Davd B. Abernethy, Professor Emeritus, taught in the Department from 1965 until retirement in 2002.
He received B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University and an M.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University. A specialist in sub-Saharan Africa, Prof. Abernethy regularly taught courses on politics in tropical Africa and southern Africa. His more general interest in relations between currently developing world regions and currently wealthy, powerful countries was reflected in courses on "Controversies over Foreign Aid," "International Dependency," "Colonialism and Nationalism in the Third World," "The World and the West," and "Decolonization in Asia and Africa, 1945-80." He is author of THE POLITICAL DILEMMA OF POPULAR EDUCATION: AN AFRICAN CASE (Stanford, 1969) and THE DYNAMICS OF GLOBAL DOMINANCE: EUROPEAN OVERSEAS EMPIRES, 1415-1980 (Yale, 2000).
Prof. Abernethy received two Dean's Awards for distinguished teaching, a School of Humanities and Sciences Award for lifetime achievements in teaching, the Stanford Alumni Association's Richard Lyman Award for contributions to alumni, and the University's Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for contributions to undergraduate education. Prof. Abernethy's University service includes serving as Chair of the Faculty Senate, two terms as Chair of the African Studies Committee, two terms co-chairing the International Relations Program, and a term as President of the Stanford chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. In retirement he has occasionally taught a lecture course on "NGOs and Development in Poor Countries." He also set up a no-credit, no-grades International Development Careers Discussion Group, where undergraduates interested in international development meet to talk about their own career aspirations and to hear from others who have devised creative careers in this field.
He chaired the Stanford Emeriti Council from 2006-07 to 2017-18.