Unpacking the Causes and Catalysts of Insurgencies in Africa

In: The African Review
Herman Butime Lecturer; Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Makerere University Kampala, 7062 Uganda

Search for other papers by Herman Butime in
Current site
Google Scholar
View More View Less
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



In the 20th and 21st centuries, insurgency has emerged as a mechanism for violently reconstituting the post-colonial state in Africa. Yet, despite its enduring influence on the politics of Africa, insurgency continues to present with intriguing dynamics. Existing literature tends to split the origins of insurgencies on this continent into underlying and immediate causes. Also, with the upsurge in Islamist terrorism in the Post-Cold War era, there has emerged a tendency to treat Islamist insurgencies as different from non-Islamist insurgencies in terms of the contradictions that trigger these phenomena. This article asserts that the fluid dynamics in the onset of insurgency blur the imaginary line separating causes from catalysts of insurgencies in Africa. Equally, the causes and catalysts of Islamist insurgencies are not significantly different from those that precipitate non-Islamist insurgencies.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 444 328 23
Full Text Views 21 15 0
PDF Views & Downloads 42 29 0