Northwestern Events Calendar


Bringing Transnationalism Back In in the Comparative Politics of Africa and the Middle East: Labor Migration, Remittance Flows and the Politics of Trust - A Book Discussion with Khalid Medani

When: Wednesday, May 3, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT

Where: 620 Library Place, 1st Floor Conference Room, Evanston, IL 60208 Evanston map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Rebecca Shereikis   (847) 491-2598

Group: Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa (ISITA)

Co-Sponsor: Program of African Studies

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings, Religious, Multicultural & Diversity, Global & Civic Engagement


This is a hybrid event.  No registration is needed to attend in person.

Register here to attend by Zoom.

Lunch will be served.

Join us for a talk by Khalid Mustafa Medani (political science and Islamic Studies, McGill University) based on his recent book, Black Markets and Militants: Informal Networks in the Middle East and Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

Abstract:  Understanding when and under what conditions religious rather than other forms of cultural identity become politically salient in the context of changing local conditions is at the heart of grasping some of the most important issues in the study of the comparative politics of Africa and the Middle East. In this lecture, and drawing on his book, Black Markets and Militants: Informal Networks in the Middle East and Africa, Khalid Mustafa Medani will address the question of why youth are attracted to militant organizations, examining the specific role economic globalization, in the form of labor migration and expatriate remittance inflows, plays in determining how and why militant activists emerge. In more specific comparative terms, the lecture will focus on the relationship among economic globalization, informal financial housing and labor markets, and the emergence and evolution of Islamist and ethnic politics in Egypt, Sudan and Somalia. More broadly, and based on extensive fieldwork, Medani will offer an in-depth analysis of the impact of transnationalism, neoliberal reforms, and informal, trust-based, economic networks as a conduit for the rise and evolution of moderate and militant Islamist movements and as an avenue central to the often violent enterprise of state building and state formation.  
Khalid Mustafa Medani is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University, where he is also Chair of the African Studies Program. He is a recipient of a Carnegie Scholar on Islam award between 2007-2009 and a Woodrow Wilson Scholarship in 2020-2021. His book, Black Market and Militants: Informal Markets in the Middle East and Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2021), received an award for the Best Book in the Field of Middle East and North Africa Politics by a senior scholar from the American Political Science Association in 2022.  

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