Rebel governance? A literature review of Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa Province
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The literature on rebel governance has fundamentally challenged the idea that ‘governance’ is the sole prerogative of ‘government’. Despite important advances over the past decade, studies have largely addressed rebel governance from an ‘institutionalist’ approach. This review seeks to go beyond an ‘institutionalist’ approach, by understanding ‘governance’ as the ‘whole set of practices and norms that govern daily life in a specific territory’. Drawing on a thorough review of literature on Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), this working paper analyses five under-examined independent variables that shape rebel governance in Nigeria’s north-east and Niger: illegitimate state practices, community resilience, and cohesion, external counterinsurgency actions, ‘big men’, and ideology.