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Release date: March 1, 2001
Contact: Deb Hammacher, Assistant Director, 404-727-0644, or

Expert On African Politics, Ethnic Conflict To Speak At Emory March 7

WHO M. Crawford Young, H. Edwin Young Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin
WHAT Lecture on "Congo-Kinshasa: The Unending Crisis"
WHEN 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 7
WHERE 207 White Hall, 480 Kilgo Circle, on the Emory campus.
COST Free and open to the public. 404-727-6402. To see a map of campus, go to:

M. Crawford Young is the H. Edwin Young Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin. He is a leading expert on African politics, cultural pluralism, comparative politics and the state. He will discuss the intractable nature of the ongoing struggles in the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly known as Zaire.

Young will place the long-running Congo-Kinshasa crisis in context by identifying a number of novel dimensions to the civil disorder afflicting many African states at the turn of the century. The process of state deterioration in the last two decades of the Mobutu era, and their consequences, provide a background to understanding the ways in which the regime crumbled in 1997. The inability of Laurent Kabila to win either internal or external legitimacy for his self-proclaimed presidency set the stage for the 1998 Rwandan-Ugandan operation in support of new rebel groups, which soon fragmented. The ensuing impasse, which eventually involved seven foreign armies and four principal Congolese armed factions, became intractable. The question now is whether the assassination of Kabila, and succession by Joseph Kabila, offer any possibility of resolution.

Among Young’s many books and articles are "The Politics of Cultural Pluralism" (1976), "Ideology and Development in Africa" (1982), "The Rise and Decline of the Zairian State" (with Thomas Turner-1985), "The Rising Tide of Cultural Pluralism; The Nation-State at Bay?" (1993), "The African Colonial State in Comparative Perspective" (1994) and "The Accommodation of Cultural Diversity" (1999).

Young is considered the preeminent scholar of politics in the Democratic Republic of Congo/Zaire. His co-authored book, "Rise and Decline of the Zairian State," is still considered by scholars to be the definitive treatment of Mobutu’s Zaire. In 1991 he received the African Studies Association’s Distinguished Africanist
Award, the highest honor it bestows.

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