Welcome. I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Denver. My primary research interests concern religion and politics in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on the role of Christianities in Southern and Eastern African politics. My book manuscript, Deus ex Machina? The Politics of New Religious Movements in Sub-Saharan Africa, offers new theory to explain why Pentecostal Christianity has emerged as a highly politicized identity in some sub-Saharan states in recent decades but not others. I test this theory using both cross and sub-national data, which includes qualitative and quantitative databases that I compiled in Zambia (2011-2017). I have also conducted research on the political economy of development and social policy in cross-national perspective. For more detail, please see my C.V.
I am honored to serve my college as an At-Large CAHSS representative on Faculty Senate, starting this fall. If you're a faculty, staff or student in CAHSS with issues you'd like me to raise, don't hesitate to reach out!
Publication in Political Behavior (May, 2022): Sperber, Elizabeth, O’Brien Kaaba, and Gwyneth McClendon. "Increasing Youth Political Engagement with Efficacy Not Obligation: Evidence from a Workshop-Based Experiment in Zambia." Political behavior (2022): 1-26.
Working paper on latest community-engaged study on youth civic engagement in Zambia here.
PhD, MPh, MA, Columbia University (2016)
- Recipient of Doria Award
BA, Brown University (2006)
- Highest Honors, recipient of Ida B. Wells Award
Email: Elizabeth[dot]Sperber[at]DU.edu2000 E. Asbury Ave.
Denver, CO 80208
Lusaka, Zambia, 2013. Research assistant, Mr. Lungu, helps construct databases from government records.
Rakai District, Uganda, 2010. Pictured here with research assistants on a predissertation study.
Partisan Evangelical Christian organization campaigns for incumbent Presidential candidate a month before Zambia's controversial 2016 election. Photo credit: Lusaka Times, 7/27/16.