Associate Professor Of Political Science, Ohio University
I'm a political science professor and Director of the International Development Studies Program at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, researching and teaching about religious and ethnic politics in West Africa (and particularly Nigeria).
My newest book, Boko Haram (co-authored with Carmen McCain, Ohio University Press, 2018), is an accessible, comprehensive history of one of the world's deadliest yet most misunderstood terrorist organizations. My first, Muslims Talking Politics: Islam, Democracy, and Law in Northern Nigeria (University of Chicago Press, 2016), explores the relationship between Islamic revivalism and democratic politics in northern Nigeria.
I've been interviewed on-air by the BBC World Service and published in the Washington Post. I regularly provide briefings and analysis on political and religious affairs in Nigeria for numerous governmental agencies and offer expert witness testimony in immigration and asylum cases.
"Kendhammer retails libelous generalizations...is unarmed in the battle of ideas...resort[s] to the intellectual equivalent of thuggery...displays an embarrassing lack of a grasp of the facts on the ground in the Middle East...[engages in] stifling intellectual conformity [and] shallow propagandizing..."
Brandon Kendhammer is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of International Development Studies at Ohio University. He holds a B.A. in French and political science from Coe College and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
His research and teaching interests are in the area of Nigerian politics, political Islam, and ethnic politics. His first book, Muslims Talking Politics: Islam, Democracy, and Law in Northern Nigeria, was published in 2016 by the University of Chicago Press; it explores the emergence of popular demands for the expansion of Islamic law in new Muslim-majority democracies. His second, Boko Haram (co-authored w/Carmen McCain), was published in 2018 by Ohio University Press; it is an accessible social history of the Boko Haram insurgency and its impact on Nigerian politics, society, and popular culture. His most recent work focuses on the perils of ethno-religious powersharing in uncertain African democracies and the challenges of “countering violent extremism” (CVE) policy in West Africa.
Dr. Kendhammer has lived and conducted research in Cameroon and Nigeria, and was a Fulbright Fellow in Nigeria in 2007-08, based at Usmanu Danfodiyo University in Sokoto. His work has appeared in many academic journals, including Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Comparative Politics, Journal of Human Rights, and Ethnic and Racial Studies. He is also the co-author of a USAID-funded report on countering Boko Haram’s violent extremism in northern Nigeria and a USIP-funded report on violent extremism and higher education in Cameroon. He speaks regularly on these subjects to government and international media.