Africa at Noon on February 11, 2015

Boko Haram: A Private Indirect Government?

Emmanuel Nuesiri
Visiting Research Scholar at the Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy (SDEP) initiative
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Time and Location

12:00pm, 206 Ingra­ham Hall, 1155 Obser­va­tory Drive, Madi­son, WI


Download Poster (pdf)


Boko Haram, a terrorist group, has been causing mayhem in Nigeria and in Cameroon; in 2014, it kidnapped 230 secondary schoolgirls in Nigeria and killed more than 2000 people. Very recently, in an act considered one of the worst terrorist atrocities in living memory, the group went on a killing spree in Baga, a village in Boko Haram controlled territory in Nigeria. This presentation argues that Achille Mbembe’s concept of ‘private indirect government’ in his book ‘On the Postcolony’ provides a lucid lens for understanding how contemporary political realities have contributed to the rise of the menace that is Boko Haram.


Dr. Emmanuel Nuesiri holds a masters degree from Cambridge University, England, and a doctoral degree from St. Antonys College and the Geography Department at Oxford University, England. He is presently a Marie Curie BRAIN Fellow at the University of Potsdam, Germany, and a visiting researcher with the Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy (SDEP) initiative at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. His research interests are on global transformations, environmental governance and social justice.