School of Social and Political Science

Dr Akin Iwilade

Job Title

Lecturer in African Studies

Akin Iwilade

Room number


Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

City (Address)


Country (Address)




DPhil International Development (Oxon)

MSc African Studies (Oxon)

MSc International Relations (Ife)

BSc International Relations (Ife)

Research interests and bio

Before coming to Edinburgh, I taught International Relations at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria and African Politics at the University of Leeds, UK. My research has focussed primarily on the politics of violent youth in Africa, especially in extractive contexts like the oil rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria. I have also researched the role of social movements in the forming and sustenance of political authority at the regional level in West Africa. Output from these research areas have appeared in the Journal of Modern African Studies, Journal of Contemporary African Studies, Africa Spectrum, Journal of Youth Studies and Extractive Industries and Society among othersMy article about youth infrastructures of violence in Nigeria's Niger Delta published in the Journal of Modern African Studies was awarded the 'best article published on Africa' prize for 2014 by the African Politics and Conference Group of the African Studies Association at its 54th Annual meeting in San Francisco in December 2015. I have received recognition and funding support for various aspects of my research from a wide range of organisations including grants from the Social Science Research Council, the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Institute of International Education, scholarship funding from the University of Oxford, and awards from Obafemi Awolowo University, Oxford University and Columbia University's Earth Institute. My research activities have also supported short term  consultancies with various organisations including Think Tank Initiative, Tana Forum for Security in Africa and Friedrich Erbert Stiftung. 

My current research interests are in three areas.  The first looks at the shifting geographies of covert gang networks who appear to be exploring innovative migratory routes from West Africa to Europe. The goal here is to understand how new waves of migration subvert or transform statehood in a new age of globalisation. The second focusses on exploring multiple citizenship questions that emerge out of the informal production and distribution of fuel in the Gulf of Guinea area and how it impacts on notions of statehood. Finally, I am doing some research around the deployment of blackness and middle class youth identity formation in Africa and its diasporas.


I convene the graduate taught course 'Conflict and Peace in Africa', and co-convene the online graduate course 'Analysing Development '. I am  also the On-course and Admissions Advisor for the PhD in African Studies. 

Journal Editorial Boards

Book Reviews Editor, African Affairs (2020-)

Member, Editorial Board, Critical African Studies (2020-) 

Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Canadian Journal of African Studies (Revue Canadienne des études Africaines) (2020-)

Member, Editorial Working Group, Review of African Political Economy (2016-)

Book Reviews Editor, Leeds African Studies Bulletin (2018-19)

Selected publications

Iwilade A.  2020. Everyday agency and centered marginality: being ‘youth’ inthe oil rich Niger Delta of Nigeria, Ateliers D’antropologie 47(1):1-14. 

Iwilade A. 2019. “Temporalities of ‘doing’: the over-youth and their navigations of post-violence contexts in Africa”, in: Cuervo H. & Miranda A, Youth in the Global South: Transitions, Diversity & Inequality, Springer Series Perspectives on Children and Youth 

Iwilade A. (2018). “From the newspaper to Facebook: New media, intermediality, and political participation in Africa” in Adejumobi S., Voice andPower in Africa’s Democracy: Institutions, Participation and Accountability,(Routledge Contemporary African Politics Series), New York: Routledge.

Iwilade A and Fadayomi D (2017). “Freedom and Control: Islam and Christianity at the Federal Polytechnic” in Nolte I, Ogen K and Jones R. Beyond Religious Tolerance: Muslim, Christian and Traditionalist Encounters in an African Town, Suffolk: James Currey, pp 173-88.

Iwilade A. (2017) Slipping through the net: everyday agency of youth and the politicsof Amnesty in Nigeria’s Niger Delta (2009-2015)”, Journal of Contemporary African Studies (Institute of Social and Economic Research, Routledge Taylor and Francis Publishers), Vol. 35, No. 3, pp. 266-83.

Iwilade A. (2016) “Oil Wealth and Insurgency in the Niger Delta” [Book Review], Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol.54, Issue 3, pp. 547-48.

Iwilade A. (2015) “Oil, youth and networks of the ‘unconnected’ in Nigeria’s Oil Delta”, Society and Natural Resources, Vol. 28, No. 11, pp. 1203-15.

Iwilade A. (2015) “New spaces, new interactions? Young People’s Online Social Networks and Gender Relations in Africa”, Gender, Technology and Development,Vol.19, No. 1, pp.70-90.

Iwilade A. (2014) “Networks of violence and becoming: youth and the politics of patronage in Nigeria’s oil rich Delta”, Journal of Modern African Studies, Issue 52, No. 4, pp.571-95. (winner of the APCG/APSA award for the best article published on Africa in 2014)

Iwilade A. (2014) “Politics of the (Sub)regional: ECOWAS and the AU in Cote d’Ivoire’s electoral crisis”in Samuel Ewusi and Jean Bosco Butera (eds), BeyondStatebuilding: Confronting Africa’s Governance and Socioeconomic Challenges in the 21st Century, Addis Ababa: University of Peace Africa Program, pp. 49-80

Iwilade A., (2014) “Has the rise of China made democratisation less likely in Africa?”,Conflict Trends (Published by ACCORD, South Africa) Issue 1, pp. 3-10.

Iwilade A., (2013) “Crisis as Opportunity: Youth, Social Media and the Renegotiation of Power in Africa”, Journal of Youth Studies, Vol. 16, No.8, pp. 1054-68.

Iwilade A. and Okwechime I. (2013), “Politics of Social Movements in MinorityContexts: Oil, Elections, Resistance and Representation in the Niger Delta Region ofNigeria” in Marisa Fois and Allesandro Pes (eds.), Politics and Minorities in Africa, Nova Collectanea Africana, Roma: Centro di Studi Africani in Sardegna (CSAS), University of Cagilari, pp. 197-217.

Okwechime I. and Iwilade A. (2013), “Gender, Environment and Human RightsViolations in Nigeria’s Niger Delta Region”, in Ako-nai R.I. (ed.), Gender and Power Relations in Nigeria, Maryland: Lexington Books (Rowman and Littlefield), pp. 301- 24.

Okwechime I. and Iwilade A. (2013), “Women, Grassroots Movements and Democratization in Nigeria”, in Ako-nai R.I. (ed.), Gender and Power Relations in Nigeria, Maryland: Lexington Books (Rowman and Littlefield), pp. 267-86.

Iwilade A. and Agbo J. (2012), “ECOWAS and the Regulation of Regional Peace and Security in West Africa”, Democracy and Security, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 358-73.

Iwilade A. (2012), “Green or Red? Reframing the Environmental Discourse in Nigeria”, Africa Spectrum, Vol. 47, No. 2- 3, pp. 157-66.

Ukeje C. and Iwilade A. (2012), “A Farewell to Innocence? African Youth andViolence in the Twenty First Century, International Journal of Conflict and Violence,Vol. 6, No. 2. pp. 339-51.

Iwilade A. (2011). “Women and Peace Talks in Africa”, Journal of InternationalWomen’s Studies, (Bridgewater State University: Massachusetts, USA) Vol. 12, No.2, January/February, pp. 22-37.

Iwilade A. and Ukeje C. (2011) “The Crisis of Governance and the Governance of Crisis: Taking Stock of the Role of Key Regional and Global Institutions in the PostElection Conflict in Cote d’Ivoire”, Nigerian Journal of International Affairs (NIIA:Lagos), Vol. 37, No. 1, pp. 125-156.

Iwilade A. (2011). “Democracy and Virtual Grassroots Movements in Nigeria”,Journal of Intra-African Studies (Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University: Lapai),

Iwilade A. (2010). “Gender and Identity in the Nigerian Media”, Ibadan Journal of Humanistic Studies, (University of Ibadan: Ibadan) Vol. 19& 20, pp. 68-89.

Iwilade A. (2010). “Democracy, Civil Society and the Commodification of AIDS in Africa”, African Journal of Rhetoric, (AAR, University of KwaZulu-Natal: Durban, South Africa) Vol. 2, pp. 133-158.

Okwechime I. and Iwilade A. (2010). “Human Rights and Development in 21st Century Africa, International Journal of Development Studies, (IRDI: Uyo) Vol. 5, No.3, pp. 136-142.

Okwechime I. and Iwilade A. (2010). “Globalization, Democracy and Resistance in Africa”, Ife Journal of Politics, (Department of Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 83-102.

Iwilade A. (2008). “Civil Society and the Challenge of Democratization in Nigeria”, in: Sabo Bako (ed.), Electoral Reforms, Political Succession and Democratisation in Africa Vol 3, Nigeria Political Science Association: Abuja, pp. 103-22.

Research interests

Research interests

Natural resource politics and governance, Social anthropology of youth, Nigerian politics and society, Regional security in West Africa

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