Dr. Gloria Yayra A. Ayee is a Lecturer and Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Government at Harvard University. She also holds a faculty appointment at the Harvard Extension School.
Ayee is a political scientist with expertise in behavior and identity politics, and race and ethnic politics. She earned her Ph.D. in Political Science and a Graduate Certificate in African and African American Studies from Duke University. Her research interests center on American politics, comparative politics, human rights, transitional justice, race and civil rights policy, African politics, political institutions, political reconciliation, truth and reconciliation commissions, media policy and politics, politics and popular culture, and immigrant political incorporation. At Harvard University, she teaches courses on Global Ethnic Politics; Race, Film, and American Politics; and Transitional Justice and the Politics of Truth Commissions.
Ayee’s most recent publication is a co-authored article, titled “White House, Black Mother: Michelle Obama and the Politics of Motherhood as First Lady” (Politics & Gender 2019). Another recent co-authored article, “Race, Power, and Knowledge: Tracing the Roots of Exclusion in the Development of Political Science in the United States,” published in Politics, Groups, and Identities in 2016, examines the complex relationship between racial ideologies and the development of the discipline of political science in the United States. Ayee is currently working on a book manuscript, which focuses on theories of justice and political reconciliation, peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction, and explores truth and reconciliation processes around the world.
Ayee’s doctoral dissertation, titled Restorative Justice and Political Forgiveness: A Comparative Analysis of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, is a comparative, cross-national study of truth and reconciliation commissions (TRCs) in countries that have used these extra-judicial institutions to pursue justice and promote national reconciliation following a period of civil unrest marked by severe human rights abuses. Her research seeks to determine why there has been a proliferation of TRCs around the world in recent years, and whether the perceived effectiveness of these commissions is real and substantial. Her work considers the institutional design and composition of TRCs, as well as the roles that these commissions play in the democratic transformation.