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Governance, Fragility and Insurgency in the Sahel: A Hybrid Political Order in the Making

09/12/2021, Webinar

Once a region that rarely featured in debates about global security, the Sahel has become increasingly topical as it confronts the international community with intertwined challenges related to climate variability, poverty, food insecurity, population displacement, transnational crime, contested statehood and jihadist insurgencies. This policy-research meeting aims at combining different perspectives to explore the contours of political orders in the making. It focuses on the trajectory of regional security and multi-level governance over the past decade, addressing the challenges of state fragility and societal resilience in the context of increasing external intervention and growing international rivalry.

Sahel experts, policy makers and scholars from the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies (SSSA), and the Alliance for Rebuilding Governance in Africa (ARGA) will discuss broader and deeper transformations of Sahelian political orders that can be neither ignored nor patched up through the reductionist narrative of the ‘war on terror’ projected onto ‘ungoverned spaces’.

Building on the findings of the research project FRAGVENT (Fragile states and violent entrepreneurs: conflict, climate, refugees), political economy and historical sociological lenses will be mobilised to shed light on how extra-legal governance plays a crucial role in the deformation, transformation and reformation of political orders in a contested region at Europe’s borders. Such findings have been published in 2020 in a dedicated Special Issue of The International Spectator, journal of the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in Rome.