This page presents my research at Leiden University College and Oxford, as a member of Oxford's Nigeria Research Network, a fellow at Leiden's African Studies Centre, and member of LUCIS. For more on my other activities, current research focus and interests, see here or on Google Scholar or ResearchGate.


Current projects

Traditional authority. One of the puzzling aspects of African politics is the prominence of non-state, 'traditional' figures of authority. This project studies these authorities comparatively, e.g. with a focus on their role in property rights enforcement, and historically by making use of the natural experiment of colonialism.

Indigeneship and inequality in Nigeria. Based on an original large-N data covering 8 Nigerian cities as well as qualitative fieldwork, this project looks into the dynamics of indigeneship, Nigeria's subnational variety of citizenship. 

Nativism in Europe and Africa. Originally an American concept, the notion of nativism is helpful in understanding patterns of ethnic and other identity politics across the world. This project analyses the historical development of nativism comparatively, with particular focus on the Netherlands and Nigeria.

The many transformations of Boko HaramThis project uses secondary sources and life history data of Boko Haram members to study the development of the insurgency movement.

Food sustainabilityTogether with colleagues from a range of disciplines at LUC, we are working on an interdisciplinary textbook on food security for the Global Challenge courses on Sustainability and Prosperity.


Refereed publications


Working papers

  • Perceptions of shari'a implementation in northern Nigeria - 15 years on (working paper, under revision).

  • A history of ethnic identities in the Netherlands (with Jan Willem Duyvendak, under revision).

  • Pathways to radicalisation: life histories of Boko Haram members (with Sani Umar; under revision).

  • Endgame scenarios for Boko Haram (with Sani Umar; under revision)

  • Religious leadership and governance in Kano (NRN Working Paper).


Policy & professional


Media & online

My media profile at Science on Air can be found here


Conference presentations


Theses