Professional and Biographical Information


DPhil (Ph.D.) Politics, Oxford University (1989)
B.A, M.A., Government, St. John’s University (1981 and 1983)

Teaching Interests

My teaching interest focuses on African political and social history; African politics; African diaspora studies; African migrations and globalization; Religion and African states. 

Research Interests

My research revolves around the following themes in African historical and political studies: traditional socio-political structures in modern African states; development and governance in African states; African migrations and globalization; state-society relations in Nigeria; religion and state formation in Nigeria. 

Awards and Honors

Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship

Woodrow Wilson Public Policy Fellowship

Ford Foundation Research fellowship

Distinguished Scholar’s Award, Association of Global South Studies

State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. 

Selected Publications

Olufemi Vaughan, Nigerian Chiefs: Traditional Power in Modern Politics, 1890s - 1990s, Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2000, pp. v-293 (Cecil B. Currey Book Prize, Association of Global South Studies, 2001). Paperback edition, 2006.

Olufemi Vaughan, Religion and the Making of Nigeria, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016, pp. xi- 311.

Olufemi Vaughan, Chiefs, Power, and Social Change: Chiefship and Modern Politics in Botswana, 1890s – 1990s, Trenton, N.J: Africa World Press, 2003, pp. v-218.

Olufemi Vaughan (co-editor) Legitimacy and the State in Twentieth-Century Africa, London: Macmillan Press, 1993, pp. vi-284.

Olufemi Vaughan (co-editor) West African Migrations: Transnational and Global Pathways in a New Century, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, pp. 1-280.

Olufemi Vaughan (co-editor) Transnational Africa & Globalization, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, pp. 1-266.

Olufemi Vaughan (editor) Tradition and Politics: Indigenous Political Structures in Africa, Trenton, N.J:  Africa World Press, 2005, pp. v-406.

O. Vaughan, “Chieftaincy Politics and Communal Identity in Colonial Western Nigeria, 1893-1951,” Journal of African History, 44, 2003, pp. 283-302.

O. Vaughan, “Assessing Grassroots Politics and Community Development in Nigeria,” African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society, 94, 1995, pp. 501-518.

O. Vaughan, “Communalism, Legitimation, and Party Politics at the Grassroots: The case of the Yoruba,” International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, 7, 3, 1994, pp. 419-440.

O. Vaughan, “Chieftaincy Politics and Social Relations in Nigeria,” Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 29, 3, 1991, pp. 308-327.

O. Vaughan, “Les Chefs Traditionnels Face au Pouvior Politique,” Politique Africaine,’ 32, 1988, pp. 44-56.

O. Vaughan, “The Politics of Global Marginalization,” Journal of Asian and African Studies, 29, 3-4, 1994, pp. 186-204.

O. Vaughan, (co-author) “Muslim Women's Rights in Northern Nigeria,” Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Africa Program Occasional Papers), 2015, pp. 1-7.  

Scholarly and Professional Activities

Senior Editor, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Methods, Sources, and Historiography in African History

Co-Editor, Routledge Handbook on Contemporary Nigeria.

Associate Editor, Oxford Research Encyclopedia in African History

Member, Advisory Board, Africa Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholar


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