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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The 2012 crisis in Mali: ongoing empirical state failure
Authors:Bleck, Jaimie
Michelitch, Kristin
Year:2015
Periodical:African affairs: the journal of the Royal African Society (ISSN 1468-2621)
Volume:114
Issue:457
Pages:598-623
Language:English
Geographic term:Mali
Subjects:rebellions
rural society
rural-urban disparity
Link:http://afraf.oxfordjournals.org/content/114/457/598.abstract
Abstract:In 2012 Mali faced a crisis disrupting nearly twenty years of democratization, a coup and rebel insurgency. This article investigates policy priorities amongst rural Malians living on the border of state and rebel-controlled territory during the crisis. While academic and policy-making communities have focused largely on Mali's recent and sudden regime and territorial breakdown, the villagers defined the crisis in terms of their unmet needs for public services and infrastructure amidst high food and water insecurity. Concern for the sudden 'juridical state' breakdown, the collapse of the democratic regime, was trumped by the focus on long-term 'empirical state' breakdown. Using recent Afrobarometer data on diverse dimensions of empirical statehood, the authors show that the problem of rural neglect emphasized by seminal scholars is persistent not only across Mali, but also across many African countries. The tendency of academics and policy makers to focus on the immediate or more volatile political problems of the coup and rebel insurgency facing the Malian state, while important, risks understating and underestimating the power of slow-moving crises of daily life that are more important to rural citizens. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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