African Insurgencies
From the Colonial Era to the 21st Century
by Richard A. Lobban, Jr. and Christopher H. Dalton
January 2017, 245pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3994-8
$85, £66, 74€, A117
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3995-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

What are the motivations behind the many ongoing insurgency movements and revolutions in Africa, and what strategies might serve to increase stability and reduce violence?

Presenting a continent-wide comparative analysis of ethnic, political, and colonially based insurgencies, this text examines the causes, tactics, outcomes, and key individuals of African insurgent events and assesses a range of foreseeable outcomes in Africa's multiple regions of continuing political instability.

Insurgencies continue to erupt in many nations of Africa. The techniques and intended purposes of today’s insurgencies are evolutions of historical versions of insurgencies, long-standing strife among ethnic and political groups, and modern-era movements reflective of the ever-shrinking planet, leading to revolutions in the region. This book spans the African continent to address a diverse classification of insurgencies and revolutions, weaving them together thematically and enabling readers to make connections between their purposes, tactics, outcome, and impact. Providing researchers in African and security studies with a comprehensive body of work for further studies, this eminently readable work examines the many past and current insurgencies that have occurred in Africa, identifying their causes and predominantly common bases and rationales.

Coauthored by an acclaimed scholar of African studies and a U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel with a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies, this single-volume book provides an in-depth examination into the drivers, actors, tactics, weapons, intended outcomes, and sweeping consequences of the many events in Africa that have overturned existing rule or implemented rule where none existed—and in a few cases, resulted in stabilization of a nation. Readers will better understand the causal, contextual, tactical, ideological, and philosophical factors that launch insurgencies through coverage of pre-colonial insurgencies; anti-colonial resistance and national liberation movements; separatist and irredentist movements; reformist, revolutionary, and Islamist insurgencies; and genocide, warlord, and proxy insurgencies. The book’s last chapter discusses how insurgent movements might be prevented through better governance, or contained or defeated with diplomatic and/or military means.


  • Supplies a highly useful comparative analysis of insurgencies across Africa since the Colonial period to recent decades, addressing their root causes, actors, outcomes, and ultimately prevention
  • Provides comprehensive treatment of significant engagements, internal leaders, and outside influences that contributed to these insurgencies
  • Discusses ongoing security conflicts, such as in Libya and Sudan, to compare nations that have successfully overcome such events with those nations that continue to suffer with the consequences of such revolts and insurgent movements
  • Offers critical assessments of prospects for inclusive democracies to combat insurgencies as well as strategies for prevention to create more stable environments
Richard A. Lobban Jr., PhD, is adjunct professor of African studies at the Naval War College and professor emeritus of anthropology at Rhode Island College. He has authored numerous works on African conflict.

Lt. Col. Christopher H. Dalton is an active-duty Marine logistician who coauthored a volume on Libya with Richard A. Lobban. He is currently the director for intermediate logistics education and logistics integration seminars for units preparing for service in overseas assignments.


"This encyclopedic review of conflict in colonial and post-colonial Africa provides a comprehensive, densely-packed introduction to conflicts throughout the continent today. As a historical primer, African Insurgencies provides useful background on the rise of Islamism and the role of religion in intra-African wars."—Marine Corps Gazette, August 16, 2017

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