Aili Mari Tripp is Wangari Maathai Professor of Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is presently on a fellowship at the Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, DC. Tripp’s research has focused on gender/women and politics, women’s movements in Africa, transnational feminism, African politics (with particular reference to Uganda and Tanzania), and on the informal economy in Africa.
Her most recent book is a comparative study of women’s rights and legal reform in North Africa: Seeking Legitimacy: Why Arab Autocracies Adopt Women’s Rights (New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019). She is author of several award-winning books, including Women and Power in Postconflict Africa (2015), Museveni’s Uganda: Paradoxes of Power in a Hybrid Regime (2010), African Women’s Movements: Transforming Political Landscapes (2009) with Isabel Casimiro, Joy Kwesiga, and Alice Mungwa, and Women and Politics in Uganda (2000). Her first book was Changing the Rules: The Politics of Liberalization and the Urban Informal Economy in Tanzania (1997). She has edited Sub-Saharan Africa: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Women’s Issues Worldwide (2003), and co-edited (with Balghis Badri) Women’s Activism in Africa (2017), (with Myra Marx Ferree and Christina Ewig) Gender, Violence, and Human Security: Critical Feminist Perspectives (2013), (with Myra Marx Ferree) Global Feminism: Transnational Women’s Activism (2006), Organizing, and Human Rights, (with Joy Kwesiga) The Women’s Movement in Uganda: History, Challenges and Prospects (2002) as well as (with Marja-Liisa Swantz) What Went Right in Tanzania? People’s Responses to Directed Development (1996).
Tripp is also coordinating a related research project on Women and Peacebuilding in Africa, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Foreign Ministry of Norway, involving research in northern Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Algeria, and Somalia. The researchers are from Nigeria, Uganda, Somalia, Sudan, Norway and the United States.
Tripp has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Axel Springer Prize from the American Academy in Berlin, African Politics Conference Group best book on African politics award, the Victoria Schuck award of the American Political Science Association for the best book on women and politics. In 2014 she won the African Studies Association Public Service Award.
She has been president of the African Studies Association and vice president of the American Political Science Association. She has also served on the boards of the American Political Science Association, African Studies Association, National Council for Research on Women, Tanzania Studies Association, University of Wisconsin Press, and numerous other journals and book series. She is part of a team of editors of the American Political Science Review, the flagship journal of the American Political Science Association. She has served as a co-editor of Politics & Gender and of a book series on Women in Africa for the University of Wisconsin Press.