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John Paden  //  Robinson Professor of International Studies

Robinson Professor John Paden

Robinson Professor John Paden

International Studies and Professor of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University. He received his B.A. in philosophy from Occidental College, his M.A. in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and his Ph.D. in politics from Harvard University. He has served as Director of African Studies at Northwestern University, Professor of Public Administration at Ahmadu Bello University (Zaria, Nigeria), and Dean, Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, at Bayero University (Kano, Nigeria).

Some of Dr. Paden’s publications include: Religion and Political Culture in Kano (winner of the Herskovits Prize); The African Experience (four volumes); Black Africa: A Comparative Handbook; Understanding Black Africa: Data and Analysis of Social Change and Nation Building; Values, Identities, and National Integration: Empirical Research in Africa; and Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto: Values and Leadership in Nigeria. His book Muslim Civic Cultures and Conflict Resolution: The Challenge of Democratic Federalism in Nigeria was published by the Brookings Institution in 2005. His book with the Institute of Peace is entitled: Faith and Politics in Nigeria: Nigeria as a Pivotal State in the Muslim World, (2008).
  His most recent book is Postelection Conflict Management in Nigeria: The Challenge of National Unity (2012) was published by the George Mason University School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

Dr. Paden has traveled widely in Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Asia. He was part of a 15-year project to help establish African studies in China. During 2002 to 2006, he has served on a senior-level task force at The Brookings Institution on “United States Policy toward the Islamic world.” He is a co-founder of the graduate program in International Commerce and Policy, and is Co-Founder/Co-Director of the Center for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. He has served as director of the summer graduate program in China, focusing on socio-economic changes and cross-cultural trade strategies, and participated in the summer trade programs in Oxford and Geneva.  He serves on doctoral committees in Economics, Public Policy, and Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

Dr. Paden has developed and taught broad-gauged courses, including freshman seminars (“The nature of the non-western world” and “The idea of the nation state”), sophomore honors seminars (“Cross-cultural perspectives: Understanding the giants of Asia and Africa,”), and upper-division courses (“Religion and Post-modernism,” “Political Culture and Leadership,” “Cultural Dimensions of Globalization,” and “The Globalization Debates”). He has helped develop undergraduate minors in Asia Pacific Studies, Islamic Studies, and Afro-American and African Studies. He has served on the undergraduate General Education committee, with a focus on the requirement in global understanding.”

In terms of outreach and community service, Dr. Paden has served as an international monitor with the U. S. Delegation during the Nigerian presidential elections in 1999 (Kaduna), 2003 (Kano) and 2007(Katsina). He was part of a team which helped plan the new Nigerian federal capital at Abuja. He has served on review panels at the U.S. Institute of Peace and participated in the Nigeria Working Group, Council on Foreign Relations, and the Nigerian Working Group, Center for Strategic and International Studies.


Governor Attahiro Bafarawa leads discussion of Nigerian politics with Prof. Paden's Honors Seminar students" (Gov. B was a two term gov. of Sokoto State, Nigeria, and a major presidential candidate in 2007. He is a visiting scholar at George Mason)

Governor Attahiro Bafarawa leads discussion of Nigerian politics with Prof. Paden’s Honors Seminar students” (Gov. B was a two term gov. of Sokoto State, Nigeria, and a major presidential candidate in 2007. He is a visiting scholar at George Mason)


Professor Paden donates Book Collection to Mason Libraries

Robinson Professor of International Studies John Paden has donated over 4,000 books, maps, and other printed materials to the George Mason University Libraries.   These texts, which focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, cover a broad range of topics including, economics, history, law, language and religion.  The collection is currently being cataloged and will be available for general […]


Professor Paden Provides Expertise to State Department Via Lectures, Forums and Round Tables

John Paden, Robinson Professor of International Affairs, gave lectures titled “Contemporary Islamic Movement in Nigeria” and “Islam in Africa” for the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute. He also participated in a State Department forum, “Conflict Mitigation in Nigeria;” a roundtable at the Council of Foreign Relations titled “Election Prospects in Nigeria;” and a forum […]