Everyone following the news from Africa has heard about Boko Haram. Since the kidnapping of 276 girls of Chibok in 2014 in the Northeast Nigeria, the jihadi group became known worldwide.  Hans’s thesis discusses the emergence of Boko Haram violence in the Lake Chad Basin region, with a focus on Cameroon. It aims to understand the dynamics of mobilization, statehood, transformations related to the jihadist insurgency in Cameroon. The research combines qualitative methods such as field investigations and observation.

This work stands out in three significant ways. First, it examines the Boko Haram phenomenon from the perspective of Cameroon, rather than solely from the Far North, using a long-term (ten-year) approach and extended field research. Second, Boko Haram serves as a starting point for a theoretical exploration of armed (jihadi) mobilizations and the dialectic between state building and “destatization”. Finally, the thesis addresses one of the main gaps in research on Boko Haram in the Far North, namely the complex relationship between jihadist violence and local social dynamics. In doing so, it contributes to the theoretical debate on armed (jihadi) mobilizations, State formation, and social transformations.