Cycle of Corruption

Corruption in Africa will not end until civil society repairs itself In the 2002 Kenyan presidential campaign, Mwai Kibaki promised his countrymen an end to the corruption that had defined Kenyan leadership for decades. The messageresonated with voters and earned Kibaki an astonishing 62% of the vote. But after eight years, corruption in Kibaki’s Kenya … Read more

Can Soccer Save South Africa?

High expectations mask tough realities On May 15, 2004, Nelson Mandela wept on stage when South Africa was chosen to host the 2010 World Cup, and then-president Thabo Mbeki declared that “South Africa’s time has come.” Experts worldwide predicted that the World Cup would be a transformative and unifying moment in the country’s history and … Read more

Africa Open for Business

A critical look at China’s investment in Africa. Despite China’s emergence as an economic powerhouse and political force, Western leaders still frequently decry China’s authoritarian regime, trade violations, and human rights abuses. But there is one region of the world that does not judge China by the same demanding standards: Africa. The partnership suits both … Read more

The Spring 2010 Issue of the HPR is out!

The Spring 2010 issue of the Harvard Political Review is available here in an online browseable pdf format. Most articles are also now available on, and the rest will be rolling out soon. Harvard students, look for print copies in your house dining halls starting on Wednesday, and in Annenberg on Friday and Saturday! … Read more

Health Insurance in Ghana

Lessons from a trip home during J-term This past winter, I returned to my home country of Ghana after over a year and a half away at school. I spent the month engaged in an anti-malaria project in some slum communities near Cape Coast, Ghana. This project was the brainchild of Ahoto Partnership for Ghana, … Read more

Beauty in the Beast

When I join in one of those omnipresent ice-breaking sessions, I am sometimes asked to share my most embarrassing moment. I always draw a blank. This is not because I have never been embarrassed in my life. Rather, I have too many stories of embarrassment. While many of my middle-class friends were having fun on … Read more

The White House Seder

Shocking new evidence that Obama is secretly a Muslim: he’s hosting a Passover seder at the White House! Seriously though, this Times article about the Obama Seder warms my young Jewish heart. Like most holiday celebrations done well, theirs has nothing to with politics and little to do with religion; it’s just extremely sweet: Then … Read more

Steven Levitt’s Solution to Climate Change

Professor Steven D. Levitt, an eminent popular economist from the University of Chicago and co-author of the widely successful books Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics gave a lecture here on Monday. Despite being sparsely publicized, the lecture attracted around 200 people from around the campus, an obvious testament to the popularity of Levitt’s unorthodox economics style. While … Read more