I am a Visiting Associate Professor at the Sahel Research Group and Center for African Studies at the University of Florida and an Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Southern Denmark. I am also affiliated with the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers. My Ph.D. is from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland (2006).

My current research focuses on cross-border trade and transnational political violence in West Africa. Using social network analysis – or SNA -, I study how borders affect the social networks and spatial patterns of West African traders and violent extremist organizations.

Crossing borders is something that I have done a lot over the years. Born in Switzerland, I spent part of my youth in West Africa, did fieldwork in Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Ghana, Benin and Mauritania, and worked as a professor and international consultant in Luxembourg, New Jersey and Denmark, before joining the University of Florida.

A geographer by training, I also enjoy crossing disciplinary boundaries. Over the last years, I have worked with historians, economists and political scientists at Rutgers, Northeastern, Hunter CollegeQueen’s, Bordeaux 3, and Uni.lu.

I am the Africa Editor of the Journal of Borderlands Studies (JBS), a “chief” of the African Borderlands Research Network (ABORNE) and on the advisory board of the African Governance and Space (AFRIGOS) project.


Olivier J. Walther, Ph.D.
Visiting Associate Professor
Center for African Studies
University of Florida
425 Grinter Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611
United States

Email: owalther(at)ufl.edu
Tel.: +1 (352) 273-4739

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Click here for a pdf version of my updated CV.