Associate Professor and Academic Chair,
Transnational Threats and Counterterrorism
As an associate professor and academic chair for transnational threats and counterterrorism, Dr. Benjamin P. Nickels partners with African civil society and government leaders on security solutions that promote human rights, democratic values, and civil–military relations. He has worked with security professionals on the ground in 21 African countries and several European nations. Dr. Nickels’ research focuses on terrorism and counterterrorism, political violence, and human security in the Sahel, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa, as well as security cooperation in Africa and the role of U.S., European, and other international actors. He serves on the editorial board of the Marine Corps University Journal and as a contributor on Sahel and North African security for Sada, a journal of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Prior to joining the Africa Center, Dr. Nickels was faculty researcher at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, where he analyzed the impacts of counterterrorism campaigns against Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, homegrown Islamist terrorism in the United Kingdom, and other threats.
Fluent in French and familiar with Arabic, Dr. Nickels has lectured in French and English at government meetings, international forums, and leading academic institutions, such as Georgetown and Harvard.
Dr. Nickels has received numerous academic awards, including a Fulbright scholarship to Morocco and a Chateaubriand fellowship in France. He holds a doctorate with distinction in history from the University of Chicago.
Areas of Expertise
Counterterrorism, Countering Extremism, Irregular Warfare, Identity Conflict, Democratization, Regional and International Security Cooperation, Sahel, North Africa, Horn of Africa, Algeria
Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict: Pathways toward Terrorism and Genocide, 8:3, 2015
CTC Sentinel, April 30, 2015
IPI Global Observatory, March 16, 2015
Sada: Middle East Analysis, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, April 3, 2014
Sada: Middle East Analysis, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October 10, 2013
Sada: Middle East Analysis, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, June 6, 2013
Geneva Centre for Security Policy, March 25, 2013
Sada: Middle East Analysis, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, January 3, 2013
“Somalia: Operation Restore Hope and Operation Gothic Serpent (1992–1993)” in Counterterrorism: From the Cold War to the War on Terror; Volume Two: 21st Century Global Counterterrorism Measures, Frank Shanty, ed.
“Task Force 777 (Egypt),” in Counterterrorism: From the Cold War to the War on Terror, Volume Two, Frank Shanty, ed.
“Advancing Strategic Responses to Al-Shabaab” / « Avancer des réponses stratégiques contre Al-Shabaab » in Les Défis politiques et stratégiques en Somalie, Dr. Amandine Gnanguenon, ed.
“Reflections on Violence” on Violence: Six Sideways Reflections, by Slavoj Žižek
Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict: Pathways toward Terrorism and Genocide, 2010
“France and Algeria at War: Nation, Identity, and Memory” on The Invention of Decolonization: The Algerian War and the Remaking of France, by Todd Shepard; Francis Jeanson: A Dissident Intellectual from the French Resistance to the Algerian War by Marie-Pierre Ulloa; and History and the Culture of Nationalism in Algeria by James McDougall
History: Reviews of New Books, 2010
“Terror, Trauma, and Text: Writing Counterrevolution in Colonial Algeria” in Culture as Text, Text as Culture, Elodie Lafitte, Christina Wall, and Mary Cobb Wittrock, eds.
“Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb” in The Encyclopedia of Modern Middle East Wars: The United States in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq Conflicts, Specter C. Tucker, ed.
Perspectives on Terrorism: A Journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative, May 2010
“Qadaffi, Muammar al- (b. 1942)” in The International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest: 1500 to the Present, Immanuel Ness, ed.
The Journal of Conflict Studies, 2008
Perspectives on Political Science, Summer 2008
Woodrow Wilson Center, October 2015
Africa Center for Strategic Studies, February 2013
SenePlus, December 22, 2015
Bloomberg News, June 15, 2015
VICE News, July 25, 2014
The Nation, April 15, 2014
IRIN News, May 10, 2014
The Africa Report, February 25, 2014
Epoch Times, April 9, 2013
The New York Times, March 17, 2013