Our Publications

These are the latest books, articles and other publications from the Nordic Africa Institute and our team of researchers:

Aid and Authoritarianism in Africa

Edited by Tobias Hagmann and Filip Reyntjens
Published by the Nordic Africa Institute in cooperation with Zed Books (March 2016)
In 2013 almost half of Africa’s top aid recipients were ruled by authoritarian  regimes. While the West may claim to promote democracy and human rights,  in practice major bilateral and international donors  have seen their aid policies  become ever more entangled with the survival of their authoritarian protégés.  This book raises an urgent  and too often neglected question: to what extent are foreign aid programmes  actually perpetuating authoritarian rule?

The Politics of Female Circumcision in Egypt

Written by Maria Frederika Malmström, researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute
Published by I.B. Tauris (April 2016)

In Egypt, 91 percent of women aged 15-49 have undergone female circumcision or genital mutilation/cutting, according to UNICEF. Female circumcision has become a political minefield with 'Western' interventions affecting Egyptian affairs. In this book, researcher Maria Frederika Malmström employs an ethnographic approach to this controversial issue.

The Future of African Peace Operations

Edited by Linnéa Gelot, Cedric de Coning and John Karlsrud
Published by the Nordic Africa Institute in cooperation with Zed Books (March 2016)

Facing threats ranging from Islamist insurgences to the Ebola pandemic, African regional actors are playing an increasingly vital role in safeguarding peace and stability across the continent. But while the African Union has demonstrated its ability to deploy forces on short notice and in difficult circumstances, the challenges posed by increasingly complex conflict zones have revealed a widening divide between the theory and practice of peacekeeping. The book gives a long overdue assessment of the ways which peacekeeping on the continent has evolved over the past decade.

Eritrea’s refugee crisis and the role of the international community

Policy Note No 2:2016
Written by Redie Bereketeab, researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute
Published by the Nordic Africa Institute (March 2016)

Five thousand refugees leave Eritrea each month according to  UNHCR, making it one of the world’s fastest-emptying countries.  In this policy note, Redie Bereketeab, researcher at the Nordic  Africa Institute, analyses the role and responsibility of the international  community in the Eritrean migration crisis.
  • Read the e-booklet at Issuu

Radicalisation and terrorist recruitment among kenya's youth

Policy Note No 1:2016
Written by Sirkku Hellsten, researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute
Published by the Nordic Africa Institute (February 2016)

Policy note with recommendations to policy-makers on how to prevent al-Shabaab and ISIS from recruiting young men in Kenya as terrorists.
  • Read the e-booklet at Issuu

Shades of Africa

Written and edited by Henrik Alfredsson, Mattias Sköld and Johan Sävström
Published by the Nordic Africa Institute (January 2016)

A presentation of the current research at the Nordic Africa Institute, a showcase of our trade: high-quality research on Africa, with strong links to policy and practice.  Research on a changing continent, made easily accessible in 60 pages.

  • Read the e-book at Issuu
  • Order a print copy at Peecho

Faith As Politics

Edited by Henning Melber, researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute
Published by the Nordic Africa Institute (2015)

Beyers Naudé was in his later life one of the leading Afrikaner anti-apartheid activists. Convinced by the strength of his faith he took a courageous political stand in a time in South African history when it was much needed. Faith As Politics is an anthology with contributions from researchers, diplomats, activists and clergies who all have one thing in common – they were all engaged in the struggle against apartheid at the same time as Naudé. And almost all of them worked with him in one way or another. This is a unique depiction of a man whose faith, struggle and courage deserve to be recognized.

South Africa: Settler Colonialism and the Failures of Liberal Democracy

Written by Thiven Reddy, former guest researcher at NAI
Published by NAI in cooperation with Zed Books (December 2015)
In South Africa, two unmistakable features describe post-apartheid politics. The first is the formal framework of liberal democracy, including regular elections, multiple political parties and a range of progressive social rights. The second is the politics of the “extraordinary,” which includes a political discourse that relies on threats and the use of violence, the crude re-racialisation of numerous conflicts and protests over various popular grievances. 
In this book, political science researcher Thiven Reddy shows how conventional approaches to understanding democratisation have failed to capture the complexities of South Africa’s post-apartheid transition. As a product of imperial expansion, the South African state and citizen identities have been uniquely shaped by a particular mode of domination, namely settler colonialism.

Policy Note No 10:2015
Written by Jesper Bjarnesen and Christiano Lanzano
Published by the Nordic Africa Institute (October 2015)

In the upcoming electionsin Burkina Faso, there’s a need for a clear democratic break with the three decades of de facto one-party rule. At the same time, amoderate approach is needed in dealingwith the controversial legacy of the formerregime, to avoid further polarisation in an already fraught political situation. These are the recommendations of NAI researchers Jesper Bjarnesen and Cristiano Lanzano in this policy note.
  • Read the e-booklet at Issuu

In pursuit of paradise

Written by Eva Evers Rosander, former researcher at NAI
Published by NAI (November 2015)

Muridism is a Sufi order that originated in Senegal at the end of the 19th century and is now expanding rapidly. In this book Rosander gives an account of the Murid women of Senegal and Tenerife.

Agricultural Water Institutions in East Africa

Current African Issues no 63
Edited by Atakilte Beyene
Published by the Nordic Africa Institute (2015)

Climate change is causing growing variability and uncertainty in rainfall in Africa. Since the continent’s food production systems are dominantly rain-fed, these changes are putting food security at even higher risk. In order to reduce this dependency, institutional reforms in the agricultural water sectors have become a priority in research and policy. In this report, Atakilte Beyene, senior researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute, together with twelve researchers based in Africa, studies current agricultural water reforms in Kenya, Tanzania,
Uganda, and other East African countries.

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.

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