Aili Mari Tripp is Wangari Maathai Professor of Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies and Chair of the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Tripp’s research has focused on women and politics in Africa, women’s movements in Africa, women and peacebuilding, transnational feminism, African politics (with particular reference to Uganda and Tanzania), and on the informal economy in Africa. Her current research involves a comparative study of women and legal reform in North Africa. She 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. She recently has won awards from Fulbright, the American Academy in Berlin (Axel Spring Prize), and the Center for Research on Gender and Women at the UW-Madison.
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 has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the 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 is currently active on the steering committee of the American Council of Learned Societies’ African Humanities Program.
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.