Plural Policing,Trans-Border Security, and Mobility on the Nigerian-Nigerien Frontier in the Neoliberal era (1986 to the present)


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Department of History and International Studies


The African post-colonial state has largely retained colonially-created boundaries and has been policing them using various state and non-state actors to ensure compliance and security. However mobility across the borders using official and non-official channels has continued to flourish showing Africans’ resistance to the modern state borders. This project examines the construction of order and security on the Nigerian-Nigerien borderlands in the period of neoliberal reforms (1986-the present) in the context of plural policing. The project will innovatively highlight historical, contemporary, and emerging tensions between the states’ and their need to provide security and the peoples’ and their need to continuously and freely move across the borderlands. The emphasis of the study will be on the provision and maintenance of security in the borderlands and across the borders. I will also attempt a systematic linking of different scales; the ‘local’, ‘national’ and ‘sub-regional’ are explored not as differing poles but rather as the intersections of connectedness. Drawing on the historical context and studying the contemporary dynamics of the tension between security and mobility will provide us with relevant insight on how visions of the borderland and borders are changing, or being re-constituted.