Dr Zainab Mai-bornu

Lecturer in International Politics

School/Department: History Politics and International Relations, School of



Dr Zainab Mai-Bornu joined the School of History Politics and International Relations as Lecturer in International Politics in April 2021. Previously she was a Research Fellow at the Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) Coventry University. She was also a Postdoctoral Fellow (ESRC) at the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath. She completed her PhD in the Department of Politics Languages and International Studies at the University of Bath in 2017.

Beyond academia Zainab worked at the National Board for Technical Education Nigeria where she led the TVET STEP-B science-training projects supported by the World Bank and also the Katsina State Government also in Nigeria. She has broad knowledge and experience as a project manager having worked in the educational and international development sectors in Nigeria. Zainab is a member of the Intelligence Security and Strategic Studies (ISSS) research cluster and the Institute for Environmental Futures (University of Leicester). 


My primary research focuses on inequalities conflict gender and development. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council my recent project ‘Bringing Women’s Voices Back in: Gender and Oil Conflict in the Niger Delta’ highlights the comparative roles of women in conflict settings. The project adopts an innovative mixed-methods approach employing the use of participatory video to document local women’s experiences needs and hopes from their own perspectives. Much of my current work is concerned with amplifying marginalised voices within the context of vernacular security.


Mai-Bornu, Z.L. and Allen, F., 2022. Chosen Trauma, Emotions and Memory in Movements: The Ogoni and Ijaw in the Niger Delta. Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 14(1), pp.49-62.

Mai-Bornu, Z.L. 2021. Liberating Comparisons in Conflict Studies. In Liberating Comparisons? Reconsidering comparative approaches, Cooper-Knock S.J. and Ndlovu, D.S. (eds.) York Tree Publications.

Crawford, G., Mai-Bornu, Z. & Landstrom, K. 2021. Decolonising knowledge production on Africa:    Why it is still necessary and what can be done in Journal of the British Academy vol.9 supplementary issue 1

Mai-Bornu, Z. 2020. Dynamics of Leadership Styles within the Ogoni and Ijaw Movements in the Niger Delta. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 8(2), 823-850.

Mai-Bornu, Z. 2020. Political Violence and Oil in Africa: The Case of Niger Delta. Palgrave Macmillan, Switzerland AG.

Mai-Bornu, Z.  2019. Oil, Conflict and the Dynamics of Resource Struggle in the Niger Delta: A Comparison of the Ogoni and Ijaw Movements. The Extractive Industries and Society, 6(4), 1282-1291.

Mai-Bornu, Z. 2015. Boko Haram's Six Years of Terror Have Revealed the Depth of Nigeria's Troubles. The Conversation

Mai-Bornu, Z. 2015. Religious Identities and the Escalation of Conflict between ISIS and the West. E-International Relations

Research Film: 
2019  Bringing Women's Voices Back in: Gender and Oil Conflict in the Niger Delta (September 2019).


• Africa

• Conflict (nonviolence and violence)

• Natural resources

• Inequalities

• Gender

• Development

• Vernacular security

• Decolonial participatory methodologies


PL1019 - Politics Power and Ethics;

PL1016 - Order and Disorder: International Relations 1989 to the Present;

PL2094 - Political Analysis 1: Understanding political science research;

PL3150 - International Relations Statecraft and Political Conflict in Africa;

PL7161 - International Relations After the Cold War;

PL7076 - US foreign Policy;

PL 7597 - Political Economy of International Development.

Press and media

Conflict and development issues in sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria)


Visiting Research Fellow Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations Coventry University (CTPSR). I co-convene the Africa Research Group at CTPSR.

Visiting Research Fellow Centre for Development Studies University of Bath.


International Studies Association Development Studies Association; British International Studies Association; American Political Science Association.

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