Current Institutional Affiliation
Assistant Professor, African Studies Center, Leiden University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2006
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Political Science, University of Florida
Complicit Disputes: Islamic and Secular Norms of Political Modernity in Niger

This project aims at studying the ways in which liberal and secular norms of political modernity are appropriated and transforn1ed in Niger's largely Islamic society, in the context of the current liberalized politics of that country. I argue that social and political reforms result from the normative contradiction between Islamic and secular norms of political modernity, because the apparent norn1ative disagreement does not suppress an active connivance between liberals and Islamists in this setting. To asce1iain this proposition, I intend to analyze three empirical issue areas - the Family Code, Education and the reforms of the Political regime - in which normative tensions have led to syncretic policies. I will conduct the research on two sites, the capital, and a major provincial town, combining interviews, participant observation and the collection and analysis of archival material, audio and illustrated media and news items. I will interpret my conclusions in the framework of a theoretical construct which borrows from Post-colonial theory and the literature on Governmentality. My ultimate results will help illuminate political development in the Islamic, and more broadly in the post-colonial worlds, by teasing out of the Nigerien case general propositions on social and political change through the complicity of conflicting norms.