Dr. Wisdom J. Tettey Vice-President & Principal of University of Toronto Scarborough. Born in Ghana, he holds a PhD from Queen’s University, and an MA from UBC. His research interests include political economy of globalization and information technology in Africa; media, politics and civic engagement in Africa; African higher education and the knowledge society; and, transnational citizenship and the African diaspora. Tettey was a Killam Resident Fellow at the University of Calgary and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development. He was named a fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013.
Research Fields: African Politics, Political Communications, Comparative Politics, Development Studies
Information Technology, Civic Engagement , and the Political Economy of Globalization
I have an interest in the new information and communications technologies and their impact on society, particularly in Africa. I undertake research on the relationship between these technologies, on the one hand, and institutional capacity building, transnational civil society, and deterritorialized citizenship on the other. I am also interested in how these technologies intersect with the trans-nationalization of the sex trade and fraud.
Mass Media And Democratization
I am also engaged in research on the African mass media and their relevance for the democratization processes in Africa. My work assesses the remarkable progress in media proliferation over the last few years to ascertain whether they been accompanied by a commensurate expansion in the diversity of democratic expression, monitoring of the state, and state responsiveness. The ethical frameworks within which they operate is also of interest.
Race, Ethnicity And Citizenship
I am interested in exploring the history and notion of citizenship in Canada, with particular reference to how it relates to race, ethnicity, and geographical origin of immigrants. I seek to understand the dialectical contradiction that pits the legalism of citizenship with the reality of racial and ethnic qualifiers of citizenship. My work examines how citizenship is defined in different historical and contemporary contexts and how those definitions affect the position of various groups, their sense of identity, their representation, their political participation, and the multiple resistances that are generated in response to those definitions. My research focuses specifically on the experiences of the African community.
Higher Education Capacity Building in Africa, Brain Drain, and Diaspora Knowledge Networks
Another area of research focuses on higher education systems in Africa, particularly with respect to their capacity to regenerate the academy and to offer competitive academic programs within a global knowledge economy that satisfy the continent’s developmental needs. My work in this area also explores the development of Diaspora networks, knowledge and resource mobilization within those networks, and how they may be deployed to address brain drain and capacity deficits within the higher education sector.
BOOKS AND MONOGRAPHS
- 2013. Media and Information Literacy, Informed Citizenship and Democratic Development In Africa: A Handbook for Information/Media Producers and Users. Harare: African Capacity Building Foundation
- 2010. The Public Sphere and the Politics of Survival: Voice, Sustainability and Public Policy in Ghana. Accra: Woeli Publishing Services [Co-edited with Korbla P. Puplampu]
- 2010. Challenges of Developing and Retaining the Next Generation of Academics: Deficits in Academic Staff Capacity at African Universities. New York: Partnership for Higher Education in Africa
- 2009. African Media and the Digital Public Sphere. New York: Palgrave Macmillan [co-edited withO. Mudhai and F. Banda]
- 2008.The Politics of Land and Land-Related Conflicts in Ghana: Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER Technical Publication Series), 215p. [co-authored with B.Y. Gebe and K. Ansah-Koi]
- 2006. Deepening Decentralization: Is Ghana Ready for Subsidiarity? Accra: CDD-Ghana
- 2006. Staff Retention in African Universities: Elements of a Sustainable Strategy. Washington DC: World Bank.
- 2005. The African Diaspora in Canada: Negotiating Identity and Belonging. Calgary: University of Calgary Press. [co-edited with K.P. Puplampu].
- 2003. Critical Perspectives in Politics and Socio-Economic Development in Ghana. Leiden and Boston: Brill Publishers. [co-edited with B. Berman and K. Puplampu]
- 2002. The Media, Accountability and Civic Engagement in Africa. New York: UNDP.
- 1996. Asia: Who Pays for Growth? Women, Environment and Popular Movements, Aldershot, England: Dartmouth, 1996. [Co-edited with J.K. Lele].
ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS
- 2019. “Digital Media, Networked Spaces, and Politics.” Pp. 378-391 In Gabrielle Lynch and Peter VonDoepp (eds), Routledge Handbook of Democratization in Africa. Routledge: London and New York
- 2017. "Mobile Telephony and Democracy in Ghana: Interrogating the Changing Ecology of Citizen Engagement and Political Communication." Telecommunications Policy, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.telpol.2017.05.012
- 2017. "The Supreme Court and Media in Ghana’s Fourth Republic: An Analysis of Rulings and Interactions between Two Estates of the Realm." In Richard Davies and David Taras (eds), Justices and Journalists: The Global Perspective. Cambridge University Press, pp. 119-140
- 2016. "Homosexuality, Moral Panic, and Politicized Homophobia: Interrogating Discourses of Moral Entrepreneurship in Ghanaian Media." Communication, Culture and Critique, vol. 9 (1), pp. 86-106
- 2016. “Regenerating Scholarly Capacity through Diaspora Engagement: The Case of a Ghana Diaspora Knowledge Network.” In Abel Chikanda, Jonathan Crush and Margaret Walton-Roberts (eds), Diasporas, Development and Governance. Springer, pp. 171-186
2015. “Globalization, Cybersexuality among Ghanaian Youth, and Moral Panic.” In Eunice Sahle (ed), Globalization and Socio-Cultural Processes in Contemporary Africa. Palgrave Macmillan [Reprint], pp. 11-37
2013.“Cell Phones and Transnationalism in Africa.” In Ato Quayson and Girish Daswani (eds), A Companion to Diaspora and Transnationalism. Maiden, MA:Wiley-Blackwell,pp. 346-365
- 2012."Africa's Leadership Deficit: Exploring Pathways to Good Governance and Transformative Politics." In Kobena T. Hanson, George Kararach and Timothy M. Shaw (eds), Rethinking Development Challenges for Public Policy: Insights from Contemporary Africa. Palgrave MacMillan, pp. 18-53
- 2011."Talk Radio and Politics in Ghana: Exploring Civic and (Un)Civil Discourse in the Public Sphere." In L. Gunner, D. Moyo and D. Ligaga (eds), Radio in Africa: Cultures, Publics and Communities, Johannesburg: Wits University Press, pp. 19-35
- 2010. "Sexual Citizenship, Heteronormativity, and the Discourse of Homosexual Rights in Ghana." In K.P. Puplampu and W.J. Tettey (eds.),The Public Sphere and the Politics of Survival: Voice, Sustainability and Public Policy in Ghana. Accra: Woeli Publishing Services, pp. 38-66
- 2010. "The Public Sphere and the Politics of Survival in Ghana: An Introduction." In K.P. Puplampu and W.J. Tettey (eds.),The Public Sphere and the Politics of Survival: Voice, Sustainability and Public Policy in Ghana. Accra: Woeli Publishing Services,pp.1-17
- 2009. "Postgraduate Studies in Africa: The Looming Crisis." International Higher Education, no. 57, Fall
- 2009. "Challenges of Expansion: The State of the African Professoriate and Implications for Regenerating the Academy." Bulletin of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, no. 167, june, pp. 16-17.
- 2009."Developing and Retaining the Next Generation of Academics in Africa: An Analysis of Issues and Challenges." Association of African Universities Newsletter, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 1-15
- 2009. "News Media and Governance Reform: Sub-Saharan Africa." In P . Norris [ed.], Public Sentinel: News Media and Governance Reform. Washington DC: World Bank, pp. 277-304
- 2009. "Introduction: New Media and Democracy in Africa -- A Critical Interjection.” In O. Mudhai, W. Tettey and F. Banda (eds.), African Media and the Digital Public Sphere. New York: Palgrave Macmillan [with F. Banda and O. Mudhai]
- 2009. "Transnationalism, the African Diaspora and the Deterritorialized Politics of theInternet.” In O. Mudhai, W. Tettey and F. Banda (eds.),African Media and the Digital Public Sphere. New York: Palgrave Macmillan
- 2008. "Globalization and Internet Fraud in Ghana: Interrogating the Political Economy of Survival, Subaltern Agency, and their Ramifications.” In Joselph Mensah(ed.),Neoliberalism and Globalization in Africa: Contestations on the Embattled Continent. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 241-266
- 2008. "Globalization, Cybersexuality among Ghanaian Youth, and Moral Panic.” In Joselph Mensah(ed.), Neoliberalism and Globalization in Africa: Contestations on the Embattled Continent. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 157-176
- 2008. “Rawlings, Jerry.” In Lynda Lee Kaid and Christina Holtz-Bacha(eds.), Encyclopaedia of Political Communication. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
- 2007. “Transnationalism, Religion and the African Diaspora in Canada: An Analysis of Ghanaians and Ghanaian Churches,” in Jacob Olupona and Regina Gemignani (eds.), African Immigrant Religions in America, New York University Press, pp. 229-258
- 2006. Globalization, Information Technologies, and Higher Education in Africa: Implications of the Market Agenda,” in Ali Abdi, Korbla Puplampu, and George Dei (eds.), African Education and Globalization: Critical Perspectives, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, pp. 93-114
- 2006. “Academic Staff Attrition in African Universities: Exploring Causes and Solutions,” International Higher Education, no. 44, Summer,
- 2006. "The Politics of Media Accountability in Africa: An Examination of Mechanisms and Institutions," – The International Communication Gazette, vol. 68, no. 3, pp. 229-248
- 2006. “Globalization, the Economy of Desire, and Cyber-sexual Activity Among Ghanaian Youth,” Studies in Political Economy, Spring, pp. 33-55
- 2005. “Continental Africans in Canada: Exploring a Neglected Dimension of the ‘African-Canadian’ Experience.” In The African Diaspora in Canada: Negotiating Identity and Belonging [with K.P. Puplampu],pp. 3-23
- 2005. “Ethnicity and the Identity of African-Canadians: A Theoretical and Political Analysis.” In The African Diaspora in Canada: Negotiating Identity and Belonging [with K.P. Puplampu], pp. 25-48
- 2005. “Border Crossings and Home-Diaspora Linkages among African-Canadians: Analysis of Translocational Positionality, Cultural Remittance, and Social Capital.” In The African Diaspora in Canada: Negotiating Identity and Belonging [with K.P. Puplampu], pp. 151-176
- 2005. “The New Information Technologies and Research Ethics: A Critical Appraisal,” in Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo (ed.), Current Issues in Communications and Media Research. New York: Nova Science Publishers, pp. 61-77
- 2004. “The Human Factor Framework Ten Years On: A Critical Review,” [with Korbla P. Puplampu] Review of Human Factor Studies, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 73-92
- 2004. “Globalization, Diasporization and Cyber-Communities: Exploring African Trans-Nationalisms,” in Edward Osei-Prempeh et al. (eds.), Globalization and the Human Factor: Critical Insights, Aldershot, Hants, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, pp. 121-142
- 2004. “The Politics of Radio and Radio Politics in Ghana: A Critical Appraisal of Broadcasting Reform,” in Rose Marie Beck & Frank Wittmann (eds.), African Media Cultures: Transdisciplinary Perspectives, Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag, pp. 215-239
- 2003. “ICT, Local Government Capacity Building and Civic Engagement: Evaluation of a Donor Initiative in Africa," in Bernard Miege and Gaetan Tremblay, 2001 Bogues: Globalisme et Pluralisme - TIC et Société. Laval , Quebec : Les Presses de l'Université Laval, 2003, pp. 217-231
- 2003. "Citizenship, Customary Law and Gendered Jurisprudence: A Socio-Legal Perspective" (with C. Kesson-Smith) -- in W. Tettey, B. Berman and K. Puplampu (eds.), Critical Perspectives in Politics and Socio-Economic Development in Ghana, Leiden and Boston: Brill Publishers, pp. 305-332
- 2003. "The Mass Media and the Construction of Democratic Space in Ghana," -- in W. Tettey, B. Berman and K. Puplampu (eds.), Critical Perspectives in Politics and Socio-Economic Development in Ghana, Leiden and Boston: Brill Publishers, pp. 83-106
- 2003. "Ghana and the Experience of ‘Development’," (with B. Berman and K. Puplampu), in W. Tettey, B. Berman and K. Puplampu (eds.), Critical Perspectives in Politics and Socio-Economic Development in Ghana, Leiden and Boston: Brill Publishers, pp. 1-18
- 2003. "Radio and Television in Africa," in Paul T. Zeleza and Dickson Eyoh (eds.), Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century African History. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 458-461
- 2003. “Academics as Citizens: Collaborative Applied Interdisciplinary Research in the Service of Communities,” [with Karim-Aly Kassam], Canadian Journal of Development Studies, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 155-174
- 2003. “Brain Drain and Africa’s Options: Return, Retention or Diaspora,” Sci-Dev,Net
- 2002. "ICT, Local Government Capacity Building And Civic Engagement: An Evaluation Of The Sample* Initiative In Ghana,"Perspectives on Global Development and Technology, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 165-192
- 2002. "Africa's Brain Drain: Networking Diaspora Communities For Socio-Economic Development," Mots Pluriels, no. 20, February 2002
- 2001. "Information Technology and Democratic Participation in Africa," Journal of Asian and African Studies, vol. 36, no.1, pp. 133-153
- 2001. “African States, Bureaucratic Culture and Computer Fixes,” [with Bruce Berman] Public Administration and Development , vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 1-13
- 2001. “The Media and Democratization in Africa: Contributions, Constraints and Concerns of the Private Press,” Media, Culture and Society, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 5-31
- 2001. "The Relevance of Human Factor Analysis in Understanding Democratization Processes in Africa," in B-S.K. Adjibolosoo (ed.), Portraits of Human Behavior and Performance: The Human Factor in Action, Lanham, MD: University Press of America, pp. 109-138
- 2001. "What Does it Mean to be African-Canadian?: Identity, Integration and Community,” in David Taras and Beverly Rasporich (eds.), A Passion for Identity: An Introduction to Canadian Studies [4th Edition], Toronto: ITP Nelson, pp. 161-182
- 2000. "Information Technology, Expertise, and the Politics of Control in Africa" Review of Human Factor Studies, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 13-32
- 2000. “Computerization, Institutional Maturation, and Qualitative Change: Analysis of a Ghanaian Public Corporation,” Information Technology for Development, vol 9, no. 2, pp. 59-76
- 2000. “Social Science Research and the Africanist: The Need for Intellectual and Attitudinal Reconfiguration,” [with K. Puplampu] African Studies Review, volume 43, no. 3, December, pp. 81-102
- 2000. "Human Agency and Democratic Challenges in Africa,” Africa Quarterly, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 13-49
- 2000. "State-NGO Relations in An Era of Globalisation: The Implications for Agricultural Development in Africa,” [with K. Puplampu] Review of African Political Economy, vol. 27, no. 84, June, pp. 251-272
- 1999. "Assessing Computer Utilization in a Public Utility: Lessons from Ghana’s Volta River Authority,” Journal of Management Studies, vol. 14, March, pp. 97-116
- 1997. "Transforming Tax Administration in Ghana: The Tension Between Computers and Human Agency,” Development Policy Review, vol. 15, no. 4, Dec., pp. 339-356
- 1997. “Informatics Training in Ghana and the Quest for Computocracy,” Science, Technology and Development, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 41-62
- 1996. “Computerization in Ghana and the Chimera of an Informatics Policy,” Journal of African Policy Studies, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 89-104
- 1995. "The Media Dimension of the African Development Malaise," in Senyo B-S.K. [ed], The Significance of the Human Factor in African Economic Development, Westport, CT; London: Praeger, pp. 41-54
- 2006. Curriculum on Civil-Military Relations for the Ghana Armed Forces. Report prepared for the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) and the Education Directorate of the Ghana Armed Forces, 18pp.
- 2007. Francis B. Nyamnjoh. Africa’s Media: Democracy and the Politics of Belonging. Zed Books: London and New York; UNISA Press: Pretoria, 2005, in Canadian Journal of African Studies, vol. 41, no.1, pp. 162-165
- 2006. Ernest J. Wilson III. The Information Revolution and Developing Countries. Cambridge, MA; London, England: MIT Press, 2004, in New Media and Society, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 339-342
- 2002. Richard Fardon and Graham Furniss (eds.): African Broadcast Cultures: Radio in Transition. James Curry: Oxford; Baobab: Harare; David Philip: Cape Town; Praeger: Westport, CT., 2000, in Canadian Journal of African Studies, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 143-146