Dr. Osita Afoaku is an expert in U.S.-African/Third World relations, human rights, democratization, state reconstruction, and sustainable development in Africa. Prior to joining IU in 2003, he was professor and department chair of Africana Studies at University of Northern Colorado.
Afoaku's research and teaching areas straddle interdisciplinary boundaries of public policy, comparative politics, international relations and foreign policy. His scholarship has been centrally concerned with understanding the interplay of forces affecting the tension between state-centric notions of security and the ideals of human security such as democracy, human rights, and sustainable development.
A major focus of Afoaku's current work is the multiple drivers of bilateral relations between the States and Third World regimes. Building on his previous works on the subject, Afoaku is currently working on a book project entitled U.S. Foreign Policy and Third World Regimes: Patron-Client Relations in the International Sphere. Among the issues addressed in this volume is the relevance of policy tools that facilitated U.S. intervention in Third World countries during the Cold War era in the post 9/11 global environment.
Afoaku is also investigating the implications of Islamist terrorism relative to the legitimacy of the Nigerian state. His recent study attempts to show that the ineptitude of Nigeria's security organizations, which accounts for the effectiveness of Boko Haram-the fundamentalist Muslim sect that has terrorized northeastern Nigeria since 2010- is indicative of a much larger, albeit previously ignored, problem of state failure.