The goal of this rubric is to filter and promote the recent scholarship on Africa coming from the leading IR and Area Studies journals. The Regional Security Knowledge Hub team periodically refreshes the list, in winter, spring, summer and autumn. If you are interested in getting updates on the new content, please subscribe to our newsletter.



“Liberal intervention’s renewed crisis: responding to Russia’s growing influence in Africa”, by Katja Lindskov Jacobsen, Karen Philippa Larsen, International Affairs 99 (1): 259-278 (2023).

Liberal intervention actors often understand Russian engagements in Africa through a great power vacuum logic. This logic sees Russian influence as resulting from Russia filling a vacuum where other (notably liberal) interveners downscale. This article unpacks that vacuum logic and explores its consequences and effects. On the one hand, the vacuum logic is central to representations of Russia as an entirely external ‘other’, which contribute to constituting a ‘liberal’ intervention approach and community. On the other hand, exploring Russia’s presence in the Central African Republic (CAR) and in Mali challenges this representation, as examples of pragmatic co-existence between Russian and liberal actors become visible. The cases of Mali and CAR also illustrate other challenge, including how the vacuum logic dismisses host state agency and renders longstanding critique of liberal intervention seemingly unnecessary, legitimizing a one-directional critique of Russia’s presence in Africa. Failing to appreciate the constitutive and dismissive effects of this great power vacuum logic risks confronting liberal interveners in ways that make them ill-equipped to address critical shortcomings of their own approach. Leaving shortcoming unaddressed may inadvertently provide further grounds for (rather than counter) Russian influence, where Russian actors may take advantage of anti-colonial sentiments and security shortcomings.


“COVID – 19 travel bans and the reactivation of colonial trauma in Africa”, by Bianca Naude, International Affairs 99 (3): 1109-1126 (2023).

When the Omicron variant of the COVID–19 virus was identified in November 2021, western states responded by immediately imposing a travel ban on African countries in a bid to keep ‘the African virus’ out of their territories. Seen by some as a necessary step to protect western lives, the travel bans caused a visceral reliving among Africans of colonial-era experiences of shame, humiliation and degradation. We know that actors, during times of crisis, exaggerate identity borders between ‘us’ and ‘them’, and we can understand western reactions to the discovery of Omicron against this theoretical backdrop. What is not clear, however, is why the Omicron travel ban caused such a visceral reliving of a past trauma in the African collective. Supported by a qualitative analysis of news media, this research sets out to explain how travel bans imposed by western nations caused a re-traumatization of the African collective, arguing that narratives surrounding ‘Africa’s Omicron virus’ are an extension of the ‘heart of darkness’ ideation that dominated imperial European discourse and practice. Deeper understanding of the many ways in which colonial subjugation persists today, the article argues, can help us better respond to similar future global crises.


“Ideology, grand strategy and the rise and decline of Ethiopia’s regional status” by Goitom Gebreluel, International Affairs 99 (3): 1127-1147 (2023).

Ethiopia transformed from a state on the verge of collapse at the end of the Cold War into one of the world’s fastest-developing economies and a regional power in the Horn of Africa in less than two decades. Since 2018 its economic, military and diplomatic status have, however, become significantly compromised yet again. What explains these significant fluctuations in regional power status? Drawing on policy documents and in-depth interviews with diplomatic, military and political officials from the Horn of Africa this article conducts a comparative analysis of the nature and variation of Ethiopia’s regional power status under the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) in 2000–2018 and the Prosperity Party (PP) in 2018–2022. The findings illustrate that the fluctuations in regional power were primarily caused by different grand strategies, which in turn reflected the priorities of the EPRDF’s developmental state and the PP’s restorative nationalist ideologies. These grand strategic concepts shaped Ethiopian government policies on key issues like defence doctrine, status-seeking, economic development, and rivalry and alliance management. These policies had a direct and significant impact on Ethiopia’s state capacity, its ability to project military power and its diplomatic influence.

“Ranger/soldier: patterns of militarizing conservation in Uganda”, by Christopher Day, William Moreto, Riley Ravary, Journal of Eastern African Studies (17): 57-78 (2023).

In recent years, several African states have increasingly militarized their wildlife authorities in response growing threats to protected areas (PAs) that come from a range of actors including hunters, poachers, and armed groups. As park rangers now face the overlapping challenges of conservation, law enforcement, and security in PAs, many are provided with paramilitary training, lethal weapons, and sophisticated equipment, often in conjunction with national armies and international actors. Much of the prevailing literature on “green militarization” has done much to advance our understanding of the potential negative consequences associated with the coercive roles of rangers in PAs, but often sidesteps the social, political, and organizational contexts in which park rangers operate. This article presents an interdisciplinary collaboration between anthropology, criminology, and political science that builds a multi-level analytical framework to examine patterns of militarization of the Uganda Wildlife Authority. It considers the political development of Uganda’s wildlife authorities over the longue durée, the attitudes of individual rangers vis-à-vis their coercive roles as agents of law enforcement, and the organization and behavior of rangers at the sub-national level as they engage communities adjacent to Mount Elgon National Park.


“Hybrid Regionalism in Africa: Towards a Theory of African Union Interventions”, by Niklas Krösche, African and Asian Studies (1-2): 36-62 (2023).

Since its establishment, the African Union (AU) takes on an active role in regional security matters through different types of interventions. These interventions, however, remain undertheorized. This paper argues that African hybrid regionalism, which combines problem-solving and regime-serving logics of cooperation, shapes the AU’s intervention practice in specific ways. To this end, I first theorize how the parallel presence of these logics shapes AU interventions before probing the empirical validity by studying coercive interventions undertaken by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) between 2005 and 2021. For this purpose, I employ methods of content analysis to systematically code all publicly available meeting documents issued by the PSC. The results demonstrate that the AU strives to prevent and manage crises through interventions but does so in ways that protect or promote incumbent regimes, either by producing direct benefits for them or, when their actions contribute to the crisis, by avoiding head-on confrontations. This suggests careful balancing of the two main impetuses in African security regionalism, namely solving transnational problems and serving the interests of incumbents.

“Shame, Exasperation and Institutional Design: The African Union as an Emotional Security Community”, by John J. Hogar, African and Asian Studies (1-2): 88-112 (2023).

The establishment of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) marked a fundamental reassessment of the African Union’s (AU) approach to security management. Many studies, however, view APSA through the lens of Eurocentric theories that neglect the agency of African actors. In contrast, this article examines how APSA’s design was influenced by collectively-held emotions – defined as moral judgements, based on present expectations and past experiences – amongst African policymakers. Emotional expressions can stabilise security communities by emphasising enmity towards outsiders and amity between insiders, while demanding remorse from individual or sub-groups of members that commit moral trespasses. However, this article theorises that inward-facing shame, when collectively felt by a community as a whole, can fundamentally alter its norms, valued behaviours and identity. This is illustrated by the APSA case study, which highlights the influence of inward-directed shame amongst African leaders over their reactions to humanitarian catastrophes in the 1990s, as well as outward-directed exasperation at the apathy of the international community. In addition to improving understanding of APSA’s establishment and design, this facilitates theory-building based upon African realities, thus making a valuable contribution to the growing field of International Relations scholarship concerned with emotions.


“African regionalism, economic nationalism and the contested politics of social purpose: the East African Community and the ‘new developmentalism”, by Peter O’Reilly, Modern African Studies (61): 49-71 (2023).

Over the last decade, a new developmentalism has taken root across Africa, centred on promoting local production and industrialisation. One unintended consequence of this has been the proliferation of economically nationalist policy measures that have increasingly come into tension with the aims of regional integration in Africa. This article sets out to offer insights as to why these tensions are emerging by focusing on the East African Community (EAC) and the growing trend of economic nationalism among its members. Contrary to what rationalist and structuralist accounts might presume, this article argues that this rise in economic nationalism is instead reflective of a weakening of the discursive imperative – or social purpose – that had initially converged various actors around the EAC’s integration agenda when revived in 2000. While drawing from the EAC’s experience, it concludes by highlighting a broader legitimacy dilemma facing African regional organisations within this ‘new developmentalism’.


“Meaning making in peacekeeping missions: mandate interpretation and multinational collaboration in the UN mission in Mali”, by Chiara Ruffa, Sebastiaan Rietjens, European Journal of International Relations 29 (1): 53-78 (2023).

Peacekeeping helps to prevent conflict and to protect civilians. But how does it work to achieve those aims? Notwithstanding a growing recognition that peacekeeping mandates alone do not directly determine what actually happens in the field, we still know little about how—once deployed—military units translate an ambiguous mandate into action. In this paper, we focus on one dimension of peacekeepers’ behavior that has become increasingly important, namely, how peacekeepers relate to other military units with whom they are supposed to implement their mandate. We systematically document how mandate interpretations emerge and how they influence peacekeepers’ understanding of other troops they work with. Central to this is peacekeepers’ meaning making, a concept we borrow from the sociological literature, which refers to the common and human process through which individuals give meaning to their surrounding context. Drawing on nearly 120 interviews with peacekeepers deployed to the United Nations (UN) mission in Mali (2014–2019), we identify three different ways by which peacekeepers interpret their mandate and interact with other contingents: Voltaire’s garden; building bridges; and othering. Acknowledging peacekeepers’ agency and the social dimension of peacekeeping has important implications for both scholarly and policy debates.

“Civilian Agency in Civil War? Militia Formation and Diffusion in Mozambique”, by Corinna Jentzsch, International Studies Review 25 (4),(2023).

While it is recognized by several researchers in the field of conflict and security studies that militias play a significant role in maintaining order and perpetuating violence in civil conflicts, the majority of current academic research primarily concentrates on the reasons behind the establishment of state-initiated militias and the delegation of violence to them (Mitchell et al. 2014; Koren 2017). Little focus has been on how and why civilian communities organize to form militias. Corinna Jentzsch’s book bridges this gap by drawing on research on civilian agency and civilian self-protection in civil war (Jose and Medie 2015; Krause et al. 2023). Specifically, it seeks to answer the following questions: Why do civilian-based, community-initiated militias emerge at particular times during civil war? What explains the spread of such militias across war-torn communities like Mozambique? Why are people drawn to participate in militias, even at considerable risk to life and limb?


“Rebel Recruitment and Migration: Theory and Evidence From Southern Senegal”, by Max Schaub, Dabiel Auer, Journal of Conflict Resolution 67(6): 1155-1182 (2023).

We investigate whether the threat of recruitment by rebel groups spurs domestic and international migration. The existing literature on wartime displacement has largely focused on potential victims of violence. We argue that alongside potential victims, we should expect to see the out-migration of individuals who are attractive to the rebels as potential recruits. To test this hypothesis, we draw on original survey data collected in the context of the MFDC insurgency in southern Senegal. Causal identification stems from instrumenting recruitment threat with the density of the local forest canopy cover. Analyzing data from 3,200 respondents and over 24,000 family members, we show that individuals who fit the recruitment profiles of rebel groups are more likely to leave and be sent away by their families. Our paper contributes micro-evidence for a mechanism linking violent conflict to migration, which so far has received scant attention, and provides a deeper understanding of the composition of refugee flows.

“Protection to Hire: Cooperation through Regional Organizations”, by Christina Cottiero, International Studies Quarterly 67 (4), (2023).

“There is growing evidence that leaders cooperate through regional intergovernmental organizations (RIOs) to address domestic security challenges. What sustains this collaboration? I present a theory of regional cooperation driven by mutual interest in stability and protection for heads of state. RIOs support the development of rules and norms around contributing to regional security and can legitimize pro-government military interventions. Leaders concerned that they may need external support—particularly against members of their own military—cooperate to remain in good standing with co-members. Using original security personnel deployment data for members of four Africa-based RIOs with mutual defense pacts between 1990 and 2017, I show that leaders facing higher coup risk were more likely to deploy personnel to support co-members. I also find evidence for the underlying mechanism—that these leaders contribute because they expect RIO members to reciprocate support in the future. Leaders who contributed more personnel to support co-members, and leaders who contributed more often, were more likely to receive military support from co-members in the future. These findings shed light on the dynamics sustaining regional security cooperation.


“The African Union’s Policy Frameworks, Institutional Mechanism and Challenges in Countering Terrorism in Africa”, by Isaac Mensah, Terrorism and Political Violence 35 (6): 1410-1421 (2022).

This article discusses the normative framework and institutional mechanisms for African counterterrorism cooperation. These frameworks have been discussed in sequential order showing how they relate to and complement each other in their efforts to counter terrorism in Africa. The first section focuses on the evolution of the counterterrorism agenda in Africa from 1992 to 1994. The second part discusses the main African Union (AU) counterterrorism legislative framework whereas the third section discusses the institutional mechanisms provided by the 2004 Protocol for the implementation of the provisions of the OAU Convention. Finally, the article discusses the challenges of the AU counterterrorism regime and concludes that the implementation of the AU counterterrorism framework is counterproductive.


“Effect of Covid-19 Lockdown on Women and Girls in Nigeria: Experiences of Gender-Based Violence, Insecurity and Wellbeing”, by Chinyere Cecilia Okeke, Ifeoma Maureen Obionu, International Journal of Conflict and Violence 17 (2023).

This study aimed to explore the experiences of gender-based violence, insecurity, and health effect of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown among women and girls three to six weeks into lockdown measures in Nigeria. This was a cross-sectional survey carried out in Nigeria among 1,243 women and girls aged between 10 and 79 from April to May 2020. Data was collected using an online web-based survey platform and analyzed using Microsoft Excel and Epi-Info. There was a statistically significant difference in the experience of violence before and during the COVID-19 lockdown among women and young girls in Nigeria (P = 0.002). During the COVID-19 lockdown, respondents experienced physical (74, 30.8%), sexual (120, 50%), and emotional violence (46, 19.2%). Although various forms of insecurity were experienced among the respondents, the most common form experienced was financial insecurity (960, 77%). 738 respondents (58%) feared getting infected by the virus while 662 (52%) had increased anxiety during this period. The findings highlight some negative unforeseen effects of the lockdown measures taken to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus and protect the people. This has important implications for decision-making for future pandemics and the provision of possible mitigating factors.


“Light footprint-heavy destabilising impact in Niger: why the Western understandning of remote warfare needs to be reconsidered”, by James Rofers, delina Goxho, International Politics 60 (4): 790-817 (2023).

Remote warfare has become a ‘catch-all’ term, used to describe the so-called ‘light footprint’, ‘low-risk’, and ‘distant’ characteristics of contemporary Western warfighting. Typified by a reliance on military airpower, new weapon technologies, special operations forces, and the support of local partners, proxies, and surrogates, this form of modern warfare has allowed the USA and its Western coalition member to meet national security threats globally, yet withoutr having to endure the heavy cost to their soldier’s lives that defined Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003). Nevertheless, in this article, we argue that this perception of remote warfare needs reappraising. By analysing the case of Niger, we highlight how the means and mechanisms of remote warfare have now proliferated to a plethora of state actors, with varying ambitions, who combine their ‘light footprint’ to saturate distant zones of conflict and sovereign nations considered to be ‘strategic choke-points’. Although adopted as the blueprint for militarily effective and politically attuned global force deployment by a range of nations, we question the extent to which it is still politically useful, militarily effective, or indeed academically accurate to consider remote warfare as ‘light footprint’ at all.




Involution and Symbiosis: The Self-perpetuating Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo“, by Arrow Jason Stearns, International Affairs,98(3): 873–891 (2022).

Literature on conflict duration emphasizes the importance of material factors, commitment problems and information asymmetries. Using the case study of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and drawing on interviews with 138 sources involved in the conflict, this article advances a theory of conflict duration that highlights the role that interests, identities and the social anchorage of belligerents play. Together, they explain how the conflict in the Congo has become an end in itself for belligerents, carried forward by its own momentum. This article describes the key factors: a proliferation of actors, the rise of a military bourgeoisie, the involution of interests, and the symbiosis of belligerents. A similar argument can be applied to other protracted conflicts in large and weak states. This understanding of conflict has repercussions for policy, as it suggests that there is no inherent link between elite political settlements and stability. It pushes away from the technocratic approach to institution-building to centre the role of the state and political culture in debates over peacebuilding. 

The Impact of (Counter-)terrorism on Public (In)Security in Nigeria: A Vernacular Analysis“, by Akinyemi Oyawale, Security Dialogue, 53(5): 420–437 (2022).

This article examines the impact of (counter-)terrorism on public (in)security in Nigeria through engaging with non-elite understandings of ongoing conflicts in the northeast. Through 41 in-depth interviews carried out during a four-month fieldwork exercise with internally displaced persons in Nigeria, the article contributes to current (counter-)terrorism research on Nigeria and Africa by examining the lived experiences of non-traditional security ‘practitioners’, thus enriching current debates about ‘deepening’ and ‘broadening’ the security concept within critical security studies. The images of security that emerge show that the public in Nigeria adopt two main discursive devices, that is, a story and an interpretative repertoire, to discursively position themselves in relation to Boko Haram, the state and societal discourses and practices. Two discourses are prominent, namely a ‘(counter-)terrorist people’ discourse and a ‘kafir’ or ‘infidel’ discourse, which are constructed around ‘ethnic’ and ‘religious’ identities. This vernacular study of public understandings of (counter-)terrorism in Nigeria achieves three primary objectives: (i) it serves to invigorate debates around the meaning and practice of (in)security in Nigeria, (ii) it expands public (in)security debates on Africa, and (iii) it enriches vernacular research debate through foregrounding the experiences of groups and individuals who experience insecurity in their everyday lives. 

Explaining the Rise of Jihadism in Africa: The Crucial Case of the Islamic State of the Greater Sahara“, by Luca Raineri, Terrorism and Political Violence, 34 (8): 1632-1646 (2022).

While jihadism appears to be on the rise in Africa, the explanations of violent extremist groups’ capacity to foment jihadi insurgencies and mobilize recruits remain poorly understood. Recent studies have challenged the assumption that the rise of jihadism in Africa is the result of poor governance in areas of limited state reach, highlighting instead the significance of the (perception of) abuses perpetrated by state authorities. Looking at collective action and its structural determinants, it is rather state action—and not the lack thereof—that best explains the capacity of mobilization of jihadi insurgencies in African borderlands. In order to test this theory in a least-likely case, the article explores the genealogy and evolution of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), mobilizing extensive qualitative evidence. Borrowing the analytical framework from civil war studies, it argues that the contentious political dynamics observed in Niger’s borderlands amount to a case of symmetric non-conventional warfare, where abuses perpetrated by state proxies trigger an escalation of homegrown terrorism. It therefore supplies a further specification of the theories investigating the complex interplay between the processes of jihadi mobilization/rebel governance and the practices of counter-terrorism in weak states. 

A Shrinking Humanitarian Space: Peacekeeping Stabilization Projects and Violence in Mali” by Melanie Sauter, International Peacekeeping, 29 (4): 624-649 (2022).

While the peacekeeping mission in Mali is the deadliest active mission, aid workers are not a prominent target. This is puzzling because humanitarians argue that integrated missions aligning political, military and humanitarian goals impede their security. I argue that the fallacy of integrated peacekeeping missions is that the humanitarian space shrinks due to rising insecurity. This takes place when integrated missions blur the lines between civilian and military action and when they politicize humanitarian aid through biased mandates. I test the argument by comparing new data on peacekeeping stabilization projects with other aid projects, using a matched wake analysis that estimates a difference-in-difference model with sliding spatio-temporal windows. I find that peacekeeping stabilization activities increase violence against civilians on the ground in the short term, which ultimately decreases humanitarian access. Paradoxically, the UN names lack of humanitarian access as a key challenge to protecting civilians, but contributes to the access challenge itself. 

Cows, Charcoal, and Cocaine: Al-Shabaab’s Criminal Activities in the Horn of Africa“, by Katharine Petrich, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 45 (5-6): 479-500 (2022).

Contrary to historical terrorism scholarship, terrorist groups can strategically diversify into a variety of criminal activities without losing their core ideology or support among the civilian population. This pattern is demonstrated by the evolutionary arc of al-Shabaab, which grew from a small subset of Somalia’s Islamic Courts Union to the most violent political actor in the Horn of Africa, able to conduct terrorist attacks as far afield as Kenya, Djibouti, and Ethiopia. Al-Shabaab has been highly successful in creating a narrative of truth and justice provision while simultaneously exploiting the Somali population and engaging in criminal activity. For the group, criminal activity and crime networks serve two primary purposes: as a funding mechanism and as an avenue for recruitment. Using ethnographic fieldwork and process tracing, I find that the group’s criminal activities throughout the Horn of Africa have made the group significantly more resilient to counterterrorism and counterinsurgency campaigns, extending both its lifespan and operational capability. 

Regional Integration Alongside Securitisation? The Statebuilding Ambitions of ECOWAS States in Migration Cooperation” by Melissa Mouthaan, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 16 (3): 328-348 (2022).

Why have population monitoring, migration control and surveillance become a significant area of common ground in EU-African migration cooperation? This article examines the securitisation of borders in the West Africa region. It finds that state actors in Senegal and Ghana perceive the technocratic solutions that arise from this cooperation as useful in attaining domestic governance and statebuilding goals, and have presented the ECOWAS regional integration agenda and border securitisation project as congruent. This article proposes that the depoliticised nature of security cooperation, alongside specific features of the domestic policymaking contexts, allows the circumvention of domestic critique of securitisation.

Russia’s Return to Africa: A Renewed Challenge to the West?“, by Roger E. Kanet and Dina Moulioukovab, Post-Soviet Affairs 38 (5): 427-439 (2022).

We track the major developments in Soviet-African relations as a prelude to recently revived Russian policy. Russian policy today is much less ideological than that of the Soviet Union and relies more on the establishment of mutually beneficial economic relations. Soviet/Russian policy in Africa over six decades has been motivated by more than by traditional security concerns. In the case of the former, the effort to encourage and speed up a global communist revolution, along with geopolitical competition with the US and the West were central. Now, although geopolitical competition remains an element of Russian policy, the major interest has been markets for exports and access to energy and minerals as part of the goal of re-establishing Russia as a major global power.

Reassessing Africa’s New Post-Coup Landscape“, by Sebastian Elischer and Benjamin N. Lawrance, African Studies Review 65 (1): 1-7 (2022).

Between 2020 and 2022, sub-Saharan Africa witnessed a substantial increase in the number of military coups. The military interventions in Guinea (September 2021), Mali (August 2020 and May 2021), Chad (April 2021), Sudan (April 2019 and October 2021), and Burkina Faso (January 2022) contributed to democratic backsliding and authoritarianism on the continent. In addition, Niger (March 2021) and Guinea Bissau (February 2022) saw failed coup attempts. As a result of these five coups and two failed coup attempts, media reports now ask whether coups are making a comeback in Africa. As the extant literature about civil-military relations in Africa reveals, military coups were never absent. But the recent number and frequency of coups has led to a greater awareness of the threat that militaries pose to civilian rulers from the Atlantic coast (Guinea) to the Red Sea (Sudan).

Climate Change, Human Insecurity and Conflict Dynamics in the Lake Chad Region“, by Stanley Ehiane and Philani Moyo, Journal of Asian and African Studies, 57 (8): 1677–1689 (2022).

Climate change impacts on human development have been an issue of global concern in the past few decades. Over the past few years, there is increasing interest on the impacts of climate change on conflict, peace and security in Africa. This paper explores the extent to which climate change impacts and attendant effects on environmental resources are drivers of some of the conflicts in the Lake Chad region, specifically in Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria. It applies the human security theory to establish the interface between climate impacts, human insecurity and local conflicts. We find that reduced access to natural resources such as fertile land, water and pasture is undermining the livelihoods of vulnerable people and communities in the Lake Chad region, which triggered recurrent conflicts.


Autumn 2021


Falling Short or Rising above the Fray? Rising Powers and Security Force Assistance to Africa, by Pedro Seabra, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, published online 24 September 2021.

Abstract: Despite an increase in rising powers providing security force assistance (SFA) to Africa, the expertise and the capabilities made available by these countries remain insufficiently explored. What different solutions, if any, are brought forward? And how does their overall record fare against previous experiences across the continent? By exploring Brazilian and Chinese efforts in Namibia as well as Chinese and Indian overtures towards Mozambique, I argue that rising powers tend to be more invested in a long-term socializing agenda than in immediate capacitation results. This, in turn, justifies their inroads in sectorial niches, as gateways for durable outcomes over time.


Operation Safe Corridor Programme and Reintegration of Ex-Boko Haram Fighters in Nigeria, by Michael I Ugwueze, Elias C Ngwu, Freedom C Onuoha,  Journal of Asian and African Studies, published online 11 October 2021.

Abstract: The devastation of lives, livelihood and property in Nigeria caused by over a decade of insurgency by the Boko Haram terrorists is a subject of security, policy, humanitarian and academic concern. Several counter-measures have been adopted by both state and non-state actors to combat the insurgency with limited successes recorded. Consequently, studies have examined several efforts taken by the Nigerian government toward ending the Boko Haram insurgency, including the challenges confronting such efforts. However, Nigeria’s de-radicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration programme for ex-Boko Haram fighters, known as Operation Safe Corridor, has received marginal attention in literature. The Operation Safe Corridor programme which was established in September 2015 is aimed at de-radicalizing, rehabilitating and reintegrating repentant Boko Haram insurgents into society. Using a field survey method involving key informant interviews and focus group discussions as well as documentary reports, this article examines the progress and pitfalls of the Operation Safe Corridor programme. It argues that the failure to mainstream the concerns of local communities both in policy and programming of Operation Safe Corridor severely undermines the prospect of successful and effective reintegration of ex-Boko Haram fighters. The article concludes that if this gap is not addressed, the programme will succeed in terms of the number of ex-combatants graduating from it but will fail in terms of reintegrating the graduating ex-combatants into society. This poses significant risks to both Boko Haram defectors and society at large.


The limitations of international law at the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission and its implications for future conflict, by John R. Campbell, Journal of Eastern African Studies, published online 15 October 2021.

Abstract: This paper examines the litigation strategies adopted by Eritrea and Ethiopia before the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission convened at The Permanent Commission of Arbitration at The Hague between 2001 and 2009. I pursue insights from the work of Laura Nader concerning how, through binding arbitration, the international community imposes its power on disputing parties as opposed to allowing their competing legal claims to be fairly decided. The claims examined by this paper concern who started the border war and that Ethiopia denationalized ‘Eritrean’ nationals and unlawfully deprived them of their property. I conclude that the PCA’s decisions on Eritrea and Ethiopia were flawed and that its deliberations need to be viewed in a much wider political context; furthermore its decisions contributed to further political instability in the Horn of Africa.


What Do We See When Looking at China’s Engagements in Africa? An Analysis of Mainstream Academic Perspectives, by Jin Ding, Christoph Ratz, Manfred Max Bergman, Journal of Contemporary China, published online 21 August 2021.

Abstract: Since China initiated the Go Out (走出去战略) policy in 1999, its increasing presence and influence in Africa have led to controversial debates among scholars. This article systematizes the different perspectives on the relationship between Africa and China in the contemporary academic literature, and how these debates differ from representations of Africa’s relations with Western actors. Based on Content Configuration Analysis, the results indicate that China in Africa is constructed in relation to Africa and the West. Academic papers tend to impose a Western perspective on China’s involvement with Africa, most notably marked by neo-colonialism and development cooperation. This research highlights the shortcomings, limitations, and risks of this Eurocentric approach, and outlines alternatives to better understand China’s engagement in and with Africa.



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