Dr. James S. Wunsch, born in Detroit, Michigan, is Professor, and Director of the Department's Public Affairs Internship Program. He holds the B.A. in history from Duke University (1968) where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees (1971, 1974) were awarded by Indiana University. He received the Student Board's Robert F. Kennedy award as an outstanding instructor, the College's awards for excellence in advising, teaching and research, and the Graduate College's Burlington-Northern Award for outstanding scholarly achievement. He recently was named an Outstanding Chapter Advisor by Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honorary society.
A specialist in comparative politics, public administration and third world development, Dr. Wunsch also teaches courses on African politics, West European politics, democratization, ethnicity, public policy and in political theory. Wunsch has published articles on Third World development, African government, ethnic conflict, and public administration, his areas of primary research interest. Dr. Wunsch has authored or co-authored nearly forty articles and reviews in professional journals or chapters in anthologies. He is co-author of a book on African government, entitled The Failure of the Centralized State as well as a second, Local Governance in Africa: The Challenges of Democratic Decentralization, in 2003. He is currently working on another book manuscript on democratic reform in Africa.
He has served a consultant, field evaluator, and senior manager for several major projects sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development on democratization initiatives in the developing world, as well as other USAID projects in Africa and Asia. In addition, he has lectured and traveled in South Africa under the auspices of the U.S. Information Agency.
Dr. Wunsch spent 1971-1972 as a Fulbright scholar in Ghana, West Africa, where he was affiliated with the University of Ghana. He has held awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the American Philosophical Society. Wunsch served for two years with the United States Agency for International Development as a project design and evaluation officer, and has done post-doctoral study at the Universities of Michigan, California (Berkeley) and Virginia, and at the Workshop on Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University. His field research and consulting have taken him to East, West and Southern Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Central America, and he has served as a frequent consultant to USAID as well as to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria on U.S. policy.
Dr. Wunsch is married and has three daughters and two grandsons.