International Relations; Comparative Politics; Global Development, Politics, Governance, and Political Economy; Foreign Policy; International/Global Security; International Organizations (United Nations); Sustainable Development Goals; Social Policy/Social Protection/Conditional Cash Transfers; Human Rights; Peace, Conflict, Terrorism; Transnationalism, (Im)Migration, and the African Diaspora; Governance and Politics in Africa; Political Economy of Development in the Global South.
Regional Specializations: Global South; Africa.
My research interests revolve around the following thematic areas and streams:
Global Politics, Political Economy of Development, and the Governance of Social Protection in the Global South (Africa)
This research stream examines how global politics, governance, and the political economy of development influence social protection policies and programs in the global south generally, and Africa specifically. It focuses on how certain models of social protection policies and programs such as social cash transfers created by international and national institutions and actors have evolved in the past three decades. The research involves understanding the (re)emergence of social protection in the global development agenda, the diffusion of social protection policies and programs, and the politics of social protection and cash transfers in the global south, especially within Africa. The research also examines how social protection models incorporate social investment paradigms and inclusive development approaches to address poverty and inequality. Special attention is paid within this research to how these models and paradigms are governed using community-based governance mechanisms. In the short term, this research entails the publication of a book provisionally titled, Steering State, Rowing Communities: Governing Conditional Cash Transfers through Community-Based Mechanisms in Nigeria. The book mainly argues that in order to effectively govern social protection models and programs such as conditional cash transfers in the global south and Africa in particular, it is imperative to utilize participatory community-based governance mechanisms that enhance transparency and accountability. The book draws on empirical evidence from Nigeria and other African countries, and is focused on the African experience with conditional cash transfers and community-based governance mechanisms. In the short to medium and long term, the research will expand the frontiers of knowledge on pertinent issues relating to how politics influences development, social policy, and governance in the global south.
Terrorism, International Security, and Development
This research stream examines the interplay of terrorism, counter-terrorism/insurgency, and international security. The research builds on my widely read and well received 2015 journal article titled, "Boko Haram Insurgency in Nigeria: Between Islamic Fundamentalism, Politics, and Poverty" ( African Security, 8.1: 1-29). With special focus on the meteoric rise of Boko Haram in Africa, this research stream examines the group's terrorist operations as well as the counter-terrorism measures taken against it by local, national, and international state and non-state actors. The implications of Boko Haram's terrorism for international security, human rights, humanitarianism, forced migration, national and regional development, peace, conflict, post-reconstruction, social and economic development in West and Central Africa will be explored in the research. The research will also critically investigate how humanitarian, security, and development partnerships between countries of the affected region and external state and non-state actors and institutions have evolved in response to the security and humanitarian crises created by Boko Haram. In the short to medium and long term, this research stream will, among other things, examine the dialectics of Boko Haram’s terrorism; the connections between Islamism, governance, and politics in Nigeria; and the relationship between terrorism, poverty, inequality, social protection, and development in Africa, writ large.
This research stream examines the political economy of Brazilian, Russian, Indian and Chinese trade, aid, and investments in selected African countries: Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa. In the current first phase of the project, the activities of India and China in Nigeria are examined, and the findings from this phase will contribute to knowledge about the activities of the two Asian giants in Africa’s most populous country and largest economy, Nigeria. An article from the research has been published in the Journal of Asian and African Studies (2015) under the title, “The Political Economy of Chinese and Indian Trade, Aid, and Investments in Nigeria: A Comparative Analysis.” In the short to medium and long-term, this project will be expanded to cover the activities of the BRIC countries in Nigeria and other African countries mentioned above. The research is intended to contribute relevant and up-to-date knowledge on the trade, aid, and investment profiles of BRIC countries in Africa, especially as this relates to filling knowledge gaps on the individual engagement strategies of the BRIC countries on the continent. In addition, the research will also examine Western engagements with Africa, including the formation of agenda setting and interactive forums like the EU-Africa Summit and US-Africa Leaders Summit. The latter will be done in comparison to forums such as the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and India-Africa Summit.