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Herbert F Weiss

Former Senior Policy Scholar


    July 1, 2003 — May 31, 2013

    Professional affiliation

    Emeritus Professor, City University of New York

    Full Biography

    Professor Herbert Weiss has been a student of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since 1959. He is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at City University of New York and Senior Fellow at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, CUNY. The main focus of his research has been nationalism, independence struggles, mass mobilization, protest, democratization, elections, decentralization and the role of militia.   Weiss’ most important contribution to African studies has probably been his analysis of “rural radicalism” i.e. the radical protest thrust of rurally based populations in the DRC as illustrated by the independence struggle (1959-60), the Congo Rebellions (1963-68) and later, from the 1990’s to the present, by various rurally based militia groups.   

    Weiss has been a consultant with the World Bank, the UN, the US Government, the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum of the Social Science Research Council and various US and international NGOs.

    He has been a member of the African Studies Association since 1961 and was the recipient of its Herskovits Prize in 1968.

    His most recent trip to the DRC was in July 2011.  In December 2009 he was honored by the National University in Kinshasa (UNIKIN) for his fifty years of research dealing with the DRC. To celebrate this occasion, UNIKIN organized a two day-long conference focusing on political mobilization during the 1960’s. 

    Major Publications

    • "The Democratic Republic of Congo: 1996-2002" with Tatiana Carayannis in Jane Boulden ed., Dealing with Conflict in Africa: The Role of the United Nations and Regional Organizations (London: Palgrave, 2003)
    • “War and Peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo” in the Current African Issues Papers Series, Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Uppsala, Sweden, 2000
    • "The Enduring Idea of the Congo: Public Attitudes, the Nation, and the State," with Tatiana Carayannis, in Ricardo Laremont, ed., Borders, Nationalism, and the African State (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Press, forthcoming 2004)