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Dr. Olivier Walther

Dr. Olivier Walther

Assistant Professor

Affiliate Faculty, Center for African Studies

Faculty Member, Sahel Research Group


Walther Lab Website

(352) 273-4739

Curriculum Vitae

Focus Areas

Research Statement:

I am an Assistant Professor in Geography at the University of Florida and an affiliated researcher at the UF Sahel Research Group. Before coming to Florida, I held faculty appointments at the University of Southern Denmark and Rutgers University and worked as a researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research. In the last twelve years, my research has focused on the development of cross-border trade and the emergence of transnational political violence in West Africa. I have conducted fieldwork in Niger, Nigeria, Benin, Mali, Mauritania and Ghana. My research has pioneered the introduction of social network analysis to the study of borderlands in West Africa. I have served as a lead investigator or collaborator on externally funded research projects from the United Nations, the European Commission, the European Spatial Planning Observatory, the Danish Agency for Science and Technology and the Luxembourg National Research Fund. Currently, I am coordinating the West Africa research program of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), with a core objective to better understand political insecurity in the region.

Recent Courses

  • CPO4721 Politics of Ethnic Conflict
  • New Wars and Conflicts (University of Southern Denmark)

Recent Funded Projects

  • 2019-2020

Insecurity in the Sahel. Principal Investigator. Funded by the OECD.

  • 2017-2018

Cities and Borders. Co-Principal Investigator. Funded by the OECD.

  • 2017

Gender and Markets: Empowering Women in West African Markets. Co-Investigator. Funded by the World Food Programme.

  • 2016-2017

Transnational Extremist Organizations Network. Principal Investigator. Funded by Danish Agency for Science and Technology.

  • 2015-2016

West African Perspectives Program III: Cross-Border Cooperation. Principal Investigator. Funded by the OECD.

  • 2013-2014

West African Perspectives Program II: Atlas of the Sahel-Sahara. Co-Investigator. Funded by the OECD.

Recent Publications

Walther O, Tenikue M, Trémolières M. 2019. Economic performance, gender and social networks in West African food systems. World Development (accepted).

Skillicorn D, Walther O, Leuprecht C, Zheng Q. 2019. The diffusion and permeability of political violence in North and West Africa. Terrorism and Political Violence DOI:10.1080/09546553.2019.1598388.

Walther O, Leuprecht C, Skillicorn D. 2017. Political fragmentation and alliances among armed non-state actors in North and Western Africa (1997-2014). Terrorism and Political Violence DOI:10.1080/09546553.2017.1364635.

Leuprecht C. Walther O, Skillicorn D, Ryde-Collins H. 2017. Hezbollah’s global tentacles: A relational approach to convergence with transnational organised crime. Terrorism and Political Violence DOI:10.1080/09546553.2015.1089863

Kuépié M, Tenikue M, Walther O. 2016. Social networks and small businesses performance in West African border regions. Oxford Development Studies DOI:10.1080/13600818.2015.1082540

Educational Background

  • PhD in Geography, University of Lausanne, 2006
  • M.S. in Advanced Studies in Development Studies, University of Geneva, 2004
  • M.S. in Geography, University of Lausanne, 2001
  • B.S. in Geography, University of Lausanne, 1999

Current Graduate Students


Recent Graduate Students