Extremisms in Africa

Scholars agree that a direct correlation can be made between poor governance and the emergence of extremist movements.

Globally, it is recognised that a straight line exists between poor governance, transnational crime and extremist threats to stability and security. As UN Secretary General António Guterres puts it: “I am convinced that the creation of open, equitable, inclusive and pluralist societies, based on the full respect of human rights and with economic opportunities for all, represents the most tangible and meaningful alternative to violent extremism.

Extremisms in Africa challenges both the efficacy and wisdom of purely militarised responses to extremist movements, typified by the Global War on Terror, as well as the cursory replication of international counter-terrorism frameworks promulgated by the United Nations and European Union in Africa.

Emphasis is given to the importance of understanding local history, culture, regional geopolitics, among a variety of context-specific factors, to truly understand and thereby effectively address the emergence and spread of extremisms in Africa. As such, it draws on contributions from a range of thematic and regional experts, including security-sector specialists, conflict analysts, journalists, international relations and governance specialists, political scientists, social anthropologists, psychologists and theologians.

A diverse range of extremist movements on the continent are examined, from radicalised religious groupings to race-based organisations. These case studies provide in-depth insight into answering why and how these movements came to be, while thematic chapters address issues pertinent to addressing them, such as public perceptions of extremism, methods of recruitment and radicalisation among marginalised communities, supporting survivors of extremism and former combatants, strategic approaches to counter-terrorism, the role of governance.

This is an introductory anthology and the first of its kind on this topic to be authored from – and published off – the African continent.


GGA is a research and advocacy non-profit organisation with centres across Africa focused solely on improving governance across the continent.GGA engages in applied research and stimulates critical debate. All our work is based on exploring and advancing the key governance principles of democracy, accountability and transparency, and combining these with upholding the rule of law and respecting human, civil and property rights. 


Alain Tschudin is the Executive Director at Good Governance Africa (GGA).

Stephen Buchanan-Clarke is a Programme Consultant for the Africa programme at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) in Cape Town. 

Lloyd Coutts is the Head of Publications at GGA. 

Susan Russell is the Sub-Editor at GGA. 

Mandla Tyala is the Head of Programmes at GGA.

ISBN 978-1-928232-61-2
GENRE Current Affairs/Politics 
FORMAT Paperback 
SIZE 210x148mm 
EXTENT 400pp
RIGHTS World Rights
RELEASE June 2018