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Dr Luca Raineri is Assistant Professor in security studies. His research draws on critical security and conflict studies, and investigates in particular transnational phenomena of security relevance (trafficking, crime, terrorism) with reference to Africa, European borders, and EU external action in general. Since 2010, he has been engaged in several field research missions in Mali, Niger, Tunisia and Senegal. He is the author of numerous scientific publications in international academic journals, contributions in books and monographs - including, most recently, La Crisi Libica e l'Ordine Internazionale (ed. Carocci, 2022).

Dr Raineri holds a degree in political theory from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris (2008), and was a Pensionnaire Etranger at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (2009). He also holds a Master degree in Human Rights and Conflict Management (2011), and a PhD in Global Politics and Human Rights from the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa (2016). He was a member of the Research School on peace and conflict in Oslo (2014-2016) and a visiting researcher at the Autonomous University of Madrid (2017). Dr Raineri has also worked as a consultant for numerous research centres and international organisations – governmental and non-governmental – dealing with peacebuilding, security and development, with a particular focus on West Africa.


Dr Raineri is co-Principal Investigator of the research project SHUT-MED: Securitizing Human Transit Across the Central Mediterranean migratory corridor: shifting mobility governance discourses and practices in Italy, Malta, Libya and Niger, sponsored by the Italian Ministry of University Research, and focusing on migration governance from the perspective of critical security studies.

Dr Raineri is also involved in the research project ETRA-ID, Engaging Traditional and Religious Authorities in the Sahel: The Role of Interreligious Dialogue, sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and focusing on dialogue and peace-building.



  • La crisi libica e l’ordine internazionale, Rome: Carocci 2022. 
  • Jihad in Africa: Terrorismo e controterrorismo nel Sahel (with Baldaro E., eds.), Bologna: Il Mulino 2022.
  • Fringe regionalism. When peripheries become regions (with Mattheis F., Russo A.), London: Palgrave 2018.


Peer-reviewed journal articles:

  • Reiteration or reinvention? Jihadi governance and gender practices in the Sahel (with Berlingozzi, L.), International Feminist Journal of Politics, 2023.
  • The data that we do (not) have: studying drug trafficking and organised crime in Africa (with Strazzari, F.), Trends in Organised Crime, 2023.
  • Imagined Libya: geopolitics of the margins, L’Année du Maghreb 28(2), 2022
  • The place of Africa in international relations: the centrality of the margins in Global IR (with Baldaro, E.), Italian Political Science Review, 2021. 
  • Drug Smuggling and the Stability of Fragile States. The diverging trajectories of Mali and Niger (with Strazzari, F.),Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 2021. 
  • The Bioeconomy of Sahel Borders: Informal Practices of Revenue and Data Extraction, Geopolitics, 2021. 
  • Explaining the Rise of Jihadism in Africa: the Crucial Case of the Islamic State of the Greater Sahara, Terrorism and Political Violence, 2020. 
  • Responding to Hybridity in an Unstable Neighborhood: The Efficiency of the EU State-centric Approach to the Crisis in Libya and Ukraine (with Ivashchenko-Stadnik, K., Petrov, R.), Kyiv-Mohyla Law and Politics Journal, 6/2020
  • Goldmining in the Sahara-Sahel: the political geography of state making and unmaking, International Spectator 55(4), 2020.
  • Azawad: a Parastate between Nomads and Mujahidins? (with Baldaro, E.), Nationalities papers 48(1), 2020.
  • Security and informality in Libya: militarisation without military?”, Conflict, Security & Development 19(6), 2019
  • (B)ordering hybrid security? EU stabilisation practices in the Sahara-Sahel region (with Strazzari, F.), Ethnopolitics 18(5), 2019.
  • The Malta Connection: a corrupting island in a corrupting sea? European Review of Organised Crime 5(1), 2019.
  • Human Smuggling across Niger: State-Sponsored Protection Rackets and Contradictory Security Imperatives”, Journal of Modern African Studies 56(1), 2018.
  • ISIS and Al-Qaeda as Strategies and Political Imaginaries in Africa: A Comparison between Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (with Martini A.), Civil Wars 19(4), 2017.
  • Mali: the short-sightedness of donor-driven peacebuilding”, Journal of Peacebuilding and Development 11(1), 2016.
  • State, Secession and Jihad: The Micro-Political Economy of Conflict in North Mali” (with Strazzari F.), African Security8(4), 2015.


Book chapters:

  • Sectarianism in Mali, Syria and Iraq: a resource for jihadist mobilization, counterinsurgency, or regime survival? (with Powers C., Lacroix S.). In: Bøås M., Ben-Nun G., Engel U., Osland K. (eds.) Resisting Radicalization; Exploring the Non-Occurrence of Violent Extremism. Boulder (CO): Lynne Rienner 2023 (forthcoming).
  • Localising Africa in international relations: the (double) realist bias of Global IR (with Baldaro E.). In: D’Amato S., Dian M., Russo A. (eds.) International Relations and Area Studies. London: Springer 2023 (forthcoming)
  • The Bioeconomy of Sahel Borders: Informal Practices of Revenue and Data Extraction. In: Vammen I., Cold-Ravnkilde S. M., Lucht H. (eds.) The Long Shadow of the Border. Migrants, Brokers and European Border Governance in Africa. London: Routledge 2023.
  • Smuggling migrants from Africa to Europe: threat, resource, or bargaining chip?. In: Achilli L., Kyle D. (eds.) The World of Human Smuggling. New York: Johns Hopkins University Press 2023.
  • Sex, Drugs and Rocket Launchers: Traffics and Conflicts in the Sahara-Sahel. In: Carbone G., Casola C. (eds.) Sahel: 10 years of Instability. Local, Regional and International Dynamics. Milan: Ledi Publishing ISPI Dossier, 2022.
  • Drought, Desertification and Displacement: Re-Politicising the Climate-Conflict Nexus in the Sahel. In: Dessì A., Fusco F. (eds.) Climate Change and Security in the Mediterranean: Understanding the Nexus, Unpacking International Policy Responses. Rome-Barcelona: NewMed Research Network 2022.
  • Sands. In: Faleg G., Narbone L. (eds.) African Spaces. The new geopolitical frontlines. Paris: European Union Institute for Security Studies Chaillot Paper 2022. 
  • Dissecting the EU response to the ‘migration crisis’ (with Strazzari F.). In: Pogodda S., Richmond O., Mac Ginty R. (eds.) The EU and Crisis Response. Manchester: Manchester University Press 2021.
  • Migrant smuggling and the social organisation of cross-border mobility. In: Gallien M., Weigand F. (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Smuggling. London: Routledge 2021.
  • The collateral damage of the war on smugglers along the Central Mediterranean Route. In: Fargues P., Rango M., (eds.) Migration in West and North Africa and across the Mediterranean: Trends, risks, development and governance. Geneva: IOM Publications, 2020.
  • Niger, recent political history. In: Frame I. (ed.) Africa South of the Sahara yearbook 2020, 50th ed.. London: Routledge 2020.
  • Resilience to what? The EU fostering capacity-building in the Sahel through CSDP-missions (with Baldaro E.). In: Cusumano E., Hofmaier S. (eds.) Projecting resilience across the Mediterranean. London: Palgrave 2019.
  • Fous de Dieu ou indignés ? Crise de gouvernance, polarisations identitaires et populisme religieux au Mali. In: Lecocq B., Niang A. (eds.) Identités Sahéliennes en temps de crise. Histoires, enjeux et perspectives. Berlin: LIT Verlag 2019.
  • Cross-border smuggling in north Niger: the morality of the informal and the construction of a hybrid order. In: Polese A., Russo A., Strazzari F. (eds.), Governance Beyond the Law: the immoral, the illegal, the informal. London: Palgrave 2019.
  • Hybrid governance and mobility in the Sahel: stabilisation practices put to the test (with Ba Y.). In: Venturi B. (ed.)Governance and Security in the Sahel: tackling mobility, demography and climate change. FEPS/IAI: Rome 2019. 
  • Drug trafficking in the Sahara Desert: follow the money and find land-grabbing. In: Chiodelli F., Hull T., Hudson R. (eds.) Corrupt Places: The Illicit and illegal in the Regional and Urban Governance and DevelopmentLondon: Routledge 2017.
  • La mobilitazione della società civile africana contro land e water grabbing. Conflittualità interne ed esterne. In: Rognoni M., Vasconi E. (eds.) Democrazia, società civile e sviluppo in Africa subsahariana. Bologna: AIEP 2017
  • Sahara Desert: the centre of all concerns at the periphery of the world. A contestation of geopolitical partitions from a nomadic perspective. In: Peeren E., Stuit H., Van Weyenberg A. (eds.) Peripheral Visions in the Globalising Present: Community, Contestation, Critique. Leiden: Brill 2016.


Open-access research reports:

  • Lessons learnt on EU’s measures to prevent violent extremism in North Africa and the Sahel (with Strazzari F.), Policy Brief, PREVEX 2021.
  • Enabling environments, drivers, and occurrence/non- occurrence of violent extremism (with Bøås M., Osland K., Iocchi A., Haavik V., Cissé A., Mahamane L., Lounnas D., Benmrahar A.), Working Paper, PREVEX 2021
  • The EU and other stakeholders’ prevention strategy towards violent extremism in the Maghreb and the Sahel (with Cissé A., Kalpakian J., Lounnas, D. Strazzari F.), Policy Brief, PREVEX 2020.
  • Sahel Climate Conflicts? When (Fighting) Climate Change Fuels Terrorism, Policy Brief, EUISS, 2020.
  • Dogmatism or Pragmatism? Violent extremism and gender relationships in central Sahel, Policy Report, International Alert and UNICRI, 2020.
  • EU pressure on Niger to stop migrants is reshaping cross-border economies (with Lucht H.), Policy Brief, DIIS Copenhagen, 2019.
  • Navigating borderlands in the Sahel: border security governance and mixed migration in Liptako-Gourma (with Golovko E.), Policy Report, Mixed Migration Centre Dakar/Geneva, 2019.
  • Fulfilling Implausible Expectations. Reducing Migratory Flows From Libya Amidst Porous Borders, Policy Brief 2018/14, Robert Schuman Centre, EUI, 2018.
  • If victims become perpetrators. Factors contributing to vulnerability and resilience to violent extremism in the central Sahel, Policy Report, International Alert and UNICRI, 2018.
  • The implementation of EU Crisis Response in Libya: Bridging theory and practice (with Loschi C., Strazzari F.), Working Paper, EUNPACK, 2018.
  • The Security-Migration-Development Nexus in the Sahel: A Reality Check (with Rossi A.), Working Paper 17, IAI, 2017.
  • Perceptions about the EU’s Crisis Response in Libya (with Loschi C.), Policy Brief, EUNPACK, 2017.
  • Jihadism in Mali and the Sahel: evolving dynamics and patterns (with Strazzari F.), Policy Brief 21, EUISS, 2017.
  • How the EU is facing crises in its neighbourhood: Evidence from Libya and Ukraine (with Ivaschenko K., Petrov R., Rieker P., Russo A., Strazzari F.), Working Paper, EUNPACK, 2017.
  • Organized Crime and fragile states: African variations (with Strazzari F.), Policy Brief 8, EUISS, 2017.
  • Organized crime in Mali: why it matters for a peaceful transition from conflict (with Galletti C.), Policy Brief 09/2016, International Alert, 2016
  • The Sahel as Ungoverned Space? Smuggling and Trafficking in a Hybrid Security Order (with Strazzari F., Shuck G.). Interim Report for the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office. College Park, MD: START, 2014.


Dr Raineri coordinates and teaches the following courses:


master level

  • Introduction to Security Studies, Master in International Security Studies, Master in Conflict Studies.
  • Conflict Studies, Master in Human Rights and Conflict Management


undergraduate – didattica allievi

  • African politics and security
  • Migration governance
  • Qualitative Research Methodology in Political Science