American Political Science Association Appoints LASU Don as Research Development Group Chair

The American Political Science Association (APSA) has appointed a Professor of International Relations at the Lagos State University (LASU), Kayode Soremekun to coordinate and drive its Research Development Group on Africa.

Soremekun, the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), was appointed less than two years into the administration of LASU VC, Prof. Ibironke Olatunji-Bello.

This was contained in his letter of appointment by the Warren Weinstein Chair of African Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Prof. Peter Lewis.

In this capacity, according to the letter, Soremekun will serve the Research Development Group convened by the African Politics Conference Group, aimed at developing and promoting Africa’s early and mid-career academics and researchers.

Lewis, also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an Editor of Journal of Democracy, said: “The role of the Research Development Group (with foundation funding and support from the American Political Science Association) is to foster academic engagement between scholars based in North America and Africa. 

“Each year, the Research Development Group brings between six and eight Africa-based academics to APSA’s annual meeting (this year in Los Angeles, United States, August 31-September 3) to present work in progress and to have discussions with colleagues. The initiative helps to support scholarly work and to develop collaborative networks,” Lewis said in Soremekun’s appointment letter.

Lewis further explained that the committee for the Research Devwlopment Group, usually three persons, had the mandate to identify participants, coordinate the panels for the workshop just prior to the APSA meeting, and serve as discussants for some of the research papers that would be presented at APSA’s annual conference.

Lewis therefore, said: “I think that previous participants have found the obligations to be modest and the rewards significant. In addition to engaging with colleagues on a rage of interesting work, participants are all supported for attendance at the APSA annual meeting.”

Before joining LASU recently, Soremekun lectured for over 20 years at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. At different times, he was Dean of the Faculty of Administration and Head Department of International Relations. 

He later moved to the University of Lagos, where he was appointed Head, Department of Political Science. Subsequently, he joined the Covenant University, Ota, where he served as the Dean, College of Development Studies and Head, Department of Political Science and International Relations.

He later joined the Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution Unit of the School of Arts and Social Sciences, National Open University of Nigeria in 2014. In February 2016, the federal government appointed him to lead FUOYE’s management team. 

Among others, Soremekun was a recipient of scholarship in Kings College, Lagos (1967 -1971), National Scholar Award (1973 – 1976), Ford Foundation Scholar (1991), Senior Fulbright Research Scholar (2003) and Resident Rockefeller Scholar in Bellagio Italy (2003)

Founded in 1903, APSA is the leading professional organisation for the study of political science and serves more than 11,000 members in more than 100 countries. With a range of programs and services for individuals, departments, and institutions, APSA brings together political scientists from all fields of inquiry, regions, and occupational endeavors within and outside academe to deepen our understanding of politics, democracy, and citizenship throughout the world. 

The association promotes a lively, diverse community of scholars, teachers, students, and practitioners who bring wide-ranging interests, methodologies, and perspectives to the analysis and conduct of government and politics.

APSA disseminates information, facilitates collaboration among its members, publicizes research findings on important theoretical and political issues, and publishes a variety of materials relevant to the discipline. It enhances the capacity of political scientists to conduct research, improve teaching, develop professionally, and communicate their ideas within the discipline and to the wider public. 

The association is also committed to transparency, open enquiry, scholarly pluralism, high standards of ethics and integrity, and a global perspective.

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