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Dr. A.T. (Adam) Higazi

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Programme group: Moving Matters: People, Goods, Power and Ideas

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Postal address
  • Postbus 15509
    1001 NA Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile

    My main research focus is on the anthropology of pastoral groups (especially Fulani) and ethno-linguistic minorities in central and northern Nigeria. This also encompasses the study of inter-religious encounters and relations (between Muslims and Christians and with ‘traditional’ religion), violent conflict, and peacebuilding. I also research access to and rights over land and water and have begun researching anthropologies of the environment and indigenous knowledge, especially in relation to biodiversity, climate and ethno-ecology, in pastoral and agrarian societies. I am learning and carrying out research in the Fulfulde language.

    Geographically, my main research focus is Nigeria but I have carried out fieldwork (of varying durations) across western Africa, from Mauritania to Cameroon. I try to work across disciplines too where appropriate - social anthropology, history, politics and increasingly environmental studies. I have worked comparatively on projects involving Indonesia, Kenya, and elsewhere. I began ethnographic fieldwork at doctoral level in Plateau State, Nigeria, in 2005-7 and continued at postdoctoral level from 2011. I was based in central Nigeria from 2015-19 (with research trips to pastoral communities in Niger, Cameroon and other parts of West Africa in this period too). As well as studying pastoralists and livestock I have researched conflict issues in central Nigeria and the regional and local dynamics and humanitarian impacts of the Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east.

    I have a doctorate from the University of Oxford (2011) and MA (distinction) in social anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (2001). I was elected to a college research fellowship at Cambridge University from 2010-14 (King's College & Centre of African Studies), which also enabled intensive fieldwork. From 2016-19 I worked on the 'Securing the Local' project, based at the Department of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam (PI: Laurens Bakker), co-supervising the Nigerian part of the study and carrying out fieldwork with a team of researchers across northern Nigeria. This was on local responses to insecurity with studies in the north-east, north-central, and north-west of Nigeria. The research findings are forthcoming in an edited book which we are preparing under contract - Order and Disorder in northern Nigeria: armed groups, insurgency, and resistance (Oxford: James Currey / Boydell & Brewer). I have published in various edited volumes and area studies journals on Africa including Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, Politique Africaine, etc. I am working on a monograph based on fieldwork I have carried out within a number of pastoral Fulani families (from lenyi including Jaafun and Uda’en), who I have stayed with in villages and in their rainy season and dry season camps over the years. I have also been carrying out ethnographic fieldwork in various communities of the Jos Plateau and am gradually writing up that material as well. This is a highland area in central Nigeria with varied landscapes and ecologies and exceptional ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity. It is part of the religiously plural Middle Belt and over the past two decades has experienced high levels of violent conflict in some areas, though this is uneven in terms of its distribution. There are also areas where peaceful relations have been more or less sustained. My research in the central zone of Nigeria focuses on social relations, historical ethnography, conflict, and both social and environmental adaptations and changes across the region, especially in Plateau State.

    As well as my affiliation to the University of Amsterdam I am currently also affiliated to the African Studies Centre, University of Oxford, and to the Centre for Peace and Security Studies at the federal university in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria - Modibbo Adama University of Technology.

    Expertise and research fields

    • Ecological Anthropology
    • Pastoralism
    • Nomadic People
    • Conflict
    • Peacebuilding
    • Muslim-Christian relations
    • Nigeria
    • Africa
  • Research

    Research methods

    • Ethnography
    • Interviews
    • Archives
    • Ethno-ecology

    Current research projects

    • Pastoralism and environmental change in the borderlands of Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon.
    • Securing the Local (PI Dr. Laurens Bakker)

    Research collaborations

    • Research affiliate, Centre for Peace and Security Studies, Modibbo Adama University Yola, Nigeria
  • Publications


    • Higazi, A. T. (2024). Navigating rural banditry in central Nigeria: pastoral diversity, the state, and non-state security actors. Manuscript in preparation. In A. Higazi, & L. Bakker (Eds.), Securing the Local in northern Nigeria: armed groups, insurgency, and resistance James Currey / Boydell and Brewer.
    • Higazi, A. T., & Bakker, L. G. H. (Ed.) (2024). Securing the Local in northern Nigeria: armed groups, insurgency, and resistance. James Currey / Boydell and Brewer.
    • Richardson, K., Doherty, A., Burgin, L., Higazi, A. T., & Calow, R. (2024). The intersection of climate and biodiversity sciences in Central Africa’s forests to highlight climate risk implications for policy. Manuscript in preparation.



    • Higazi, A. T. (2020). Pastoralism and Islamic practice in Fulɓe communities of northern Nigeria and Niger. In E. Apard (Ed.), Transnational Islam: the circulation of religious ideas, actors and practices between Niger and Nigeria (pp. 117-148). Brill.


    • Higazi, A. (2018). Rural insecurity on the Jos Plateau: livelihoods, land & cattle amid religious reform & violent conflict. In A. R. Mustapha, & D. Ehrhardt (Eds.), Creed & Grievance: Muslim-Christian relations and conflict resolution in northern Nigeria (pp. 269-307). (Western Africa series). James Currey. [details]
    • Mustapha, A. R., Higazi, A., Lar, J., & Chromy, K. (2018). Jos: Bottom-up & top-down approaches to peace building. In A. R. Mustapha, & D. Ehrhardt (Eds.), Creed & Grievance: Muslim-Christian relations & conflict resolution in northern Nigeria (pp. 308-336). (Western Africa series). James Currey. [details]
    • Mustapha, A. R., Higazi, A., Lar, J., & Chromy, K. (2018). Jos: Fear & Violence in central Nigeria. In A. R. Mustapha, & D. Ehrhardt (Eds.), Creed & Grievance: Muslim-Christian Relations & Conflict Resolution in Northern Nigeria (pp. 225-268). (Western Africa series). James Currey. [details]



    • Higazi, A. T. (2015). Mobilisation into and against Boko Haram in North-East Nigeria. In M. Cahen, M-E. Pommerolle, & K. Tall (Eds.), Collective Mobilisations in Africa: Contestation, Resistance, Revolt (pp. 305-358). Brill.
    • Higazi, A. T., & Lar, J. (2015). Articulations of Belonging: The Politics of Ethnic and Religious Pluralism in Bauchi and Gombe States, North-East Nigeria. Africa, 85(1), 102-130.


    • Higazi, A. T. (2013). Les origines et la transformation de l’insurrection de Boko Haram dans le nord du Nigeria. Politique Africaine, 130, 137-164.


    • Higazi, A. T. (2008). Social mobilisation and collective violence: vigilantes and militias in the lowlands of Plateau State, Central Nigeria. Africa, 78(1), 109-135.


    • Higazi, A. T. (2007). Violence urbaine et politique à Jos (Nigeria), de la période colonial aux élections de 2007. Politique Africaine, 106, 69-91.


    • Abdullahi, U. E., & Higazi, A. T. (2022). Rural Land Grabs. In N. Perchonock (Ed.), The Face of Poverty in Nigeria (pp. 18-28, 178-189). Yusufu Bala Usman Institute & Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung.


    • Higazi, A. T. (2021). An Inspiring Film: Protect Biodiversity and Reduce Climate Change. Nomadic Peoples, 25, 124-126.


    • Higazi, A. T. (2019). Nigeria. In D. S. Lewis, & W. Slater (Eds.), The Annual Register: World events and developments in 2018 ProQuest LLC.






    • Higazi, A. T. (2019). Pastoralist-Farmer Conflicts in Nigeria. In F. Grandi (Ed.), The Armed Conflict Survey: The Worldwide Review of Political, Military and Humanitarian Trends in Current Conflicts (pp. 317-327). London: Routledge for The International Institute for Strategic Studies.





    • Higazi, A. T. (2011). The Jos Crisis: A Recurrent Nigerian Tragedy. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Abuja.


    • Higazi, A. T. (2005). Informal Remittance Systems: Ghana Country Study. Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, University of Oxford.
    • Higazi, A. T. (2005). Integrating Migration and Development Policies: Challenges for ACP-EU Cooperation. European Centre for Development Policy Management.


    • Higazi, A. T. (2004). Policy Levers in Ghana. Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity, University of Oxford.

    Prize / grant

    • Higazi, A. (2008). Callaway Prize in African Studies, St Antony's College, Oxford.

    Media appearance

    Talk / presentation

    • Higazi, A. T. (speaker) (5-6-2018). Pastoralism and Security in West Africa: a comparative analysis, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford.
    • Higazi, A. T. (speaker) (11-5-2018). Pastoralism and Security in West Africa: a comparative analysis, Centre for Analysis, Planning and Strategy (Centre d’analyse, de prévision et de stratégie, or CAPS – French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Paris.
    • Higazi, A. T. (speaker) (12-3-2018). Pastoralism and Security in Nigeria, Department of International Development, University of Oxford.
    • Higazi, A. T. (speaker) (13-2-2018). Pastoralism, farming, and violent conflict in Nigeria, European Union Delegation, Abuja.
    • Higazi, A. T. (speaker) (1-2-2018). presentation to the Defence Attaché Association on farmer-herder conflicts and rural insecurity in Nigeria, European Union Delegation, Abuja.
    • Higazi, A. T. (speaker) (4-5-2017). Pastoralism, Security, and Sustainable Livelihoods in West Africa, United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).
    • Higazi, A. T. (keynote speaker) (4-11-2016). Fulani pastoralism and farmer-herder relations in Nigeria, French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA) and African Studies Institute, University of Ibadan.
    • Higazi, A. T. (speaker) (27-9-2016). The impacts of the Boko Haram insurgency on pastoralism in north-east Nigeria, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, Adamawa State.
    • Higazi, A. T. (speaker) (22-9-2016). Panel speaker, “Ungoverned Spaces’ in North-East Nigeria, Oxford Analytica conference, Oxford.
    • Higazi, A. T. (speaker) (12-9-2016). Boko Haram and the Crisis in North-East Nigeria, Development Studies Association biannual conference, Oxford.
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    No ancillary activities