Mobility, Mobilization, and Counter/Insurgency

The Routes of Terror in an African Context
Daniel E. Agbiboa

How mobility drives insurgency for state and non-state actors alike


Despite the centrality of mobility to the operations of both state and non-state armed groups as well as the survival strategies of civilians in conflict zones, issues of mobility and access have remained tangential to how we analyze contemporary armed insurgencies. The extant literature focuses rather exclusively on the “roots” of armed insurgencies while glossing over its “routes” and trajectories. Scholars thus miss the complex ways in which state and non-state actors, as well as local populations, interact with and navigate around infrastructures of mobility. Daniel E. Agbiboa foregrounds mobility in this book as a key arena where state and non-state actors jostle for ascendancy, reflecting the contested nature of power. Mobility, Mobilization, and Counter/Insurgency has three interconnected objectives: (1) to analyze the evolution and mutation of Boko Haram in light of how the sect interacts with mobility and mobile infrastructures; (2) to gauge the extent to which the governance of mobility has been a central factor in the war against Boko Haram since 2009; and (3) to assess the impact of Boko Haram’s mobile warfare and the state’s regulation of mobility on people whose livelihoods rest squarely on movement and access. By studying the armed insurgencies through the lens of mobility and access, new questions are generated, established themes are rethought, and fresh empirical sites are explored. Finally, the book’s focus on Africa provides a long overdue corrective to extant literature on mobilities, which too rarely expand beyond cultures and canonical discussions of mobility in Western societies.

Daniel E. Agbiboa is Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University.

Praise / Awards

  • “This is a well-researched and provocative narrative. Dr. Agbiboa convincingly demonstrates how specific modalities of mobility and mobilization are closely entwined in the context of violent insurgency in Northeast Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin. This book is a remarkably urgent, impressive and constructive contribution."

    —Professor Kenneth Omeje, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

  • “This is the fruit of superior scholarship. Agbiboa has demonstrated an encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject matter and has deployed inter-disciplinary insights and approach to illuminate the discussion of an extra-ordinarily complex subject. Scholars on the subject will have Agbiboa to thank for a seminar book that is bound to dominate literature for quite some time to come.”

    —Professor Abiodun Alao, Professor of African Studies, King’s College London

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 216pp.
  • 4 images.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2022
  • Forthcoming
  • 978-0-472-13290-4

  • $70.00 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 2022
  • Forthcoming
  • 978-0-472-03892-3

  • $29.95 U.S.

Related Products