Salmon Shomade

Associate Professor of Political Science and Chair, History and Social Sciences Division

Dr. Salmon A. Shomade is an associate professor of Political Science. He grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to the U.S. to pursue his undergraduate education at Clark Atlanta University (then Clark College) and Georgia Institute of Technology. After completing the dual degree engineering program at Clark (BS in General Science) and Georgia Tech (Bachelor of Civil Engineering), he worked as a Civil Engineer at the Connecticut Department of Transportation in New Haven, Connecticut, building roads and bridges.  Shomade later pursued his MBA with a concentration in Finance at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and worked as a Financial Analyst afterwards at Conoco Inc. A few years after, Shomade enrolled at the University of Virginia School of Law wherein he obtained his JD degree. A member of New York, Texas, District of Columbia, and Georgia State Bars, Shomade practiced at a number of national law firms (including King and Spalding and Kilpatrick Townsend Stockton) all over the country. He eventually pursued his doctoral degree in Political Science/Public Administration at the University of Arizona where he obtained his PhD in 2007.

Shomade's two primary research areas/interests are judicial politics and African politics. He has a number of publications in judicial politics, most recently publishing Judicial Decision Making and Controversies in State Supreme Courts (Lexington Books, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield) in 2018. In addition, Shomade has been focusing on African politics and recently completed his book Colonial Legacies and the Rule of Law in Africa: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Routledge, 2022).

Shomade initially joined the Emory Family as a visiting associate professor of Political Science. Shomade loves being a part of the Oxford College Family and enjoys working with students on various research topics in his scholarship areas and other areas of students' interests.  When Shomade is not researching, teaching, or advising his students, he runs long distance and comes up with his best research ideas while doing so.


BS| Clark Atlanta University| 1988

B.Eng| Georgia Institute of Technology| 1989

MBA| University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business| 1992

J.D.| University of Virginia School of Law| 1997

PhD| University of Arizona| 2007

Courses Taught

Principles of Political Science

African Politics

National Politics in the U.S.

Research Design Methods

African American Politics

Constitutional Law

Civil Liberties

Criminal Justice


Member: District of Columbia Bar, Georgia State Bar, New York State Bar, and Texas State Bar

Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award 2018 Nominee   


Shomade, Salmon A. 2022. Legal tradition - or symbol of subjugation? Judicature.

Shomade, Salmon A. 2022. Colonial legacies endure in Africa’s legal systems — undermining rule of lawWashington Post. 

Shomade, Salmon A. 2022. Colonial Legacies and the Rule of Law: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Oxford, U.K.: Routledge.

Shomade, Salmon A. 2021. “Diversion and Accountability Courts” In Ronald F. Wright, Kay L. Levine, and Russell M. Gold (Eds.), Oxford Handbook on Prosecutors and Prosecution. Oxford University Press: Oxford, U.K.

Shomade, Salmon A. 2018. Decision Making and Controversies in State Supreme Courts. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books (an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield).

Shomade, Salmon A. and Sally J. Kenney. 2016. “Gender & Racial Diversity of Louisiana’s Judges: A Research Report.” Newcomb College Institute of Tulane University, New Orleans. October 2016.

Shomade, Salmon A., Roger E. Hartley, and Lisa M. Holmes. 2014. “Lower Federal Court Judicial Confirmation Fights: A Critical Review of the Empirical Literature and Future Research Directions,” PS: Political Science & Politics, 47 (1): 149-164.

Shomade, Salmon A. 2012. “Sentencing Patterns: Drug Court Judges Serving in Conventional Criminal Courts,” Judicature, 96 (1): 36-44.

 Holmes, Lisa M., Salmon A Shomade, and Roger. E. Hartley 2012. “The Confirmation Obstacle Course: Signaling Opposition through Delay,” The American Review of Politics, Spring, 33: 23.

Shomade, Salmon A., and Roger E. Hartley. 2010. “The Application of Network Analysis to the Study of Trial Courts.” Justice System Journal, 31(2): 144-163.

Shomade, Salmon A. 2010. “Case Disposition in the Drug Court: Who is the Most Central Actor?” Justice System Journal, 31(1): 74-96.


"The Lingering Legacies of Colonial Laws in Africa and the Impact on the Rule of Law: Lessons from Several Former British Colonies," Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, April 2019.

“Re-examining the Rule of Law from the Bottom Up: Lessons from Several Nigerian Courts,” Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, April 2018.

“Effect of State Supreme Court Justices’ Interpersonal Relationships on Rulings,” American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, September 2015.

 “Judicial Decision Making in State Supreme Courts: The Elevation of Bernette Johnson as Chief Justice and Its Impact on Judicial Decisions in Louisiana Supreme Court,”, Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, April 2014.

Research Interests

Judicial Politics, African Politics, African-American Politics, Criminal and Specialized Courts, Constitutional Law, and Law and Public Policy