Zubairu Wai, PhD

Associate Professor

Department: 
Email: 
zwai@lakeheadu.ca
Phone Number: 
+1 (807) 343-8791
Office Location: 
RB 2041
Academic Qualifications: 
  • PhD (Political Science), York
  • MA (International Relations), International University of Japan
  • BA Honours, (History), University of Sierra Leone
Research Interests: 

Dr Wai's research takes up epistemological questions regarding the nature and condition of disciplinary knowledge and practices in International Relations, Development Studies, and African Studies, focusing on how the intersections of power, knowledge, and coloniality frame the discourses and political economy of conflict, development, and state formation in Africa, and the Global South more broadly. He is the author of Epistemologies of African Conflicts: Violence, Evolutionism and the War in Sierra Leone (2012), winner of the ATWS Toyin Falola Africa Book Award for 2013, and co-editor (with Marta Iniguez de Heredia) of Recentering Africa in International Relations: Beyond Lack, Peripherality, and Failure (2018). He is working on completing a monograph titled Thinking the Colonial Library: Mudimbe, Gnosis, and the Predicament of Africanist Knowledge.

 His representative publications include:

 Books

  • Recentering Africa in International Relations: Beyond Lack, Peripherality, and Failure. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. [Co-edited with Marta Iñiguez de Heredia].
  • Epistemologies of African Conflicts: Violence, Evolutionism, and the War in Sierra Leone. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. (Reissued in paperback, 2017) [Winner of the ATWS Toyin Falola Africa Book Award for 2013].

 Articles/ Book Chapters

  • ‘Making Neoliberal Subjects: Precarity, Unemployed Youth, and Development Intervention in Sierra Leone,’ Journal of International Relations and Development (2020): 1-23; https://doi.org/10.1057/s41268-020-00200-0.
  • 'Africa in/and International Relations: An Introduction.' In Recentering Africa in International Relations: Beyond Lack, Peripherality, and Failure, edited by Marta Iñiguez de Heredia & Zubairu Wai, 1-29. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
  • ‘International Relations and the Discourse of State Failure in Africa.’ In Recentering Africa in International Relations: Beyond Lack, Peripherality, and Failure, edited by Marta Iñiguez de Heredia & Zubairu Wai, 31-58. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
  • ‘On the Question of Method: Mudimbe, Africanism and the Problem of Translation.’ In Translation Revisited: Contesting the Sense of African Social Realities, edited by Jean-Bernard Ouédraogo, Mamadou Diawara, Elísio S. Macamo, 376-411. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018.
  • 'On the Predicament of Africanist Knowledge: Mudimbe, Gnosis and the Challenge of the Colonial Library.' International Journal of Francophone Studies 18, nos. 2&3 (2015): 261-288.
  • ‘Elections and the Challenge of Democratisation in Sierra Leone’, in National Democratic Reforms in Africa: Changes and Challenges edited by Said Adejumobi, 219-266. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
  • 'Empire's New Clothes: Africa, Liberal Interventionism, and Contemporary World Order.' Review of African Political Economy 41, no. 142 (2014): 483-499.
  • ‘On the Banality of Violence: State, Power and the Everyday in Africa’ in Violence in/and the Great Lakes: The Thought of V.Y. Mudimbe and Beyond, edited by Grant Farred, Leonhard Praeg and Kaseraka Kavwahirehi, 128-160. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2014.
  • 'Neo-Patrimonialism and the Discourse of State Failure in Africa.' Review of African Political Economy 39, no. 131 (2012): 27-43.
  • ‘Conflict and Peacebuilding in Sierra Leone: The Role of the Sierra Leonean Diasporas’, in When the State fails: Studies on Intervention in the Sierra Leone Civil War, edited by Tunde Zack-Williams, 203-246. London: Pluto, 2012.
  • 'Elections as a Strategy for Conflict Transformation and Democratization? Liberal Peace and the 1996 Elections in Sierra Leone.' African Journal of Political Science and International Relations 5, no. 4 (2011): 229-244.
  • 'Whither African Development? A Preparatory for an Alternative African Reformulation of the Concept of Development.' 32, no. 4 (2007): 71-98