Richard A. Joseph

Richard A. Joseph

Political scientist, Northwestern University

Visiting Professor 1995-1996; 1996-1997

Hosted by the Department of Political Science


I knew what [Dr. King] was looking for, and I knew he’d found it when our eyes connected for a moment…I was from the more militant school. With the passage of time, I have developed more regard for the emphasis on nonviolence, on the need for multiple tactics. I feel differently about Dr. King now. It’s been an intellectual process. Perhaps it’s maturity.

RICHARD A. JOSEPH - on the experience of hearing Dr. King speak at Dartmouth in 1962 - MIT News


Richard A. Joseph is a political scientist and a professor at Northwestern University. At the time of his appointment as an MLK Visiting Professor, he was the Asa G. Candler Professor of Political Science at Emory University. Dr. Joseph has worked closely with The Carter Center, the organization in Atlanta formed by former President Jimmy Carter. Teaching interests include: African politics, comparative democratization, political theory, social and political thought and politics and literature. Research interests: politics and governance in Africa with a special focus on democratic transitions, state building and state collapse, and conflict resolution.

Dr. Joseph greets Nelson Mandela- Johannesburg, South Africa, June 2, 1990

Dr. Joseph holds the AB degree (1965) from Dartmouth College, the B.Phil (1969) from New College, Oxford University and the D.Phil (1973) from Nuffield College, Oxford.

In addition to appointments at Dartmouth and Emory University, he has taught at the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Ibadan (Nigeria), and the University of Khartoum (Sudan). Dr. Joseph has also held research fellowships at Harvard University, Boston University, the Institute of Development Studies (Sussex, UK), Chr. Michelsen Institute (Norway), and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (France).

He directed the African Governance Program at the Carter Center (1988-1994) and coordinated elections missions in Zambia (1991), Ghana (1992), peace initiatives in Liberia (1991-1994), and has been a longtime member of the Council of Foreign Relations. Dr. Joseph is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including a Rhodes Scholarship, a Kent Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has held visiting fellowships at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the National Endowment for Democracy and was a Fulbright Scholar in France and a Fulbright Professor in Nigeria.

In 1995, four years after the appointment of the first MLK Visiting Scholar, Henry McBay, Dr. Joseph was appointed as an MLK Visiting Professor. He was one of four inaugural MLK Visiting Professors, along with Wesley Harris (aeronautics and astronautics), Steven Lee (mathematics), and Oliver McGee (civil and environmental engineering).