The Perfect Storm: A Study of Boko Haram, Religious Extremism, and Inequality in Nigeria

  • Caroline Varin


This chapter explores the conditions that led to the rise of religious extremism in Nigeria and Boko Haram in particular. It demonstrates that Boko Haram rose out of near perfect conditions in Nigeria—high levels of inequality, poverty, and illiteracy; a history of religious tensions; government apathy; military failures and opportunistic charismatic preachers/leaders. This has all been exacerbated by the state’s failure to respond in a timely and measured manner to push back the Islamist insurgency.


Boko Haram Islamist terrorism Religious extremism Nigeria 



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  1. Interview 1. Nigerian Military Scholar, in Abuja, Nigeria, August 2015.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline Varin
    • 1
  1. 1.Regent’s University LondonLondonUK

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