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Department of Politics and International Studies

Rev Barkindo Atta Athanasius

BA (Urbanian University Rome), Licentiate (PISAI, Rome), MSc (SOAS, University of London)


Barkindo Atta Athanasius
Rev Barkindo Atta Athanasius
Email address:
Thesis title:
History, Memory and Resistance in Northern Nigeria: The Transformation of Boko Haram since 1995
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


Atta Barkindo - Atta Barkindo on the Boko Haram uprising in north-eastern Nigeria

PhD Research

The research attempts to shift the study of political violence and Islamic radicalization in northern Nigeria away from the traditional approaches of the theory of modernization, the political economy of conflicts theory and the theory of external dependency. Such an attempt is characterized by the fact that these traditional theories were investigated before 1999 and were heavily linked to Nigeria’s oil boom of the 70s and the subsequent military dictatorship. However, the new approach adopts the social movement theory which asserts that societies naturally develop internal mechanisms with organized resistance structures, no matter how loose, to make demands on the government. Failure to respond adequately to these demands generates frustration and violence. This new approach examines political violence and the rise of Boko Haram within the context of Nigeria’s return to multiparty democracy in 1999 and the failure of socio-economic and political reforms. It further analysis how and why the Boko Haram uprising is located within the north-eastern region of the country, though with national, regional and a likely global consequences.

PhD Publications


  • ''Colonial Legacies and ‘Post-Military Rule’ Soldiers in Nigeria. Why the Nigerian military, on its own, did not defeat Boko Haram'' Journal for Modern African Studies, Forthcoming
  • Violent Conflict in Divided Societies. The Case Study of Violent Conflict in Taraba State (2013 - 2015), published by Open Doors International.
  • Nigeria's Counter-Terrorism Threats and Analysis, forthcoming in International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, Singapore Journal
  • Join the Caravan”: The Ideology of Political Authority in Islam from Ibn Taymiyya to Boko Haram in North-Eastern Nigeria.  Terrorism Perspectives 7(3):30-42.
  • The Ideological Evolution of Boko Haram in Nigeria: Merging Local Salafism and International Jihadism’’. The RUSI Journal, 158(4):46-53.
  • Terrorism, Security and Politics: Nigeria’s 2015 Elections, The RUSI Newsbrief, 35(2):22-24.
    Tightening the Grip: Boko Haram control grows in run-up to Election, IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review 26(12):26-31.
  • Our Bodies, Their Battle Ground: Boko Haram and Gender Based Violence against Christian Women and Children in North-Eastern Nigeria since 1999. World Watch Monitor
  • Boko Haram, Islamic Ideology, Kanuri Identity or Historical Narrative of the Kanem-Borno Empire? The Tony Blair Foundation  

Documentaries produced

  • Nigeria’s Global Citizens in the context of the Boko Haram conflict
  • Taraba State Local Peace Initiatives: indigene-Settler conflicts in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria
  • Ungoverned Spaces and Conflict: Fulani Herders and Indigenous Farmers at the Nigeria/Cameroon border

PhD Conferences

  • Attended a seminar titled ‘Single women in Islamic Discourse’ organized by the Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (CIMEL), SOAS School of Law, April 28, 2015, SOAS, University of London
  • Atta Barkindo presented a paper titled: Rethinking Citizenship in Nigeria: Past, Present and Future – 2050, at a conference organized by the Global Initiative on Civil Society and Conflict (GICSC), Tampa, Florida-USA, February 3-7, 2015
  • ‘‘The Nigerian State and Islamic Sects: How Islam can help defeat Boko Haram?’’ presented at the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, ICPVTR, Singapore, August 2015
  • Organized a Roundtable Discussion titled, ‘Pax Nigeriana: Post-conflict reconstruction in Nigeria’ May 19, 2015, SOAS, University of London
  • Attended a conference on ‘Africa, Decolonization and the Fate of Britishness’, November 26, 2014, SOAS, University of London
  • Attended a seminar on ‘Urban Violence in Africa, Africa Research Institute’, October 8, 2014, London
  • Attended conference on ‘the geography of elections, inequality and migrations: 40 years of polarization’ Prof. Danny Dorling, organized by the Center for Migration and Diaspora Studies


  • International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, (ICPVTR), Singapore
  • Member, US-Council on Foreign Relations, Africa in Transition
  • Member, Africa Security Studies Group
  • Member, Terrorism, Research and Analysis Consortium
  • Member, Boko Haram Terrorism Research Group
  • The Kukah Center for Faith, Policy and Leadership Research, Abuja, Nigeria
  • Member, Sub-Saharan Community Intelligence Analysts


  • Political Islam
  • Terrorism
  • Terrorist Rehabilitation and Deradicalization
  • Transitional Justice and Post Conflict Reconstruction
  • Migration and Ethnic Contestation in Africa