The margins at the core
The early history of Boko Haram has been reconstructed in detail by several authors who studied the religious and political genesis of the group. While the extent of influence of religious beliefs in the development of the Boko Haram conflict is an object of intense debate, relatively few attempts have been carried out to analyse the organization’s influence on informal governance mechanisms in the Lake Chad area. The present contribution investigates this thus far neglected field: the interaction between socio-political grievances, labour relations and resource management on Lake Chad in connection to the Boko Haram phenomenon, with the aim of determining the extent of Boko Haram’s influence in re-designing local political governance processes. The production of collectively binding rules has been massively altered by Boko Haram’s appearance in a space eminently centred on both production and circulation, to such an extent that some significant changes have taken place in the realm of authority regulation and brokerage between local leaderships and between the latter and the Chadian state. In light of this, this chapter aims to provide some insights and a provisional analysis on how informal governance mechanisms of shared resources progressively merged with Boko Haram’s capital-labour management and its construction of a new power landscape.