Northwestern University

Wed 2:00 PM

Roundtable: Radical Islamic Movements in Africa: Local Contexts and Transnational Connections

When: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM  

Where: 620 Library Place, Program of African Studies, Conference Room, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public

Contact: Kate Dargis   847.491.7323

Group: Program of African Studies

Category: Lectures & Meetings

More Info


Radical Islamic Movements in Africa:  Local Contexts, Transnational Connections


A roundtable discussion co-sponsored by Northwestern University’s Institute for the

Study of Islamic Thought in Africa (ISITA) and Equality Development and Globalization Studies (EDGS)


Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 2-5 pm
Program of African Studies Conference Room
Northwestern University
620 Library Place, Evanston

Free and open to the public

This roundtable examines the recent activities of radical Islamic movements in key areas in North, Sahelian, and eastern Africa, and the range responses from national governments and the international community.  The dramatic situation unfolding in Mali has captured recent headlines. Meanwhile in Nigeria, the Islamist group Boko Haram continues its insurgency against the government and other targets, while in Somalia, Al-Shabaab continues to challenge the fragile new government. By focusing on seven cases from across the continent, the roundtable situates the emergence of these movements within the complicated local dynamics specific to each situation and also within broader regional, transnational, and comparative contexts.


Claudia Gazzini (Senior Analyst, International Crisis Group): Transnational Islamic armed groups as triggers of instability for Libya and its neighbors

Benjamin Soares (anthropology, African Studies Centre, Leiden): The variety of Islamist actors and groups in northern Mali, the Islamists' sympathizers and supporters in the region, and the main players on the Islamic landscape in southern Mali

Alexander Thurston (religious studies, Northwestern University): Muslim sectarian minorities in Niger State, Nigeria, and their encounters with the authorities from circa 2009 to the present

Will Reno (political science, Northwestern University): An investigation of US/NATO counter terrorism strategy in Somalia in the context of Somali politics

Rachel Riedl (political science, Northwestern University): Recent sectarian violence in Kenya

Michael Buehler (political science, Northern Illinois University) Concluding remarks, including comparison with the Southeast Asian (particularly Indonesian) context


For more information, contact ISITA at 847-491-2598 or

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