The region of West Africa faces by a multitude of security challenges. Governments from relatively small nations such as Liberia to behemoths like Nigeria are struggling to contain myriad threats and deliver on the social contract between state and society.
Often deemed geopolitically unimportant, the connection between insecurity in the Sahel (including the rise of violent extremism) and the recent ‘migration crisis’ on Europe’s shores has elevated the region in the anxieties of the Global North.
Consequently, societies across West Africa have been subjected to a range of (often highly militarised) interventionary practices.
In this talk, Charlie will discuss what is going on in West Africa and the dynamics and causes of the conflicts in a number of states, focusing on how insecurity is embedded in local disputes but also has transnational and networked dimensions. Based on recent fieldwork in Mali, Charlie will also discuss the challenges confronting stabilisation efforts through the United Nations.** **