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James Barnett

Research Fellow

James Barnett is a researcher, journalist, and consultant based in Lagos, Nigeria and a non-resident fellow at the Hudson Institute. His work covers conflict, terrorism, and geopolitics, primarily in Africa.

James has conducted extensive fieldwork in Nigeria’s conflict zones and reported from the frontlines of the 2022 war in Ukraine. In 2021 he was a Fulbright fellow at the Institute of African and Diaspora Studies at the University of Lagos and he additionally holds a research fellowship with the Centre for Democracy and Development in Abuja, Nigeria, where he specializes in Nigeria’s banditry crisis. In addition, James has consulted on Nigerian security issues with a variety of international NGOs and the diplomatic community. Prior to joining Hudson, James held research or analyst positions with the United States Institute of Peace, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, and the American Enterprise Institute’s “Critical Threats Project.”

His reporting, essays, and analysis have appeared in publications such as Foreign Policy, New Lines, War on the Rocks, African Arguments and The Los Angeles Review of Books as well as research journals such as West Point’s CTC Sentinel and Hudson Institute’s Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, which he edits along with Hudson fellows Eric Brown, Hillel Fradkin, and Husain Haqqani.

James was a 2016-17 Boren Scholar in Tanzania and a 2021 Fulbright researcher at the University of Lagos in Nigeria. He holds a B.A. with Highest Honors in History and Plan II Liberal Arts Honors from the University of Texas at Austin and is completing an MA in War Studies at King’s College London. James speaks Swahili, Arabic, and Spanish and is learning Yorùbá.

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