The Nordic Africa Institute currently publishes three series. The publications, with some exceptions, are available in pdf format. They can be downloaded for free or ordered from one of our distributors. Monographs and anthologies are published in cooperation with academic publishers of high standing.

Browse our current and terminated series.

New publications

Africa in the Indian Ocean - Islands in Ebb and Flow

Tor Sellström

The four sovereign Indian Ocean states of Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles, the two French overseas departments of Mayotte and Reunion, as well as the British colony of BIOT (Chagos), all form part of Africa. As insular nations and territories in an increasingly globalized, militarized and largely unregulated ocean, they face particular challenges. Commonly overlooked in the fields of African and international studies, this text traces the islands’ history and explores their diverse contemporary social, political and economic trajectories. From human settlement and slavery to conflict resolution and piracy, the relations with continental Africa and the African Union feature prominently. Richly sourced, this comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to Africa’s Indian Ocean islands covers a significant lacuna. More about the book and how to buy (opens in new window).

Strategic Options for the Future of African Peace Operations 2015-2025

Linnéa Gelot & John Karlsrud & Cedric de Coning

Increasingly complex security environments are placing high demands on African peace operations, and complicating efforts at long-term peace- and state building. From the experiences of the African Union (AU) and the sub-regions over the last decade, an African model of peace operations has emerged that is at odds with the mission scenarios and multi-dimensional assumptions that underpinned the original framework of the African Standby Force (ASF). Download the publication.

Kenya : The Struggle for a New Constitutional Order

Godwin Murunga, Duncan Okello, and Anders Sjögren (Eds.)
Africa Now series

The aftermath of recent Kenyan elections has been marred by violence and an apparent crisis in democratic governance, with the negotiated settlement resulting from the 2007 election bringing into sharp focus longstanding problems of state and society. The broader reform process has involved electoral, judicial and security sector reforms, among others, which in turn revolve around constitutional reforms.

Written by an eminent gathering of specialists, this highly original volume interrogates the roots and impacts of the 2010 constitution; explains why struggles for reforms were blocked in the past but were successful this time around, and explores the scope for their implementation in the face of continued resistance by powerful groups. In doing so, the book demonstrates that the Kenyan experience carries significance well past its borders, speaking to debates surrounding social justice and national cohesion across the African continent and beyond. Read more and order.

Africa’s World Trade : Informal Economies and Globalization from Below

Margaret C. Lee
Africa Now series

Are Africa's world markets really contributing to development across the continent for individuals, nations and regions? This is the key question posed by Margaret Lee in this provocative book, in which she argues that all too often the voices of African traders are obscured amid a blizzard of statistical analysis.

However, it is these very voices - from those operating on the ground as formal or informal traders - that must be listened to in order to form a true understanding of the impact trade regimes have on these individuals and their communities.

Featuring a wealth of oral histories from across sub-Saharan Africa and beyond, including Africans in China, Africa's World Trade offers a unique insight into how the complexity of international trade agreements can shape the everyday lives of ordinary Africans. Read more and order.

Food security now or wait for research to assess risks? : genetically modified crops and smallholder farmers in Africa

Tommy Arvidsson
Policy Notes series

Genetically modified (GM) crops are by proponents considered as a possible solution to the food and nutrition problems in developing countries. However, there are also concerns of how side effects may affect environment and human health. These will probably still remain unknown for decades. But can Africa wait 30 years for research to give a definite answer about the risks connected with biotechnology?

A fair electoral process can ease divisions in Nigeria : decentralised politics brought on a new set of challenges in the north

Henrik Angerbrandt
Policy Notes series

Decentralisation is regarded as a way of reducing political competition between people. However, studies in Nigeria show that decentralised politics actually can fuel conflicts and ethnic divisions as community identities become basis for representation. The February 2015 elections have – if the electoral process is free and fair – a potential to ease some of the divisions that decentralisation has fuelled in northern Nigeria.

Who needs to reconcile with whom? : The Conflict’s Complexity in Northern Mali Calls for Tailored Solutions

Ole Martin Gaasholt
Policy Notes series

While negotiations are taking place in Algiers, some observers insist on the need for reconciliation between Northern Mali and the rest of the country and particularly between Tuareg and other Malians.
But the Tuareg are a minority in Northern Mali and most of them did not support the rebels. So who
needs to be reconciled with whom? And what economic solutions will counteract conflict?

This Policy Note argues that not only exclusion underlies the conflict, but also a lack of economic

China and India, "rising powers" and African development : challenges and opportunities

Sumit Roy
Occasional Papers

In this report, the challenges and opportunities arising from the growing ties between two key “Rising Powers,” China and India, and Africa are more fully explored. This trend has given rise to speculative, exaggerated and ideological responses and a mixture of anxiety and hope.

What is needed is an interdisciplinary political economy study to investigate the ways in which global, regional and national linkages in the relationship impact on the prospects of sustainable development in Africa. The necessity for this is underscored by the growing influence of the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in reshaping the world. Download.


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Most publications are free for download

The Nordic Africa Institute has more than 900 publications available for free download in the DiVA-archive.


The Nordic Africa Institute's library provides access to many resources in electronic and printed format, which support research about Africa and related areas. Find more information about the library.

NAI 50th anniversary report

Researching Africa. From Individual efforts to Structured Programmes. The role of the Nordic Africa Institute. A report to the NAI 50th anniversary. By Michael Ståhl.

The Nordic Africa Institute started on a modest scale back in 1962 by awarding three travel grants to young Nordic scholars with an interest in Africa. Fifty years later, the institute has become an internationally renowned centre of research, documentation, publishing and net-working.