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Dr Olayinka Ajala
Associate Lecturer



Dr Olayinka Ajala holds a doctorate degree in Politics from the University of York. Prior to that, he graduated from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex where he studied Globalisation and Development. Olayinka also holds a Bachelors degree in Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria.

In 2014, Olayinka was a visiting fellow/lecturer at the Combating Terrorism Centre, United States Military Academy, West Point. He has consulted for local and international organisations including the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), the Government of Belgium and was a lead panel analyst on 'Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Africa', a round table discussion at the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.



Olayinka's PhD research explored the dynamics of intra-state conflicts in resource endowed developing countries through the lens of Human Security. He analysed the impact of human (in)security on the outbreak of conflicts and the formation of insurgent groups. The PhD research was highly impactful and fetched him a research fellowship at the Combating Terrorism Centre, United States Military Academy, West Point. Since the completion of his doctorate research, Olayinka has been involved in several research projects including a research carried out for the Government of Belgium exploring the impacts of cultism and conflicts on migrants arriving in Europe from Africa.

Olayinka's research interests include poverty and conflict, human security, human rights, community development, formation of insurgent groups, transformation of insurgent groups into terrorist organisations, terrorism and counter-terrorism, responsibility to protect as well as conflict resolution modelling.


Selected publications

Journal Articles

Human Security in the Niger Delta: Exploring the Interplay of Resource Governance, Community Structure and Conflicts’ Journal of Sustainable Development, Law and Policy, 7 (2) (2016) 81-103

 ‘MEND in the south, Boko Haram in the North: Political Authority and the Emergence of insurgent groups in Nigeria’ Small Wars and Insurgencies ( Autumn 2017)

Book Chapter

Evolution of Agricultural Policies and Laws in Nigeria. In R. Ako and D. Olawuyi (Eds.) Food and Agricultural Law: Readings on Sustainable Agriculture and Law in Nigeria (2015)

External activities


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Editorial duties

Reviewer- Democracy and Security journal

Invited talks and conferences

‘Elections and the Transformation of Militias in Nigeria’ 7th European Conference on African Studies (Basel, Switzerland 29 June- 1 July 2017)

The impact of human security on the outbreak of violent conflict in the oil rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria’ Combating Terrorism Centre (CTC) Third Cadet/Student Conference on Terrorism, Insurgency, Cyber and Asymmetric Conflicts  (New York, USA April 1-2, 2014)

‘Conflict, Ethnicity and Resource Control: An Evaluation of the Impact of Community Structure in Conflict Resolution in the Niger-Delta Region of Nigeria’  23rd Annual Africa/Diaspora Conference, Centre for African Peace and Conflict Resolution, California State University (Sacramento April 24-26, 2014)

‘Conflict precipitated by human security: the interplay of group identities, territorial demarcation and the role of the state in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria’ 5th European Conference on African Study, African Dynamics in a Multipolar World (Lisbon Portugal, April 2013)

‘Human Security, Oil Exploration and Conflict in Nigeria’Sheffield Institute for International Development, 4th Annual Postgraduate Conference- Development Frontiers: Towards a post-2015 agenda (Sheffield UK, 12 March, 2013)

‘Cultural Diplomacy in Africa: A forum for young leaders’ Institute of Cultural Diplomacy (Berlin Germany, April 2009)

‘China as a Development actor: Role of China in Africa’ Tsinghua University Beijing China (Beijing China, April 2009)

Olayinka Ajala image

Contact details

Dr Olayinka Ajala
Department of Politics
University of York
YO10 5DD

Feedback and Guidance hours (Spring term) - Tuesdays 14:00-15:00 & Thursdays 11:00-12:00