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About Sahel Blog

Sahel Blog analyzes news about religion and politics in the Sahel (Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, and Eritrea) and the Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan). The blog pays particular attention to elections, protests, violent movements, and religious debates.tea

About Alex Thurston

I specialize in the study of Islam and politics. Since 2018, I have been Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science and Comparative Religion at Miami University of Ohio. Previously I taught at Georgetown University’s African Studies Program. During 2013-2014, I was an International Affairs Fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations. In that capacity I served as a Desk Officer for Nigeria at the U.S. Department of State. I received my Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Religious Studies in 2013, and my M.A. from Georgetown in Arab Studies in 2009.

My first book, Salafism in Nigeria: Islam, Preaching, and Politics, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. My second book, Boko Haram: The History of an African Jihadist Movement, was published by Princeton University Press in 2017. My academic writing has also appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of ReligionAfrican Affairs, Islamic Law & Society, the Journal of Religion in Africa, Islamic Africa, and elsewhere. I have written reports for the Brookings Institution, the Carnegie Endowment, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the RESOLVE Network. My analyses have also appeared in Foreign Policy, World Politics Review, the International Peace Institute’s Global Observatory, and other venues. My CV is here, and my personal website is here.

You can reach me at thurstaj at miamioh dot edu. I am always happy to hear from readers.

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