Nicholas Rush Smith
Faculty and Staff Profiles
Nicholas Rush Smith
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Professor 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 has published work on postcolonial party durability and qualitative and ethnographic methods. His work has been published in leading journals like the American Journal of Sociology and African Affairs. 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
PSC 31548 Senior Thesis
PSC 31778 Politics of Africa
IR B6917 Africa in World Affairs
PSC 31113 Argument and Evidence in Political Science
PSC 31807 The Politics of Crime and Punishment
Smith, Nicholas Rush. Resisting Rights: Vigilantism and the Contradictions of Democratic State Formation in Post-Apartheid South Africa. (Manuscript in Progress)
PEER REVIEWED ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS
Simmons, Erica and Nicholas Rush Smith. “Comparison with an Ethnographic Sensibility.” PS: Political Science and Politics. (Forthcoming)
Smith, Nicholas Rush. 2016. “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. (Forthcoming)
Slater, Dan and Nicholas Rush Smith. 2016. “The Power of Counterrevolution: Elitist Origins of Political Order in Postcolonial Asia and Africa.” American Journal of Sociology. 121 (5): 1472-1516.
Smith, Nicholas Rush. 2015. “Rejecting Rights: Vigilantism and Violence in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” African Affairs 114(456): 341-360.
Simmons, Erica and Nicholas Rush Smith. 2015. “The Case for Comparative Ethnography.” Qualitative and Multi-Method Research: Newsletter of the American Political Science Association Organized Section for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research 13 (2): 13-18.
Smith, 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-...
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-mande... (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.