This week's guest editors

Boko Haram: time for an alternative approach

Military responses to Boko Haram have proved ineffective, as the latest atrocity in Nigeria highlights. An alternative focused on good governance, policing and socio-economic development, supported by the international community, would be much more likely to succeed.

Al-Qaida, Nigeria, and a long war

The strategy of the United States and its allies in face of the "al-Qaida idea" will prolong not settle the global war.

From 'Silence Would Be Treason' - the last writings of Ken Saro-Wiwa

No, Shell are merely hoping that the government will succeed in “pacifying” the Ogoni and then they will move in proudly and calmly to continue to steal. They are in for a fight they will never forget.

Education and violent extremism in Nigeria

For Boko Haram, 'western civilisation is forbidden'. In a context of poor school attendance among Muslims, especially poor Muslims, is the almajiri system of schooling it favours compatible with a peacebuilding project for the country?

Nigeria’s fourteen-year sentence for gay marriage

Britain and the United States have aligned foreign aid with gay rights and have threatened to cut aid to Nigeria if the current bill is passed.

Las nuevas potencias no jugarán con las viejas reglas

Esperar que las nuevas potencias globales promuevan los derechos humanos fuera de sus países a través de las Naciones Unidas supone que jugarán con las reglas viejas y, para que esa presión sea efectiva, que los factores de derechos humanos condicionarán sus relaciones bilaterales; ninguno de esos supuestos es probable.

New powers won’t play by old rules

Expecting new global powers to promote human rights abroad via the United Nations assumes that they will play by the old rules and - if such pressure is to be effective - that human rights factors will condition their bilateral relationships; neither is likely. Español.

Planning for exclusion in Abuja

Rigid planning and development controls in Abuja, Nigeria's modern capital, have served to exclude population groups deemed 'unworldy' from the city-proper.

America's turn: new wars, special forces

A shift in the United States's military strategy in the direction of "remote control" involves greater reliance not just on armed-drones but on special forces.

Nigeria, the Boko Haram risk

Abuja's response to Boko Haram's insurgency is flawed and self-defeating. Without a change of policy, Nigeria will move ever closer to becoming a centre of transational jihadist struggle. 

Al-Qaida, the next stage

The dispersal of the al-Qaida idea across many national territories takes some pressure off the "far enemy", the United States. But developments in Nigeria could represent a new danger for Washington and its allies.

Re-imagining ourselves: music, film and the representation of Nigerian women

With the increasing popularity of Nigerian pop music, and the astoundingly productive Nigerian film industry, Nollywood, Nigeria's creative industries are attracting worldwide attention. Saratu Abiola looks at the problematic representations of women in the Nigerian media

The trials of Roseline Akhalu

Why is the Home Office continuing a cruel and ludicrous campaign against a woman who they have accepted will definitely die if returned to Nigeria?

Mali, dynamic of war

The French-led military intervention in Mali both accelerates the war in the west African country and transforms its character. The prospect is of a long-term engagement that Islamist forces far beyond the region will see as an historic opportunity

Al-Qaida, idea in motion

The United States's "remote control" campaign against Islamist targets is intensifying. But behind the headlines, the transnational diffusion of al-Qaida's idea is just as potent.

Mali, preparing for war

Mali's army will be unable to dislodge the Islamist hold on the country's north, even with the help of fellow west African forces. This makes direct western military intervention more likely.

Mali, and the next war

The growing prospect of western-backed military intervention to reverse the spread of Islamism in west Africa is good news for an evolving al-Qaida movement. 

For South Asians on the “We are all Malala” bandwagon

Given such levels of violence against girls and women, it is a wonder that so many Indians can feel superior while talking about the Taliban assault in neighbouring Pakistan. It will take more to defeat the Taliban, be they of the Islamic, Hindu or any other variety.

Syria, Mali, Nigeria: war's paralysis

The conflict in Syria leaves western powers with no good choices, and their agony is intensified by Islamist advances in west Africa. The search for intelligent security responses goes on.

The SWISH Report (21)

How does al-Qaida see the tumult in the Arab world, the persistent conflict in other regions - and its own prospects? The movement commissions its longstanding management consultants to write a report, which is exclusively published on openDemocracy.

Who’s heard of the ‘African Spring’?

If the under or mis-reported uprisings, protests, revolts and changes of regime in many parts of Africa over the past few years have told us anything, it is that politics on the continent does not always, or mostly, take place at the point of a gun.

The thinning world: Mali, Nigeria, India

Many powerful states tend to view current global conflicts through the lens of Islamism, and to put military action at the heart of the response. But the deeper roots and character of these conflicts are to be found in poverty and marginalisation, not ideology.

Mali: war, Islamism, and intervention

The advance of a radical movement in northern Mali, and its destruction of cultural treasures in the ancient city of Timbuktu, are increasing calls for a foreign military response.

Arab Spring south of the Sahara?

Why has the Arab Spring so far failed to spread south of the Sahara – and should some African leaders be looking over their shoulders?

Security in Nigeria depends on human welfare, not state-centric bureaucratisation

The creation of a Ministry for Homeland Security further entrenches a militarized vision of security centred on the state. This is an internal version of 'peacekeeping', not the 'peacebuilding' the country needs.

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