Peter Penar

PhD Student
Office: S. Kedzie 229

Peter Penar is a PhD candidate and previous holder of the University Distinguished Fellowship (2011-2016) in the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University. Peter has been featured in interviews with the BBC, CNN, CNBC Africa, South Africa’s 702 and PowerFM, and Voice of America radio, and his editorial pieces appear in newspapers across Africa, including the Mail & Guardian. Peter’s research interests focus on democratization in African countries and human rights, particularly the role of international actors in transitions and human rights protection, such as the African Union, subcontinental regional organizations (EAC, ECOWAS, and SADC), and international NGOs. Peter has conducted extensive fieldwork, including conducting interviews of political leaders in eight African countries and at four African regional organizations (African Union, EAC, ECOWAS, and SADC). Peter is also engaged in interviewing political and civil society leaders remotely for a project that is systematically examining communities of political leaders. Between 2012 and 2015, he was a research assistant for the Afrobarometer. Peter was also the lecturer for the Introduction to Comparative Politics (PLS 140) course for three semesters and presently teaches an upper-level course on democratization and political institutions.