For political scientists, and particularly scholars and students of Africa, Crawford Young needs litde introduction. However, as he has now achieved an emeritus status at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, it is time to present his intimate understanding of African politics in the last forty years.
Born in Philadelphia in November 1931, Young received his B.A, from the University of Michigan in 1953. He studied at the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London from 1955 to 1956 and at die Institut d'Etudes Politiques, University of Paris, from 1956 to 1957. He dien entered graduate school at Harvard University, completing his doctorate degree in political science in 1964. In 1963 Young was offered an assistant professor position by the Department of Political Science at die University of Wisconsin–Madison. He remained tiiere for his entire career, retiring in January 2001. He has held visiting professorships at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda (1965–66), and at the University of Dakar in Senegal (1987–88). He also served as dean of the Faculty of Social Science at the Université Nationale du Zaire from 1973 to 1975. Among his publications are twelve monographs, over one hundred articles, and chapters in numerous books. Several of Young's works have been translated into different languages.
Young's professional career includes extended field research in Congo-Kinshasa, Senegal, and Uganda. He has received many prestigious awards such as the Herskovits Prize (African Studies Association) and the Ralph Bunche Award (American Political Science Association) for The Politics of Cultural Pluralism (Wisconsin, 1976), and the Gregory Luebbert Prize (APSA) for The African Colonial State in Comparative Perspective (Yale, 1994).