Robin L. Turner is an Associate Professor of Political Science, Chair of the Department of Political Science, and Director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Butler University in the USA and an honorary research associate of the Society, Work, and Politics Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Dr. Turner served as the founding director of the Social Justice and Diversity Butler University Core Curriculum requirement from 2017 to 2019. She earned a master's degree and doctorate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley and a masters degree in social science (African politics) from the University of Cape Town (South Africa). Her research, writing, and teaching span multiple fields, including political science, gender studies, African studies, development studies, tourism studies, political ecology, and geography.
Dr. Turner's research focuses principally on how public policies shape rural political economies, influence identities, and affect people’s behavior in southern Africa. She uses interviews, ethnography, and archival research to examine the interplay between state policies and local practices over time and to look closely at how past and present ways of structuring property and authority shape local political economies and influence constructions of identity. She has published on topics ranging from the politics of tradition; dispossession, property, and nature tourism; and field research to decolonial pedagogy.
Dr. Turner teaches courses that help students better understand the perspectives, experiences, and political strategies of historically marginalized people in Africa, the United States, and elsewhere in the world. Her courses contribute to the political science major and minor, to the core curriculum, and to several interdisciplinary programs She led the the development of a new Global and Historical Studies course centered on the question, "What is Freedom," with grant support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Her recent course offerings include:
- PO 151 Introduction to Comparative Politics
- PO 350-SAC African Politics
- PO 351-SJD Politics of Gender & Sexuality in Africa
- PO 352 Comparative Political Economy
- PO 354-SJD Environmental Justice
- PO 490 Senior Seminar on Women and Politics across the World
- PO 490 Senior Seminar on Political Economy
- GHS 206-SJD Resistance and Reaction: Resistance and Reaction: Colonialism and Post-Colonialism in Africa
- GHS 210-SJD Freedom and Movement in the Transatlantic World