Special Issue: Rethinking Organised Crime in Africa

Event date
13 February 2024
Event time
16:15 - 17:30
Oxford week
HT 5
HYBRID SEMINAR - Criminology Seminar Room

Corentin Cohen (Marie Sklodowska Curie Research Fellow, Oxford)

Precious Oghale Diagboya,

Philippe Frowd, (Associate Professor in Political Studies, University of Ottawa

Elodie Apard (Researcher, Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) in Paris)

Ini Dele-Adedeji (Reseach Associate, SOAS)

Much of the existing research on organized crime in Africa has emphasised its development and proliferation from state and security perspectives. Such research often relies upon inflated facts for captivating public attention, is fuelled by sensationalist media reports and draws from conceptualisations that give an incomplete picture of the significance of illicit activities, both for the state and their role in enabling and sustaining people’s livelihoods. In contrast, this special issue proposes that more empirical research and analysis is needed to reveal the disjunctures between state and on-the-ground perceptions. Greater attention to a bottom-up vision of illicit activities can demonstrate how defining and understanding these practices through such binary terms as legal/illegal does not necessarily indicate how those engaged in them perceive them. Through bringing together a range of contributions from different disciplinary, theoretical and empirical perspectives, this special issue explores the space between official, policy-driven narratives of crime and the realities of the everyday nature of these practices, in a bid to rethink and challenge the ‘organized crime’ lens through which these activities are increasingly framed. 


Speakers' Profiles:

Philippe M. Frowd is an Associate Professor in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa, Canada. His research draws on critical security studies and focuses on emerging transnational forms of governance of security in the Sahel region of West Africa. His research has primarily focused on irregular migration and border control, as well as broader dynamics of militarization and intervention in the region.


Dr Elodie Apard, historian, studies mobility and circulations in West Africa since the early 2000s. After working in Niger Republic on regional and international migrations, she joined the French Institute for Research in Nigeria (IFRA-Nigeria) from 2012 to 2020. She is a permanent researcher at the Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) in Paris. Her recent work focuses on women mobility from Nigeria to Europe and includes sex-trafficking practices.


Corentin Cohen is a Marie Sklodowska Curie Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations of the University of Oxford and a Junior Research Fellow of St Peter's College. Corentin's current research looks at the role of global consultancies, accountants and lawyers in African politics. He has researched different groups which position at the crossroad between the state and markets and that included criminal organisations and syndicates such as Nigerian confraternities.


Ini Dele-Adedeji is a Research Associate in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London (SOAS). Ini’s research focuses on exploring notions of morality and justice and the contexts that shape them. His research interests are situated in the debates on conflict, criminalisation of livelihoods, and transnational linkages in West Africa. 

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