Paul M. Lubeck: Youth, Governance and Muslim Globalization in Northern Nigeria
January 24, 12:00 – 1:30 pm, Encina Hall West, Room 208
Paul M. Lubeck (Associate Director, African Studies Program, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University & Director, Global Information Internship Program, UC Santa Cruz), “The Interplay of Youth, Governance and Muslim Globalization in Northern Nigeria”
Abstract: The Muslims residing in the northern states of Nigeria constitute a proud community approaching 60 million who have been immersed in spiraling structural crisis for at least a decade. It is a crisis driven by a staggering combination of demographic, economic, religious and governance challenges, the denial of which has sparked the most violent Islamic insurgency since the Fulani jihad of the 18th century. Incubated by the indifference of fragmented regional political elites, a radical Salafist sect, nicknamed Boko Haram, has launched a shockingly successful insurgency against the Nigerian state which has shattered the northern Muslim public’s confidence in the capacity of the political order to provide security. Boko Haram combines a “restorationist” narrative promising a return to the virtuous communities widely imaged to have existed in the 19th century with an modern arsenal of organizational, discursive and tactical weapons that are easily downloaded from Muslim global networks. Discovering a path from this crisis requires understanding of the genealogy of Salafist discourses, the forces driving the urbanization of Muslim youth and coping with the contradictory impact of globalization on Muslim northern Nigeria.
[Co-sponsored with the Center for African Studies]