schmidt, Journal of Interdisciplinary History 37:3 (2006).

With Robert I. Rotberg, Peacekeeping and Peace Enforcement in Africa (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2000)

With Robert I. Rotberg, Cyprus 2000: Divided or Federal? (World Peace Foundation, 1998)

"The Politics of Language in Education in African States." Lecture at the Centre for Policy Studies, University of Ottawa, 9 March 2015.

"The (Un)Necessary Citizen: Universal Standard Education in Comparative Context." Lecture at Cornell University's Institute for African Development, 18 September 2014.

"Toward a True Multilingualism? French and National Languages in Africa." Invited Panelist for Round Table Discussion at the Conference on "Cultural Diplomacy: France's Asset in a Shifting World." Paris, Institut Francais. 12-13 December 2011.

“Conquering Babel in Europe and Africa: Language Rationalization in Comparative Perspective” Paper Presented at the Midwest Political Science Association meeting, March 31-April 2, 2011, Chicago, IL.

“Raising Language and Lowering Voice: The Costs of Recognition in ‘Democratic’ Cameroon” Paper Presented at the American Political Science Association, Washington DC, 2-5 September 2010.

2015: Working Papers

Africa Language Movement Graphic

- "Language Movement and Civil War in West Africa" for presentation at the  Mapping Language Movement in Africa Symposium (Bowdoin College, September 2015)

- "Language, Citizenship, and Political Participation in Africa"

2014: State-Building and Multilingual Education in Africa. New York: Cambridge University Press.

- Chapter 1

- Appendix A

2011:  “An Autocrat’s Toolkit: Adaptation and Manipulation in ‘Democratic’ Cameroon,” Democratization 18, 2 (April): 388-414.

- List of Constituency Boundary Changes in Cameroon 1992-2007

- Map of Constituency Boundary Changes in Cameroon 1992-2007

- Election Data: 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007

2009:  “The Colonial Image Reversed: Language Preferences and Policy Outcomes in African Education,” International Studies Quarterly 53: 389-420. 

- Updated Language Policies in African Education - January 2012 (PDF)PDF

- Language Policies in African Education (PDF)PDF