Clem Henry Retires

With the retirement of Professor Clement Henry, the Department of Government loses one of its most senior and internationally-prominent Comparativists. Clem Henry is one of the country’s leading scholars in contemporary Middle Eastern politics. His pioneering works on Tunisia and Morocco in the 1960s and 1970s laid the foundations and set the standards for subsequent political analysis of these countries. Drawing upon the University of Michigan M.B.A. that he added to his Harvard Ph.D. in 1981, Clem launched a research agenda on oil and politics in the Arab world, and established himself in the 1980s as one of the most important English-language writers on business and politics in the Middle East. In “The Mediterranean Debt Crescent: Money and Power in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and Turkey” (1996), he analyzed connections between political structure and control over the financial sector in seven Middle Eastern countries. “The Mediterranean Debt Crescent” set a wide agenda for further research into the role of business in general, and private banks in particular, in developing countries’ democratization experiments of the 1980s and 1990s. Clem’s book, “Globalization and the Politics of Development in the Middle East,” with Bob Springborg (Cambridge University Press, 2001), now in its second edition (2010), is the standard reference on this topic.

Clem is the author of the two titles mentioned above, plus “Tunisia Since Independence: The Dynamics of One-Party Government” (1965), “Politics of North Africa” (1970), “Authoritarian Politics in Modern Society” (1970), “Images of Development: Egyptian Engineers in Search of Industry” (1980), “Oil in the New World Order” (1995), “The Politics of Islamic Finance” (2004), and “Combat et Solidarité Estudiantins: L’ UGEMA (1955-1962)” (2010), a book on the student movement and civil society during the nationalist revolution in Algeria. He is also the author of over 80 articles and book chapters, including articles published in the “American Political Science Review” and “World Politics.”

In addition to serving as Professor of Government at UT, Clem taught at UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, and the American University of Cairo (1969-73); directed the Graduate School of Business and Management at American University in Beirut (1981-84); and was Visiting Professor at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. In Fall 2011, Clem will become Chairman of the Department of Political Science at the American University in Cairo.

During his time at UT, Clem supervised 41 Ph.D. and Master’s theses, including nine Ph.D. dissertations in political science, and sat on 30 more Ph.D. and M.A. committees. His “Mediterranean Debt Crescent” was the point of departure for a department-based faculty-student working group on the politics of financial liberalization (1998-2002) that generated six Ph.D. dissertations and two M.A. theses in political science.

——– from Catherine Boone, 23 March 2011