Assistant Professor, Department of African American Studies

Alden Young is assistant professor of African American studies and a faculty member of the International Development Studies program of the UCLA International Institute. A political and economic historian of Africa, he is the author of “Transforming Sudan: Decolonization, Economic Development and State Formation” (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Young is particularly interested in the ways in which Africans participated in the creation of the current international order and has research interests on both sides of the Red Sea. He has done extensive fieldwork in Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

Young’s current research project examines how Sudanese intellectuals and businessmen conceptualized the rise of the Arab Gulf beginning in the 1970s and built economic, political and labor relationships between Sudan and the Gulf region. He is also engaged in two collaborative research projects: a study of post-partition conflicts in the Horn of Africa (e.g., Sudan-South Sudan and Ethiopia-Eritrea) with political scientist Michael Woldemariam, and a study of East African ideas of federation. Along with Nathalie Puetz of NYU Abu Dhabi, Young has been awarded a research grant by the Social Science Research Council to conceptualize the Red Sea as a region of study.

A frequent contributor to international media outlets such as Al Jazeera, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy, Young is a non-resident fellow at the Qunicy Institute and was a member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study of Princeton University for the 2019–2020 term.

  • BA, Columbia University, 2004
  • MA, The London School of Economics and Political Science, 2005
  • PhD, Princeton University, 2013