Limits of Democracy and the Post-colonial Nation State: Mali’s Democratic Experiment Falters, While Jihad and Terrorism Grow in the Sahara

Price:$259.95 + shipping
(Click the PayPal button to buy)
This book analyzes international politics in the Sahara, describing the Mali crisis and the coup d’état of March 2012 that lead to the collapse of the State. Themes include the weaknesses of African States, democratic governance, decentralization and political legitimacy: terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism; corporate competition for cocaine, hashish, weapons, oil, gas, and uranium; droughts and demography; and poverty of Mali’s vulnerable women, children and refugees - victims of political instability.


“Reading the book, I felt that the authors were speaking for those voiceless men, women and children whose stories have not been told. The work has been substantially enhanced by including a variety of voices whose range includes politicians, artists, writers, and educators. Many of the voices are women…a must-read for African Studies students.”
-Professor Christopher A. Brooks,
Virginia Commonwealth University

“I particularly appreciate the inter-disciplinary approach including historical anthropological and geo-political perspectives that help build a complex framework and understanding the roles and interests of different social actors…a worthy book for scholars and students in African history, human rights, geo-politics and anthropology in Africa, Europe and Latin America.”
-Professor Fernando de Souza Barbosa,
University of Florence (Italy)

“This volume makes an important contribution to a body of scholarly work on terrorism in the Sahara and related areas. Scholars will clearly want to make use of this book. The primary sources in particular are unique. No other scholars would have the ability to bring together representatives of the political, nonprofit, and even medical communities the way that these authors have done.”
-Professor Patricia W. Cummins,
Director, VCU French West Africa Project

“This book is extremely valuable as it puts together an interesting argument and a detailed amount of information not easily available even to specialist scholars. it contains relevant references to the majority of publications available on the topic and it encompasses a significant quantity of witnesses from a very different people involved in various ways in Mali’s recent history.”
-Professor Emilio Santoro,
University of Florence (Italy)

“It is better to leave the goats to fight each other inside their enclosure than to allow the hyena to mediate.”
Poulton and Tonegutti have written the curious story of Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, from the point of view of people living south of the Sahara. Forget the clash of civilizations. They see Mali and its neighbours as victims of a Clash of Corporations: between religious corporations like the Wahhabis and the Sufi Brotherhoods; criminal mafia corporations like the Medelin cocaine conglomerate in Colombia, their Italian mafia customers in Europe, and Arab, Tuareg and Algerian criminal organisations who are go-betweens trading cocaine, hashish and weapons across the unprotectable desert frontiers into the markets of Europe and the Middle East; and extractive corporations interested in Saharan oil and gas and – especially – the uranium that supplies, and that France’s soldiers came to protect.

Cocaine undermined Mali State institutions, provoked the coup d’état of March 2012, brought internal collapse and a jihadist Al Qaida take-over of North Mali. With 12,000 UN peacekeepers (MINUSMA) and additional French garrisons, what now are the prospects for peace and democracy in the Sahel? What mechanisms exist within Malian society and its social capital that might build a sustainable peace economy? Are African Nation States too fragile to survive the pressures of demography and drought, poverty and globalisation? How can women mobilise family networks to promote peace and to create employment? Will their efforts avert another round of civil war in 2025 or 2030? The authors know everyone in Mali: we hear fascinating voices from rebels, politicians, sociologists and lots of women, and their conclusions are not optimistic. Who are the fighting goats? Who is the predatory hyena? Readers will come to their own conclusions.
-Ginny Matthews,
Alumnus publication
Alumni and Development Officer,
Balliol College, Oxford

"Which brings me to your your. I must say that it is absolutely superb - a brilliant piece. It really is an excellent - eye-opening-piece of work. And I love the layout - chapter structures, headings and conversations, etc. I cannot praise it too highly. It is without doubt the best work ever written on Mali."
Jeremy Keenan,
Professor, School of Oriental and African Studies, London

Table of Contents

Preface by: Professor Christopher A. Brooks
Chapter 1.
History and Context of Mali’s Crisis
Chapter 2. Internal Causes for the Coup: From President Touré to Captain Sanogo
Chapter 3. Internal Reactions: Impact of the Accidental Coup d’Etat of March 2012 and Stalemate Until the French Invasion
Chapter 4. Bamako Awakes and Elections Anoint the New President IBK
Chapter 5. Terrorism in the Sahara and Stagnation in Mali During 2014-15
Chapter 6. Armed movements, Islamists, and Terrorists
Chapter 7. Consequences of War and Prospects for Peace
Conclusion. Not a class of civilisations, rather a clash of corporation
General and Acronyms
The Voices in this Book

Other Africa Books