Faculty and Staff Profiles
Nicholas Rush Smith
Colin Powell School for Civic and Global LeadershipDepartment
ProfileProfessor Smith's main research interests are on the politics of crime, policing, and vigilantism in democratic states. He is currently working on a book project, tentatively titled Resisting Rights: Vigilantism and the Contradictions of Democratic State Formation in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Based on nearly 20 months of ethnographic and archival research, it asks why South Africa has experienced extraordinarily high rates of vigilantism despite a celebrated transition to democracy, a lauded constitution, and massive transformations of the state's legal apparatus following apartheid. In addition to this main project, Professor Smith is conducting research on postcolonial party durability, prison memoirs, and qualitative and ethnographic methods. His work has been published or is forthcoming in African Affairs and the American Journal of Sociology, among other outlets. He has received grant and fellowship support from, among other organizations, the Social Science Research Council and Fulbright-Hays.
Ph.D. University of Chicago, 2013
Courses TaughtPSC 31548 Senior ThesisPSC 31778 Politics of AfricaIR B6917 Africa in World AffairsPSC 31113 Argument and Evidence in Political SciencePSC 31807 The Politics of Crime and Punishment
BOOKSSmith, Nicholas Rush. Resisting Rights: Vigilantism and the Contradictions of Democratic State Formation in Post-Apartheid South Africa. (Manuscript in Progress)
ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERSSlater, Dan and Nicholas Rush Smith. Forthcoming. “The Power of Counterrevolution: Contentious Origins of Dominant Party Durability in Asia and Africa.” American Journal of Sociology.Smith, Nicholas Rush. Forthcoming. “New Times Demand Old Magic: Necklacing Past and Present.” In Global Lynching and Collective Violence: Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Michael Pfeifer, Ed. Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois Press.Smith, Nicholas Rush. 2015. “Rejecting Rights: Vigilantism and Violence in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” African Affairs 114(456): 341-360.
OTHER PUBLICATIONSSmith, Nicholas Rush. “Beyond Pistorius: The Politics of South African Justice.” African Arguments. September 12, 2014. http://africanarguments.org/2014/09/12/beyond-pistorius-the-politics-of-south-african-justice-by-nicholas-rush-smith/Smith, Nicholas Rush. “The Struggle Continues: Mandela and His Legacies.” Five Rupees. July 1, 2013. http://fiverupees.com/2013/07/01/guest-post-the-struggle-continues-mandela-and-his-legacies/ (Invited)Smith, Nicholas Rush. “The Wonga Coup: Transparency and Conspiracy in Equatorial Guinea.” CSIS Online Africa Policy Forum. January 23, 2008: http://forums.csis.org/africa