Based on a recent talk given to our Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa fellows at a July workshop in Nairobi, Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o provides a wide-ranging and personal reflection on the importance of conducting basic research in East Africa under daunting circumstances. Anyang’ Nyong’o, both a leading African social scientist and a current member of the Kenyan Parliament, makes the case for scholarly independence at a time when demands for relevance can impede critical analysis.
Peter Anyang' Nyong'o
Peter Anyang’ N’yongo is a political scientist who has done research in state and social processes in Africa, democracy and democratization, and elections. As a public intellectual, the author’s interest in politics led him to be actively engaged in African struggles for democracy, ending up as a member of Parliament in Kenya and one-time minister for planning and national development (2003–2005) and medical services (2008–2013). He has taught in a number of universities in Africa and abroad. Anyang’ Nyong’o was a member of the SSRC/ACLS Joint Committee on African Studies in the 1980s.