Accession Number:



Political Reform, Socio-Religious Change, and Stability in the African Sahel

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,01 Sep 2012,31 Aug 2016

Corporate Author:

The University of Florida Gainesville United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



This project proposed to analyze the socio-political factors affecting stability and instability in a set of six African countriesSenegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad stretching across the arid Sahelian region. The predominately Muslim countries of the Sahel are collectively among the least developed countries on earth. Historically of limited strategic significance, they had also received relatively little scholarly attention indeed they have been among the least-studied countries in Africa. Developments in the region over the past decade, however, gradually brought the Sahel to the center of significant international concerns. Initially, the most significant of these developments were the terrorist threats posed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb AQIM and various related groups that had spun off from the Algerian civil war. These expanded significantly in the aftermath of the fall of the Qaddafi regime in Libya, and following the March 2012 collapse of the political system in Mali and the subsequent occupation of the northern half of that country by radical jihadi movements. Though that occupation was eventually rolled back by French intervention, the region continues to be plagued by the ongoing activities of AQIM, Boko Haram, the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa MUJAO, and an ongoing assortment of related radical groups emerging through splintering and new international connections. These security threats come to complicate much deeper historical and structural challenges that the region faces, including endemic underdevelopment, climate change, significant demographic growth, and a history of weak state capacity to effectively govern vast expanses of challenging territory. The states of the Sahelian region thus find themselves under extraordinary pressures.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Sociology and Law

Distribution Statement: