For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Alden H. Young

Alden Young, PhD

Director of Africana Studies
Assistant Professor
Department of History
Office: 3025 MacAlister Hall
Phone: 215.571.3626


  • BA, Columbia University, 2004
  • MA, The London School of Economics and Political Science, 2005
  • PhD, Princeton University, 2013

Curriculum Vitae:



Alden Young is a political and economic historian of Africa. He is particularly interested in the ways in which Africans participated in the creation of the current international order. Since 2014, he has been an assistant professor in African History and the Director of the Africana Studies Program at Drexel University. He received his PhD in 2013 from Princeton University. He then served for two years as a Dean’s Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

His first book was published by Cambridge University Press (Africa Series) in December 2017. "Transforming Sudan: Decolonization, Economic Development and State Formation", offers a historically grounded account of policymaking in postcolonial Africa. It challenges social scientists’ common perception of the post-colonial African state as rapacious and predatory with institutions that serve little other purpose besides patronage and legitimation. In the place of this narrative, he argues that Sudanese policymakers and officials like their peers across the decolonizing world believed in the potential of the postcolonial state to solve social questions in the public interest.

His next project provisionally titled: “Elite Retreat: The Sudanese Business Community in Global Perspective,” traces the structure of the economy of northeast Africa starting within the networks of the Sudanese business community rather than the archives of the state.

Selected Publications:

Peer Reviewed

  • “Measuring the Sudanese Economy: A Focus on National Growth Rates and a Blindness to Regional Inequality, 1958 to 1964” Canadian Journal of Development Studies (April 1, 2014): 44-60.
  • “The Anglo-Egyptian Rivalry, the Cold War and Economic Development in Sudan:1954-1958,” in Massimiliano Trentin and Matteo Gerlini, (eds.) The Middle East and the Global Cold War. (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, April 2012): 29-53.
  • “The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and the Rise of the ‘Territorial Perspective’ in Government Policymaking,” work in progress
  • co-authored with Mike Woldemariam, “Allies after Stalemate, Enemies after Victory: Lessons from the Partitions of Ethiopia/Eritrea and Sudan/South Sudan” work in progress

Non-Peer Reviewed Publications and Reviews