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Professor Joel Barkan (1941 – 2014)

The African Studies Association mourns the loss of Professor Joel Barkan. Professor Barkan was a treasurer of the ASA, and a loyal supporter and true friend of the organisation. He was 71. Our thoughts and well wishes go out to his family, and a memorial service will be held in his honor on May 18, 2014 in Washington DC.

A full obituary from Press Citizen can be found below.

Source: Press-Citizen- http://www.press-citizen.com/viewart/20140125/NEWS02/301250004/Joel-Barkan

Joel D. Barkan, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Iowa, died suddenly in Mexico City on January 10th from a pulmonary embolism, while on vacation with his wife, his son Joshua, and his daughter-in-law Mariana Escribano. At the time of his death he was Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. He was working on a comparative study of 17 sub-Saharan African legislatures with Bob Mattes of the University of Cape Town.

Barkan was born in Toledo, Ohio, on April 28, 1941, the son of Manuel and Theresa Barkan. He obtained his undergraduate education at Cornell University, where he met his wife, Sandra. They were married on September 9, 1962.

Barkan received his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and after serving for three years on the faculty of the University of California, Irvine, was appointed to the faculty of Political Science at the University of Iowa in 1972. He was a leading figure in the establishment of the Center for International and Comparative Studies (now International Programs) at the University and its first director, and of the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council.

His unmatched knowledge of the politics of developing countries was the result of four decades of teaching, research and government service. Since 1966 he worked in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. His research focused on the relationship between the institutions of government in these countries and their societies, on rural development, and on democratization. His work was supported by grants from the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, DfID (UK), the Heinrich Boll Foundation, the World Bank, and the Agency for International Development. He was a visiting faculty member at the University of Dar es Salaam, the Institute of Development Studies in Nairobi, the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques in Paris, the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, Cornell University, Princeton University, and the University of Cape Town; and a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center and the U. S. Institute of Peace. He was the author or co-author and editor of five books and of a large number of articles in professional journals.

Barkan straddled the worlds of academe and policy, consulting extensively for the U.S. Agency for International Development, the UK Department for International Development, the UN Development Program, the National Democratic Institute, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the World Bank.

He is survived by his wife, Sandra, his children, Bronwyn (Randy Lamm) and Joshua (Mariana Escribano), and his grandchildren, Arlo and Gabriel Lamm. Memorial contributions in his name may be made to the Joel D. and Sandra Barkan Scholarship for study abroad at the University of Iowa Foundation or the Crossroad Springs Institute School and AIDS Orphan Care Center in Hamisi, Kenya (P.O. Box 242, East Aurora, NY 14052). There will be a memorial service in Washington, DC on May 18, 2014.