Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

Prof Jeremiah O. Arowosegbe

Curriculum Vitae | Publications
Prof Jeremiah O. Arowosegbe
AvH Scholarship Holder
joarowosegbe0373 (at)

Humboldt-Universität → Präsidium → Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät → Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften → Geschichte Afrikas
Visiting address
Georgenstraße 23
Mailing address
Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin

Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers

Funding Institution: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Funding Period: 01/2022 - 06/2023


Resarch interest and teaching specialization:

  • African Development
  • African Intellectual History
  • African Studies
  • African Politics
  • African Political Thought
  • Political Theory
  • Political Thought


Ongoing Research:


(i) Academic freedom, intellectual labour and the state in Africa. This research is based on a book manuscript. It examines the postcolonial trajectory of African intellectuals-scholars in their preoccupations with higher education and knowledge production in African universities understood here as transnational communities of faculties and students. It draws on the experience and role of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Nigeria and discusses their engagement with the state in Africa. It locates the state as the primary custodian and linchpin of development in the society; and understands the university as the institution that must train the human resources needed for development. It highlights the impact of the contrasting pressures generated by the opposing dialectics of oppression by the state, and the resistance transmitted by the intellectuals-scholars, on knowledge production and the transformation of the postcolonial research infrastructure across Africa and Nigeria in particular. Attention is paid to the challenges, compromises and failings of African intellectuals-scholars in relation to the salient attributes and character of the state––its authoritarian; dependent; non-developmental; and subversive nature––among other problems endemic in its pathologies vis-a-vis how these affect academic freedom and the institutional autonomy of the universities across the continent since the end of the 1980s.


(ii) Autochthony, democratization and state building in Africa. This study is based on a book manuscript. This book discusses the ongoing crisis of democratization in Africa. It draws on Nigeria and underlines the centrality of the state, and its role, especially its institutional dysfunctionalities and failures in compounding and escalating conflicts across the political system. It examines the question of how postcolonial dilemmas of ethnic citizenship undermining the national question, particularly with regard to the privileged access to land and other scarce resources defined by indigenes in Nigeria can be traced back to colonial framings of minorities that have led to sustained ethno-linguistic and ethno-religious conflicts over access to as well as control of these resources.