Governing the Faithful: Autocratic Legacies, Fundamentalist Islam, and the Struggle for Order in Africa

Kellogg Institute Visiting Fellow Sebastian Elischer

Sebastian Elischer
Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Florida

Why has domestic jihadi Salafism emerged as a major security challenge in some African countries but not in others? Drawing on the theoretical premises of historical institutionalism, Elischer examines the historical evolution of the relationship between the state and Islam in 10 countries in West and East Africa since independence. He argues that African states that established organizational gatekeepers in the Islamic sphere prior to the mid-1970s are less susceptible to activist Salafism than states which failed to do so. He challenges previous findings about religious control and conventional assumptions about African statehood.

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Sebastian Elischer

Sebastian Elischer is an associate professor of political science at the University of Florida whose work analyzes the interplay between identities and institutions. His research encompasses political Islam, violent extremism, and ethnicity, how identities shape and affect procedural democratization in sub-Saharan Africa, and the nature and effect of religious regulation in areas of weak statehood...
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