Dr. Abu Bakarr Bah is Presidential Research Professor of Sociology and department chair at Northern Illinois University. He is the founding director of the Institute for Research and Policy Integration in Africa (IRPIA) and faculty associate at the Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies. Professor Bah is also founding Editor-in-Chief of African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review and African Editor of Critical Sociology. He was Senior Fellow at the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and a Visiting Distinguished Faculty (at large) at Riara University (Kenya). Bah is a globally renowned scholar of international security and peace and conflict issues and a frequent guest on international media.

Professor Bah’s research interests include international security, ethnic conflicts, peacebuilding, democracy, statebuilding and knowledge production. He has conducted research and written on countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Morocco, USA and Bulgaria. His works include International Statebuilding in West Africa: Civil Wars and New Humanitarianism in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Côte d’Ivoire (Indiana University Press, 2024, with Nikolas Emmanuel), African Security: Local Issues and Global Connections (Ohio University Press, 2024), Post-Conflict Institutional Design: Peacebuilding and Democracy in Africa (Zed Books, 2020), International Security and Peacebuilding: Africa, the Middle East, and Europe (Indiana University Press, 2017), Breakdown and Reconstitution: Democracy, the Nation-State, and Ethnicity in Nigeria (Lexington Books, 2005) and Ethnic Conflicts and Management Strategies in Bulgaria, Sierra Leone and Nigeria (PEFS and John Archers Publishers, 2003). His articles have been repeatedly published in top journals such as African AffairsAdministrative Theory & Praxis, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies, Journal of International PeacekeepingCritical SociologyEthnic Studies Review, International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, Journal of Political and Military Sociology and Africa Today. His current project is on “Glocalized Security" which examines the intersection of domestic and external issues in international security.

Professor Bah is a recipient of the 2014 and 2016 Carnegie Foundation African Diaspora Fellowships, the 2012 Council of American Overseas Research Centers Multi-Country Research Fellowship, the 2017 United Nations/PeaceNexus grant and the 2015 Outstanding International Educator Award at NIU. Most recently, he was awarded the prestigious Presidential Research, Scholarship and Artistry Professorship at NIU (2022-2026).

Professor Bah is a frequent guest on international media programs such as Al Jazeera TV, FOX TV and China Radio International. He has been an invited speaker at over forty major institutions such as Stanford University, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, University of South Florida, Renmin University (China), University of Nairobi (Kenya), Kisii University (Kenya), Indonesian International Islamic University, Universitas Islam Negeri (UIN) Jakarta; Sakarya University (Turkey), Mohamed VI Polytechnic University (Morocco), Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa, Italy), University of Sierra Leone, US Department of State, Social Science Research Council (New York), Global Center for Pluralism (Canada), GIGA (Germany), Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding (CCCPA), Policy Center for the New South (Morocco), and Institut Prospective et Sécurité en Europe (France). He has also served as consultant to the UN Peacebuilding Commission, the PeaceNexus Foundation and Bertelsmann Stiftung.

Professor Bah has served on the board of organizations such as the West African Research Association, the International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation, Jane Adeny Memorial School for Girls in Kenya and Adventure Works.

Professor Bah received his doctoral degree from the New School for Social Research (New York) and undergraduate degree from the University of Sofia in Bulgaria.


Abu Bakarr Bah, Ph.D.

Department of Sociology
Zulauf 807

Back to top