Jasper Ayelazuno

I was born to a peasant family in the poorest part of Ghana (northern Ghana, specifically Upper East Region), and was the first in my family to sit in a classroom. I graduated with First Class Honours from the University of Ghana. For my MA, I received Fellowship with Ford Foundation International Fellowship Programme to do a MA in Rural Development at University of Sussex – from where I graduated with Distinction. In 2005, I came to York University with an Entry Scholarship to begin a Ph.d program in Political Science. In 2007, I received the doctoral research award from the International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada.

My doctoral dissertation tries to understand the puzzling political behaviour, and the broader questions about the nature of agency of the subalterns in Ghana at this historical conjuncture of neo-liberal globalization. The subalterns in Ghana have consistently voted to power the two parties that have embraced and implemented the austerity and free market policies of the IMF/World Bank. This, despite the fact that the material and social living conditions of the majority have deteriorated sharply. How do we understand the paradoxical behaviour of the subalterns in Ghana, and beyond? Why do they resist certain injustices sometimes and endure others most of the time? My underlying proposition is that, the political agency of the subalterns is contingent on social contextual and historical variables. I have conducted extensive fieldwork in Ghana amongst the most marginalized of communities and am in the process of drafting the dissertation.

My Publications:
Ayelazuno, J. (2007). Democracy and Conflict Management in Africa: Is Ghana a Model? African Journal of International Affairs (AJIA) Volume 10, (2): 13–36.
Ayelazuno, J. (2008). Review Article: “Liberal Democracy and its Critics in Africa: Political Dysfunction and the Struggle for Social Progress” African and Asian Studies, Volume 7, Number 1: 131-35.
Ayelazuno, J. (2008). Book Review: Ghana: One Decade of the Liberal State. Review of African Political Economy No. 117: 224-26.
Ayelazuno, J. (2009). The 2008 Ghanaian Elections: The Narrow Escape. Uppsala: The Nordic African Institute. http://www.nai.uu.se/policy_activities/articles/ghanaian_elections_narrow/
Ayelazuno, J. (2009). The 2008 Ghanaian Elections: A Model that Unraveled? African Renaissance, Vol 6, No.1 .
Ayelazuno, J. (2009). The Politicisation of the Mirigu-Kandiga Conflict in
Ghana’s 2008 Elections: Questioning the Electoral Peace Paradigm. Conflict Trends, Issue 2.

“Musing on the Political Agency of the Subalterns in “Democratic” Ghana: Which Civil Society?”; presented in a conference on “Post-Conflict Elections in West Africa: Challenges for Democracy and Reconstruction” organised by the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden; in Accra, Ghana, 14-17 May 2006.
“The Myth of the Rising ‘Black Star’ of Africa: The State, Metropolitan Capital, and ‘Primitive Accumulation in Ghana”; presented in a conference on “State, Mining and Development in Africa”, organised by Leeds University of African Studies, Third World Network – Africa & Review of African Political Economy, in Leeds, England, 13 & 14 September 2007.
Speaker: A Book Launch Seminar on “Elections and the Challenge of Post-Conflict Democratization in West Africa”, organized by Nordic Africa Institute and The Norwegian Council for Africa in Oslo, Norway on 4th September 2008.
Participant in a Workshop on “Elections and Democracy” organized by the American Political Science Association (APSA) in partnership with the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon; in Accra, Ghana between 21st June and 10th July 2009.