Faculty Spotlight: Abdoulaye Saine

photo of Abdoulaye Saine

  • professor in the Department of Political Science
  • originally from The Gambia, West Africa
  • teaches POL 102, 271, 338, 384 and 389
  • recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Scholar Award


"I'm originally from the Gambia in West Africa and moved to the United States several decades ago to attend the University of Denver. There I received degrees in political science and anthropology. I then went on to obtain a master's degree from Carleton University in Canada and then later returned to Denver to earn my doctorate.

"I've always been interested in political science. Originally, I wanted to be a diplomat in my home country, but I later became a professor at Miami and have enjoyed my time here ever since!

"I consider myself a student of global politics/international relations theory and comparative politics, while specializing in Africa and the global south. Within these, I study topics ranging from realist, liberal, feminism, and post-colonial theories, as well as critical-race theory. I am also a political economist because I study economics and its impact on the decisions that are made within politics. I am also interested in global financial institutions and their varying impact on economically poor countries and citizens. So, Greece is of much interest."


"I teach POL 102, 271, 338, 384 and 389 at Miami. My teaching philosophy includes empowering students to get them more involved in their education. Rather than impart pieces of knowledge, I attempt to guide my students and get them to ask questions.

"I enjoy keeping my students engaged and learning about their opinions, ideas, perspectives, and backgrounds. My students enrich my life, and I’m always learning from them as well. As much as I am the 'expert,' the professor, I do not like assuming that role. I think I am as much a learner as all of them, and I do learn a lot from them in the process."


"I'm constantly active and participating in research. I'm currently working on a global studies text for undergraduates that will go beyond what is taught in international studies/international relations classes. My students play an active role in helping me with my research in terms of compiling notes, collecting data, and completing literature reviews.

"In September 2014, I was one of four Miami professors who received the Distinguished Scholar Award, which is in recognition of my research on democracy and elections in Africa, the role of the military in politics, and human rights advocacy, especially for asylum seekers. It's a nice recognition by my peers and the university."

Outside the Classroom

"I'm constantly motivated by my quest for social justice and my desire to serve and positively impact others and to bring my global experiences to Miami. All of this is intended to diversify student experiences and offerings in the classroom, around campus, and beyond.

"I try to make a difference, even if it's just in the life of one person. However, we all need some down time, so I enjoy traveling and listening to music and maintaining a strong spiritual and family life as well."

[August 2015]