American University Experts Available to Discuss Situation in Zimbabwe

WHAT: Early on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, Zimbabwe’s armed forces took control of the capital city of Harare and placed 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe under house arrest. American University experts are available to discuss the situation in Zimbabwe, including Mugabe’s record and legacy, issues related to human rights, governance and politics, and prospects for violence as a new government is formed.

WHEN: November 16 – ongoing

WHERE: On campus, in-studio, via email, telephone or Skype

Experts Available: 

Adrienne LeBas, associate professor at the School of Public Affairs, is an expert on social movements, democratization, and political violence. She is the author of the award-winning From Protest to Parties: Party-Building and Democratization in Africa. LeBas also worked as a consultant for Human Rights Watch in Zimbabwe, which draws on over two years of fieldwork on opposition in Zimbabwe. She can comment on issues related to all aspects of the current Zimbabwe crisis, including party politics and the prospects for violence.

Beverly Peters, professor at American University’s School of Professional & Extended Studies, is an expert on political and economic development in Zimbabwe. She has provided political analyses to the media, the government of South Africa, and private sector businesses in the region. She can comment on issues related to governance and politics in Zimbabwe.

Prof. Peters said: “This coup is, perhaps, more about the future of an increasingly factionalized Zanu-PF, which holds its Congress in December to choose its candidate for the 2019 presidential elections, than about a call for democratization. Whether there is space within this soft coup for the people of Zimbabwe to choose a new direction remains to be seen.”

Sarah Snyder, associate professor in the School of International Service and a historian of U.S. foreign relations, specializes in the human rights activism and U.S. human rights policy, and the history of the Cold War. She is available for comments on the situation in Zimbabwe in a historical context and talk about the Southern Rhodesia's unilateral declaration of independence and efforts to end that country’s racially discriminatory regime between 1965 and 1980. Prof. Snyder’s new book, From Selma to Moscow: How Human Rights Activists Transformed U.S. Foreign Policy, and explains how transnational connections and 1960s-era social movements inspired Americans to advocate for a new approach to human rights, with a special focus on Southern Rhodesia, the Soviet Union, Greece, South Korea, and Chile.

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