Professor Daly is a historian of twentieth-century Africa. His research combines the methods of legal, military, and social history to examine the post-independence period in both West and East Africa. He is the author of A History of the Republic of Biafra: Law, Crime, and the Nigerian Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2020), a study of the Biafra War (1967-70). Using an original body of legal records from the secessionist Republic of Biafra, the book looks at how technologies, survival practices, and moral ideologies emerging from the fighting shaped how crime was practiced and perceived after Biafra's defeat. Connecting the violence of the battlefield to violent crime, it sheds new light on law and politics in Africa after colonialism.
Prof. Daly's current project is a transnational history of military desertion over the longue durée. From desertion in 17th-century Kongo armies to the African experience in the world wars, this project reveals how leaving the battlefield could be a productive act. At many points in African history, deserters founded communities, created new social orders, and generated fresh ideas about honor and obligation.
Prof. Daly's other research interests include the global history of drug trading, customary law in the British empire, and the history of policing and prisons.
Welcome, Professor Daly!