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The West African Sahel - future-making in a time of conflict and uncertainty Le Sahel Occidental - construire l'avenir en période de conflit et d'incertitude 
Maria Grosz-Ngate (Indiana University, USA)
Boubacar Haidara (Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies (BICC))
Send message to Convenors
Adam Sandor (Universität Bayreuth)
Maria Grosz-Ngate (Indiana University, USA)
Boubacar Haidara (Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies (BICC))
Politics and International Relations (x) Futures (y)
Hauptgebäude, Hörsaal VI
Friday 2 June, -, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

How are the citizens of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger remaking their futures in the context of ongoing insecurity, political instability, and reordering of world power relations? How is the international community, especially Germany and the European Union, entangled in the making of these futures?

Long Abstract:

The armed attacks in the West African Sahel that began a decade ago increased in recent years, despite international military intervention in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. Intercommunal conflicts and violence between different ethnic groups that emerged in this context aggravated the situation. Insecurity has been compounded by two coups d'état in Mali (2020, 2021), a widely supported break with France, and a turn toward Russia. The January 2022 coup in Burkina Faso was also followed by a second one, and early signs suggest that a similar shift in strategic partnerships may happen. Niger, now hosting French forces that left Mali, has faced continued attacks in the tri-border area but has remained more politically stable. How do populations in the three countries negotiate insecurity and its effects, what are their hopes and aspirations, and how do they carve out their futures amidst uncertainty? How does this differ between social strata and genders? Social media have been a major means of political expression for Malians at home and abroad since the 2020 coup, and the military government has used them effectively. How do communications on social media platforms and their effects differ from each other? How do public political discourse and social media discourses interact; what are their effects? Why does European insistence on electoral democracy not resonate with local populations? Will Germany and the EU develop an independent position toward the region rather than continuing to follow France's lead?

We welcome submissions in French and English.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 2 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Friday 2 June, 2023, -
Session 3 Friday 2 June, 2023, -