Joel Olufowote is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. His research and teaching interests lay in the intersection between democracy, democratization policy, and democratic consolidation, with a specialization in Africa. His current research examines how Africans evaluate their support for democracy; either through an outlook of increased political rights and liberties or with the expectations of improved economic welfare. Joel's interest in global affairs, and specific expertise in African politics, is a product of his upbringing. Born in Ghana to Nigerian parents, having resided and schooled in Ghana, Liberia, Senegal, and the United States growing up, much of his teaching and research interests in comparative politics is drawn from first-hand experience in the environments he studies. Joel moved to the United States, full-time, in 2001 to pursue post-secondary education. He received a BS in Economics/Finance from the University of Indianapolis in 2005, MA in Political Science from Southern Illinois University in 2008, and PhD in Political Science in 2013, also from Southern Illinois University.