The Future of Biometrics? Not Novel Fintech. Rationing, Universal Basic Income, & Border Enforcement
Biometric schemes and digital identity systems more broadly are often touted by the development community and tech sector as a route to...
I write about technology, biometrics, immigration, & borders for a variety of platforms, ranging from top academic presses to popular blogs. Below are some of my recent publications:
Carbon Fingerprints. London Review of Books (LRB) Blog (14 February 2023).
Researching Digital Identity in Times of Crisis. Workshop Report for the Alan Turing Institute (August 2021).
Gateway or Barrier? The Contested Politics of Humanitarian Biometrics. Datafication and Digital Rights (blog) (12 January 2021).
Passing as a Refugee. Africa is a Country (10 November 2020).
Machine-Readable Refugees. London Review of Books (LRB) Blog (14 September 2020).
Countries Around the World Are Using Border Surveillance Systems Against Their Own Citizens. The Conversation (17 August 2020).
Conversation with Ruben Andersson. Africa is a Country (9 July 2018).
Unthinking Refugee Studies. Africa is a Country (11 April 2018).
Conversation with Abdul Adan. Africa is a Country (11 October 2017)
Jeffrey Gettleman's Tired Tome. Africa is a Country (21 August 2017).
Instead of Building a Big, Beautiful Wall, We Should Rethink Our Idea of Borders. The Washington Post (11 August 2017).
Can African States Offer New Approaches to Refugee Asylum? Africa is a Country (23 December 2016)
In Kenya, You Cannot Go Anywhere Without an ID. I Don’t Have One. Mail & Guardian (13 April 2020).
Mobile Credit Expands Mass Surveillance of Ordinary Kenyans. Coda Story (11 September 2019).
Kenya's Controversial Biometric Project is Shrouded in Secrecy. Coda Story (3 May 2019).
Biometrics from the Margins (In Progress).
The Other Climate Technology (In Progress)
We Do Not Have Borders: Greater Somalia and the Predicaments of Belonging in Kenya. New African History series (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2017).
Reports for Civil Society Groups
A Very British Problem: The Evolution of Britain's Militarized Industrial Complex. Report for Campaign Against the Arms Trade (4 August 2022).
Biometrics Collection Under the Pretext of Counter-Terrorism. Case Study of Israel/Palestine and Case Study of Somalia. Report for Privacy International (28 May 2021).
Defending the Rights of Refugees and Migrants in the Digital Age. Report for Amnesty International (forthcoming). Co-authored with Roya Pakzad.
Globalizing Racism and De-provincializing Muslim Africa. Modern Intellectual History 19, no. 3(May 2021): 912-933. Co-authored with Alden Young.
Between Surveillance and Recognition: Rethinking Digital Identity in Aid. Big Data and Society 8, no 1 (1 April 2021). Co-authored with Margie Cheesman, Aaron Martin, and Emrys Schoemaker.
Biometrics, Race Making, and White Exceptionalism: The Controversy Over Universal Fingerprinting in Post-World War II Kenya. The Journal of African History 61:1 (March 2020): 23-43.
AHR Conversation: Walls, Boundaries and Borders. American Historical Review 122, no. 5 (December 2017): 1501-1553.
Rethinking the “Shifta War” Fifty Years After Independence: Myth, Memory, and Marginalization. In Kenya at Fifty: History, Policy, Politics, eds. Michael M. Kithinji, Mickie M. Koster, and Jerono P. Rotich. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
Unaccountable Census: Colonial Enumeration and Its Implications for the Somali People of Kenya. The Journal of African History 56, no. 3 (November 2015): 409-428.
Producing History from Elisions, Fragments, and Silences: Public Testimony, the Asiatic Poll-Tax Campaign, and the Isaaq Somali Population of Kenya. Journal of Northeast African Studies 13, no. 2 (2013): 177-206.