Professor Raufu Mustapha
Professor Raufu Mustapha
ASA UK Lasting Legacy Award 2022
Professor Raufu Mustapha was posthumously recognized for his remarkable contribution to the research and understanding of the African continent when the inaugural ASA UK Lasting Legacy Award was conferred on him on Sunday 4 September 2022 as part of the annual meeting held in Liverpool that year. This page is designed to highlight Professor Mustapha’s vast contribution, and to share his insights with new generations of researchers.
Professor Raufu Mustapha Award Citation
The late Raufu Mustapha was a brilliant thinker, inspiring mentor, a good friend and a committed scholar who made profound contributions to our understanding of many important issues, from democracy and electoral politics to international development, and from the impact of faith and religion on contemporary societies to political theory. A scholar whose work and teaching both deepened knowledge and crossed boundaries, he is a fitting recipient of the inaugural ASA UK Lasting Legacy Award.
Raufu studied Political Science at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, when that campus was a centre of left-wing thought and activism, after which he proceeded to St Peter’s College, Oxford, where he earned his doctorate under Gavin Williams in 1990. Before becoming the Anthony Kirk-Greene Fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, he held teaching positions at Bayero University, Kano, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and St Cross College, Oxford University. Across all of these positions he played an important role in strengthening the quality of discussion, opening space for debate, and encouraging his colleagues and students to blend a strong theoretical approach with a careful understanding of empirical cases, leading to work that was always respectful of the reality on the ground without ever being parochial. In this way, he lifted the horizons of those around him, constantly demonstrating the value of thinking beyond individual countries and continents.
At the Oxford University Department of International Development (ODID), Raufu was a core part of the MPhil and DPhil programmes from their beginnings, and taught on the MPhil’s core courses, as well as on his specialisms of rural and agrarian politics and the West African region. He also lectured to politics undergraduates and postgraduates and supervised a huge number of research theses for the department on a remarkably broad range of topics, encouraging his colleagues and students to read and think broadly, and never to limit their interests to “international development” or “African studies”.
Raufu was the Senior Researcher (West Africa) at the Oxford University Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (CRISE), which produced important that work that shaped our understanding of how inequality contributes to conflict to this day, and afterwards set up the collaborative Nigeria Research Network with support from the Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands. He was also a stalwart co-convenor of the African History and Politics seminar, and the patron of the student-run Oxford University Africa Society from its birth through a series of increasingly successful conferences and programmes. In these ways, Raufu made an immense contribution to a number of research communities in the UK; and the vibrancy of research on Africa at Oxford, and within the UK more broadly, owes much to his unassuming and yet highly effective leadership.
An academic of great talent, curiosity and flexibility, his work led to seven books, more than 35 academic articles and book chapters, and numerous reports, working papers and newspaper editorials. As the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA) has put it, ‘his rich intellectual legacy will remain relevant, widely discussed, cherished and avidly utilized. This is because Dr. Mustapha’s work captured the lived experiences of Africans in diverse ways.’ Raufu’s research focused on the politics of identity, rural development, state-building and democratization in Africa, and he devoted as much energy to building research networks with like-minded African scholars, colleagues and graduate students as to his own research and writing. In particular, Raufu’s trilogy on the politics of religious conflict in northern Nigeria, including Sects & Social Disorder: Muslim Identities & Conflict in Northern Nigeria (editor, 2014), Creed and Grievance: Muslim-Christian Relations and Conflict Resolution in Northern Nigeria (co-edited with David Ehrhardt, 2018), and Overcoming Boko Haram: Faith, Society & Islamic Radicalization in Northern Nigeria (co-edited with Kate Meagher, 2020), were all significant contributions to knowledge, challenging received wisdom on religious and identity conflict in Africa and charting more effective policy solutions. His deep scholarship on African rural politics and the politics of agricultural development, which was the focus of much of his early research and writing, is also demonstrated in a posthumous edited collection of research he directed and largely edited, Political Settlements and Agricultural Transformation in Africa: Evidence for Inclusive Growth (co-edited with Martin Atela, 2022).
If he was highly respected as a scholar, Raufu was loved and sought after as a teacher. Rarely has anyone been able to convey such complex ideas so clearly without reading from a set script and while making the audience nod, reflect, and laugh. Outside Nigeria, Raufu’s academic citizenship was pan-African and internationalist, as a member of editorial advisory groups for the journals Review of African Political Economy and Africa, and especially in CODESRIA, where he variously served as Director of the 2002 Governance Institute, as a member of the Scientific Committee and of the internal review committee on CODESRIA’s Intellectual Agenda. He also wrote reports for the Working Group on Ethnic Minorities, UN Commission on Human Rights, and the project on ‘Ethnic Structure and Public Sector Governance’ for UNRISD in Geneva.
As should already be clear, Raufu also took ethics seriously in the academic process. He was committed in his personal politics, as evidenced by his career-long union membership and role as departmental representative of the University and College Union (UCU), as well as his earlier role as both a student and academic activist in Nigeria. As a scholar of great integrity, Raufu chose to preserve his values not by keeping his work sealed off in an ivory tower, disengaged from the world, but by taking it out to engage with real-world issues and processes. In doing so, he managed to engage in policy processes in which, despite their limitations, he was always able to preserve his voice, freedom and values, setting a blueprint for scholars seeking to engage in contemporary political processes on the basis of nuanced research.
ASAUK is honoured to be able to recognise the tremendous contribution of Raufu Mustapha by bestowing upon him the inaugural ASA UK Lasting Legacy Award.
Key readings from Professor Raufu Mustapha
These readings are presented in chronological order. Links will take you to a publicly available PDF, or if these are not available, to more information about the publication. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list, as Professor Mustapha’s contribution was vast, but it contains his best-known publications.
Please note that Raufu’s published and unpublished work and research materials are available at the Bodleian Library. For more information, click here. His published work is available here. His unpublished papers are available here.
- Bangura, Y., Mustapha, A. R., & Adamu, S. (1983). “The deepening economic crisis and its political implications”. Africa Development/Afrique et Développement, 8(3), 97-119.
- Mustapha, A. R. (1984). “The relevance of the NEPU/PRP heritage to the Nigerian revolution: A critique”. Studies in Politics and Society, (1).
- Mustapha, A. R. (1985). “Dependency Theory and the Political Economy of Kano”. Nigerian Journal of Political Science, 4(1/2).
- Mustapha, A. R. (1986). “The national question and radical politics in Nigeria”. Review of African Political Economy, 13(37), 81-96.
- Abdulraheem, T., Olukoshi, A., Mustapha, A. R., & Williams, G. P. (1986). “Nigeria: oil, debts and democracy”. Review of African Political Economy, 13(37), 6-10.
- Mustapha, A. R., & Othman, S. (1986). “The recent police killing on Nigerian campuses”. Review of African Political Economy, 13(36), 73-77.
- Mustapha, A. R. (1991). Structural adjustment and multiple modes of social livelihood in Nigeria. United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.
- Mustapha, A. R., & Meagher, K. (1992). “Stress, adaptation, and resilience in rural Kano”. Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, 5(2), 107-117.
- Mustapha, A. R. (1992). “Nigeria: The challenge of nationhood”. Nigerian Forum12(9-12), 126-134.
- Mustapha, A. R. (1993). “Structural adjustment and agrarian change in Nigeria”. In Olukoshi, A. O. (ed.), The Politics of Structural Adjustment in Nigeria, James Currey, 112-128
- Mustapha, A. R. (1995). “The state of academic freedom in Nigeria”. In K. Bangura (ed.) The State of Academic Freedom in Africa, CODESRIA, 103-120.
- Mustapha, A.R. (1995). “Society and the social sciences in northern Nigeria, 1962-94: A case study of Ahmadu Bello University”. CODESRIA Bulletin, 2(1), 12-16.
- Mustapha, A. R. (1997). “The 17 May 1997 parliamentary elections in Cameroon”. Electoral Studies, 16(4), 563-567.
- Mustapha, A. R. (1998). “When will independence end? Democratization and civil society in rural Africa”. In Rudebeck, L., Törnquist, O., & Rojas, V. (2016). Democratization in the Third World: concrete cases in comparative and theoretical perspective. Springer, 222-233.
- Olukoshi, A., Mustapha, A. R., Soyinka, W., & Mnthali, F. (1995). “A tribute to Ken Saro-Wiwa”, Review of African Political Economy, 22(66), 471-480.
- Mustapha, A. R. (1998). “Identity boundaries, ethnicity and national integration in Nigeria”. In O. Nnoli (Ed.). Ethnic conflicts in Africa, CODESRIA, 27-52.
- Mustapha, A. R. (1999). “The Nigerian transition: third time lucky or more of the same?”. Review of African Political Economy, 26(80), 277-291.
- Mustapha, A. R. (1999). “Cocoa farming and income diversification in South-western Nigeria”. ASC Working Paper Series, Number 42.
- Mustapha, A. R., & Meagher, K. (2000). “Agrarian production, public policy and the state in Kano region, 1900-2000”. Drylands Research Working Paper-Drylands Research, Research Paper, 35.
- Mustapha, A. R. (2000). “Transformation of minority identities in post-colonial Nigeria”. In Jega, A. (ed.). Identity transformation and identity politics under structural adjustment in Nigeria. Nordic Africa Institute, 86-108.
- Mustapha, A. R. (2000). “The politics of economic reforms: implications for institutions and poverty in the Rural African setting”. In Havnevik, K. J., & Sandstrom, E. (2000). The institutional context of poverty eradication in rural Africa. Uppsala, Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 25-37.
- Mustapha, A. R. (2001). “Civil rights and pro-democracy groups in and outside Nigeria”. In Amuwo, K., Bach, D. C., & Lebeau, Y. (ed.) Nigeria during the Abacha Years (1993-1998): The Domestic and International Politics of Democratization. Ibadan: IFRA-Nigeria, 145-183.
- Mustapha, A. R. (2002). “Coping with diversity: The Nigerian state in historical perspective”. In Samatar, A. I., & Samatar, A. I. The African state: Reconsiderations, Portsmouth, NH: Heineman, 149-75.
- Mustapha, A. R. (2003). “Colonialism and environmental perception in Northern Nigeria”. Oxford Development Studies, 31(4), 405-425.
- Mustapha, A.R. (2002). “Intra-state challenges to the nation-state project in Africa”. In Report of the 2002 CODESRIA Governance Institute,
- Mustapha, A. R., (2003). “Ethnic minority groups in Nigeria: Current situation and major problems”. Journal of Human Commission Rights, 5, 1-24
- Mustapha, A. R. (2004). “Ethnicity and the Politics of Democratization in Nigeria”. Ethnicity and democracy in Africa, In Berman, B., Eyoh, D., & Kymlicka, W. (Eds.). (2004). Ethnicity and democracy in Africa. Ohio University Press, 257-75.
- Mustapha, A. R. (2005), “The State of Scholarship and the Future of Learning in Nigeria”, Humanitas, 6(2), 157-179.
- Mustapha, A. R. (2006). “Ethnic structure, inequality and governance of the public sector in Nigeria”. UNRISD, Democracy, Governance and Human Rights, Programme Paper Number 24.
- Mustapha, A. R. (2006). “Rethinking Africanist political science”. CODESRIA bulletin, (3-4), 3-10.
- Mustapha, A. R. (2007). “Institutionalising ethnic representation: How effective is the Federal Character Commission in Nigeria?”, Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity.
- Langer, A., Mustapha, A., & Stewart, F. (2007). “Horizontal Inequalities in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire: Issues and Policies”, CRISE Working Paper No. 45.
- Adebajo, A. and Mustapha, A. R. (2008). (ed) Gulliver’s troubles: Nigeria’s foreign policy after the Cold War, University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.
- Mustapha, A. R. (2009). “Institutionalising ethnic representation: How effective is affirmative action in Nigeria?”. Journal of International Development, 21(4), 561-576.
- Mustapha, A. R., & Whitfield, L. (Eds.). (2009). Turning points in African democracy. Boydell & Brewer.
- Langer, A., Mustapha, A. R., & Stewart, F. (2009). “Diversity and discord: Ethnicity, horizontal inequalities and conflict in Ghana and Nigeria”. Journal of International Development, 21(4), 477-482.
- Mustapha, A. R. (2011). “Zimbabwean farmers in Nigeria: Exceptional farmers or spectacular support?”. African Affairs, 110(441), 535-561.
- Mustapha, A. R. (2011). “Seeking representativeness: Affirmative action in Nigeria and South Africa compared”. In Fitzgerald, V., Heyer, J., & Thorp, R. (Eds.) Overcoming the persistence of inequality and poverty. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 251-276.
- Mustapha, A. R. (2012). “Introduction The ‘Missing’Concept: What is the ‘Public Sphere’ Good for?”. Africa Development, 37(1), 1-9
- Mustapha, A. R. (2012). “The public sphere in 21st century Africa: Broadening the horizons of democratisation”. Africa Development, 37(1), 27-41.
- Mustapha, A. R. (Ed.) (2013). “The survival ethic and the development of tourism in Nigeria”. In Ghimire, K. B. (Ed.) The native tourist: Mass tourism within developing coutries. Routledge, 172-197.
- Mustapha, A. R. (Ed.). (2013). Conflicts and security governance in West Africa. Altus Global Alliance, Malthouse Press & CLEEN Foundation.
- Mustapha, A. R. (Ed.). (2014). Sects & social disorder: Muslim identities & conflict in Northern Nigeria. Boydell & Brewer Ltd.
- Mustapha, A. R. (2015). “Assessing Trends in African Democratization: Methods and Challenges”. In Adejumobi, S. (Ed.). (2015). Democratic renewal in Africa: trends and discourses, Springer, New York, 21-41.
- Mustapha, A. R., & Ehrhardt, D. (Eds.). (2018). Creed & grievance: Muslim-Christian relations & conflict resolution in Northern Nigeria, James Currey.
- Meagher, K., & Mustapha, A. R. (2019). “Not by farming alone: the role of non-farm incomes in rural Hausaland”. In Bryceson, D. F., & Jamal, V. (Eds.). (2019). Farewell to farms: De-agrarianisation and employment in Africa, Routledge, 63-84.
- Mustapha, A. R., (2019). “Better Elections, More Deaths: Nigeria”. In H. Hino, A. Langer, J. Lonsdale, & F. Stewart (eds.) “From Divided Pasts to Cohesive Futures: Reflections on Africa”, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 69-97.
- Mustapha, A. R., & Meagher, K. (2020). Overcoming Boko Haram: faith, society & Islamic radicalization in northern Nigeria, James Currey.
- Atela, M., & Mustapha, A. R. (Eds.). (2022). Political Settlements and Agricultural Transformation in Africa: Evidence for Inclusive Growth, Taylor & Francis.
If you are interested in the work of Professor Mustapha, you should also look at this Special Issue on Governance, Power, and Diversity in African States: Celebrating the Legacy of Abdul Raufu Mustapha (2020), Oxford Development Studies 48(4).
In-page link to citation below
In-page link to the key readings section below