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Ken Menkhaus

Professor of Political Science
Ph.D. University of South Carolina
Contact: 704-894-2291

Primary Research Interests

Ken MenkhausThe politics of the Horn of Africa. In 1993-1994, Menkhaus served as special political advisor to the U.N. Operation in Somalia. He regularly serves as a consultant for the United Nations, U.S. Government, non-governmental organizations and policy research institutes. Menkhaus has provided expert testimony on five occasions before Congressional subcommittees, and has been interviewed by media outlets including the BBC, CNN, NPR, Al Jazeera and the Diane Rehm Show, among others.

Video Clips

  • Exodus from the Horn of Africa

    Political and economic conditions cause refugees from the Horn of Africa to seek asylum in Europe and North America. The exodus is occurring despite economic growth in Ethiopia and signs of slight economic revival in Somalia.

  • Discovery of Oil

    The discovery of oil in the Horn of Africa not only has the potential to transform poor economies into affluent economies, but also to fuel corruption and conflict.

  • Al Shabaab in Somalia and Kenya

    The militant group, Al-Shabaab, has targeted Kenya with intentions to provoke religious violence. While Al-Shabaab will continue to plague Somalia, it has become a formidable force in neighboring Kenya with attacks on ‘soft targets.’

  • Weak Government in Kenya and Somalia

    The weak governments in both Kenya and Somalia inhibit efforts to address and respond to groups such as Al-Shabaab. Ken Menkhaus explains these countries require strong, legitimate governments to deal with increasing conflicts with militant groups.

  • International Community Aid

    International aid, ranging from private sector investment to training for security forces, is being provided to the countries in the Horn of Africa. Yet, more impactful changes must originate from within these countries.

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In the Media

Additional media interviews and stories can be found on our news website.

International Business Times: Saudi Arabia-Iran Rivalry in Africa
IPI Global Observatory: Prof. Menkhaus on Progress, Obstacles in Somalia
PBS NewsHour: Davidson Prof Analyzes Al-Shabaab Terror Attacks
CNN: Al-Shabaab Threats on Malls Are Cry for Attention
CNN: Prof. Ken Menkhaus Comments on Somali Events (video)
NPR News: Prof. Ken Menkhaus Comments on U.S. Airstrikes
New York Times: Prof. Ken Menkhaus Quoted in ‘Somalis Face a Snag in Lifelines From Abroad'
Syracuse University: State-Building & Non-State Armed Actors in Somalia