Professor edits new book on U.S.-Africa relations

Cassandra Veney
Cassandra Veney, associate professor of political science.

July 18, 2014 - Cassandra Veney, associate professor of political science, has served as editor for and contributed a chapter to the new book, "U.S.-Africa Relations: From Clinton to Obama." 

The book, which also includes a chapter written by her husband Paul Zeleza, vice president of academic affairs, was published by Lexington Books this month.

Veney said the idea for, "U.S.-Africa Relations: From Clinton to Obama," was born out of a conference she organized on the subject while at Loyola Marymount University in 2011. The book contains eight chapters and covers issues impacting the entire African continent, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Uganda and Rwanda. 

Veney's chapter examines U.S.-Africa relations with the Big Three: Ethiopia, Nigeria, and South Africa. 

"We have contributions from sociologists, historians, economists, political scientists and lawyers," Veney said. "It really is an interdisciplinary book."

Zeleza's chapter is titled, "The African Diaspora's Role in Forging US-Africa Relations."

"This is the most comprehensive text on U.S.-Africa relations I have read for the breadth and depth of its coverage, sharp analytical insights, and timeliness as the U.S. prepares for the first U.S.-Africa Summit that will bring up to 50 African heads of state to Washington in early August," Zeleza said.

Some of the issues addressed in the book are the militarization of Africa within the context of the war on terror and the creation of the Africa Command and U.S. support for various African leaders. Economic development and the role of African-descended people in U.S.-Africa relations is also addressed in terms of African American celebrities, scholars and businesspeople.

"I'm hoping that this is the type of book that anybody will find interesting," Veney said. "It's an academic book, but it's not a boring, dry academic book."

Veney envisions the book being utilized in political science, sociology, globalization, history and sociology course on the undergraduate and graduate levels. She hopes to begin using, "U.S.-Africa Relations: From Clinton to Obama," at Quinnipiac during the Spring 2015 semester.

"I think that my research and my writing make me a better teacher," she said.