Political Science Now

Congress from the Inside: U.S.–Africa Foreign Policy and Black Ethnic Politics

The latest virtual issue of PS features articles written by alumni of the Congressional Fellowship Program (CFP) from 2010 to 2015. The CFP fellows serve yearlong placements in congressional and executive offices, and they chronicle their firsthand experiences in the pages of PS. Enjoy the full virtual issue here.

Congress from the Inside: U.S.–Africa Foreign Policy and Black Ethnic Politics

Menna Demessie, University of Washington California Center

“In addition to the ardent call for political scientists to broaden their theories about legislative representation and behavior to include a broader analysis of the everyday operations of Congress, the call for a more nuanced approach to the study of race and ethnic politics resonates just as deeply. With the emergence of black ethnic caucuses such as the Ethiopia and Ethiopian American Congressional Caucus (EEAC) and the subsequent election of President Barack Obama, African immigrants and their progeny have been made visible to the American polity in ways they have never been before. As an Ethiopian American whose personal and professional interest aims to highlight the significance of black ethnic political participation and representation in U.S. politics, I found working for Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) as an APSA Congressional Fellow to be an extraordinary opportunity to explore how and why African American members of Congress in particular, and other nonblack legislators more broadly, represent their constituents beyond race.” Read More.


PS: Political Science & Politics / Volume 44 / Issue 03 / July 2011, pp 685-687