Contemporary Security Issues in Africa
by William A. Taylor
December 2018, 241pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5190-2
$85, £66, 74€, A117
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5191-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Civil war, ethnic conflict, maritime piracy, political violence, and terrorism are just some of the myriad security issues facing Africa in the 21st century.

This compelling book serves as a comprehensive resource for readers interested in contemporary security issues in Africa. It details the impact of complex challenges in Africa and explains why addressing them grows increasingly important.

Presenting both general overviews and specific case studies, this book provides an excellent introduction to contemporary security issues in Africa, home to more than thirty of the fifty most fragile nations in the world. It covers the last three decades of conflict on the continent, focusing on such topics as weak and failing states, ethnic conflict and civil wars, natural resources and environmental security, political violence and terrorism, piracy and maritime security, food security and poverty, international responses, and future prospects.

The core of the book comprises detailed analysis of the nexus between culture, politics, and security in Africa, while the volume as a whole examines key regional and transnational security issues affecting Africa and their implications at the state, regional, and international levels. The book explores the dynamic role that African nations play in influencing international security and also investigates and articulates factors heightening the importance of Africa’s role in international affairs.


  • Acknowledges principal terms, underlying concepts, and specific case studies in an exploratory overview of contemporary security issues in Africa
  • Emphasizes the international and regional security threats caused by contemporary security issues in Africa as a continent as well as in the context of individual countries
  • Employs a case study methodology, which should prove useful in a range of courses on topics including security studies, international relations, comparative politics, military history, and African history
  • Examines linkages between various security issues, offering an integrated appraisal of how and why these issues impact one another while considering developments, trends, and future prospects
William A. Taylor, PhD, is associate professor of security studies at Angelo State University in San Angelo, TX. Taylor won three national grants to research Every Citizen a Soldier: The Campaign for Universal Military Training after World War II. The book won a Crader Family Book Prize Honorable Mention. Taylor also won six national grants to research Military Service and American Democracy: From World War II to the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. He has contributed to sixteen other books and has published more than sixty-five reference articles and book reviews.


“A thoroughly-researched examination of a range of critical security issues facing Sub-Saharan Africa, Taylor's work reflects his skillful ability to tackle his subject matter with clarity, precision and insight, strongly supported by the latest research. A highly recommended, solid foundation for students, regional analysts, and scholars, this work constitutes an important contribution to scholarship on the subject.”—Dr. Gregory Fremont-Barnes, Senior Lecturer, Department of War Studies, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst

"William A. Taylor presents an impassioned account of Africa’s multi-faceted security environment in the contemporary period, highlighting Africa’s role and the potentially caustic impact of external interests. This book moves beyond the realm of traditional analysis, marrying dimensions of critical security studies with other scholarly disciplines. Insightful and skillfully written, this book should serve as an important foundation for future studies on the strategic importance of Africa."—Scott N. Romaniuk, Author of Collective Jihadist (De-)Radicalization: Theory and Cases of Violent Extremist Behavior

“William A. Taylor has written what is arguably the most comprehensive work on security issues in contemporary Africa till date. From ethno-religious violence to conflict over natural resources and food security, he takes readers into Africa’s complex experience with nation-building across multiple national boundaries, offering new insights based on carefully mined primary sources and attention to local dynamics. Contemporary Security Issues in Africa is a successful project by all standards.”—Saheed Aderinto, Author of Guns and Society in Colonial Nigeria: Firearms, Culture, and Public Order

"In his newest book, William A. Taylor delivers a skillful and lucid examination of the broad spectrum of important security matters impacting Africa. Artfully balancing historical context with contemporary analysis, he provides readers with insightful synopses as well as useful case studies delving into specific countries. In evaluating the myriad ways that security influences Africa, Taylor explains in cogent and concise prose why these issues matter to Africa and to the rest of the world. Contemporary Security Issues in Africa is an essential foundation for anyone interested in how these crucial topics manifest themselves on the continent."—Dr. Lawrence J. Korb, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

"Contemporary Security Issues in Africa offers readers an excellent introduction to its subject matter. Taylor effectively utilizes country-specific cases to make sense of a variety of complex and challenging security issues affecting an exceptionally diverse and dynamic continent. Taylor’s focus and informed analysis drives home the value of security not only for its own sake, but also as a precursor for additional political, economic, and social progress. Highly recommended."—Dr. Nathaniel Cogley, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Tarleton State University

"Dr. Taylor’s book offers its readers a multitude of fascinating journeys into the security environment of Africa. Spanning between the weak and failed states and the various faces of the Human Security paradigm, the book does not leave a single stone unturned on the motley cultural terrain of the continent. The traditional security challenges in Africa, such as ethnoreligious conflicts, are intertwined with the more modern threats of terrorism that go well beyond the geographic borders. Dr. Taylor provides a valuable contribution to the field of regional security as well as presents an easy and a captivating read for non-experts."—Dr. Robert Nalbandov, Thomas Edison State University

"An excellent primer for anyone trying to understand the complexities of African conflict. William A. Taylor has written an accessible and illuminating survey that will be useful for people of all levels of experience with these critical issues."—Joshua Meservey, Senior Policy Analyst, Africa and the Middle East, The Heritage Foundation

Praeger Security International

International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Covering global hot spots from Iran to Venezuela and subjects ranging from terrorism and cyber warfare to food security, books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, academic researchers, journalists, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth analysis and international perspectives that are unavailable in the mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students, researchers, and policymakers as well as for anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


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