In Mobility, Mobilization, and Counter/Insurgency, Daniel Agbiboa takes African insurgencies back to their routes by providing a transdisciplinary perspective on the centrality of mobility to the strategies of insurgents, state security forces, and civilian populations caught in conflict. Drawing on one of the world’s deadliest insurgencies, the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, this well-crafted and richly nuanced intervention offers fresh insights into how violent extremist organizations exploit forms of local immobility and border porosity to mobilize new recruits, how the state’s “war on terror” mobilizes against so-called subversive mobilities, and how civilian populations in transit are treated as could-be terrorists and subjected to extortion and state-sanctioned violence en route. The multiple and intersecting flows analyzed here upend Eurocentric representations of movement in Africa as one-sided, anarchic, and dangerous. Instead, this book underscores the contradictions of mobility in conflict zones as simultaneously a resource and a burden. Intellectually rigorous yet clear, engaging, and accessible, Mobility, Mobilization, and Counter/Insurgency is a seminal contribution that lays bare the neglected linkages between conflict and mobility.
About the Author
Daniel E. Agbiboa is Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University.
Winner: 2022 International Studies Association (ISA) Best Book by a Global South Scholar Award, Peace Studies Section
— ISA Best Book by a Global South Scholar Award
"By examining the concepts of corruption and insurgency through the tropes of mobility and transportation, the author charts a path less travelled by scholars working in these subject areas. . . make[s] a useful contribute to the discussions on corruption and security in Africa."
—Theory, Culture Society
— Gabriel O. Apata
"Agbiboa's book convincingly bridges the gap between mobility and conflict studies and reveals how both the insurgents and the state instrumentalize mobility patterns to shape conflict. The study is a valuable addition to the burgeoning literature on the geography of conflicts in West Africa and a well-researched contribution to the spatiality of Boko Haram and its splinter group the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP)."
— Olivier Walther, University of Florida
"The power of Agbiboa’s book lies in making a point and then offering us a glimpse into the truth of the opposite argument. ...a treasure trove for anyone interested in questions of mobility and conflict."
—Perspectives on Politics
— Peer Schouten
"[Agbiboa] provides an interesting and novel examination of Boko Haram, in a way that other forms of analysis would miss. . . I would recommend this book to those who wish to look at insurgencies and conflict in a novel way."
—Journal of Strategic Security
— Michael Hampson
"[Agbiboa] has written an exceptionally lucid book on the roots and routes of terrorism and counterterrorism that makes a seminal contribution to the fields of mobilities research, peace and conflict studies, political science, international relations, geography, and sociology."
— Promise Frank Ejiofor
"[T]he sheer depth of his critical analysis and fieldwork make Daniel Agbiboa's study an invaluable addition to the current discourse on insurgency and counter-insurgency in Nigeria. It is must-reading for anyone interested in a shift in critical perspectives on Boko Haram's insurgency and the Nigerian government's response to it."
—Michigan War Studies Review
— Akali Omeni, University of St. Andrews
"The books considered in this review constitute invaluable material for those who are interested in the conversation among researchers from the global south. . . These dialogues are important and urgent to spread and enrich the production of knowledge."
— Hernán Camilo Pulido-Martinez