Fighting a spectre? Organised crime and (in)stability in the Sahara-Sahel region


20 March 2019


Egmont Institute, 1000 Brussels

Africa Lunch Meeting with Prof. Francesco Strazzari, Associate Professor of International Relations, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies.
Ongoing armed violence and insurgencies in the Sahel have raised fears of an escalation of regional instability. In response, international actors appear primarily concerned with designing a security model that is premised on how to build state capacity, enforce effective border controls and curb mobility. This model is based on a narrative that evokes the spectre of the narco-terrorist, who controls all trafficking, moves unhindered across porous borders, develops ghost armies, and may eventually capture the state itself. In his presentation, Prof. Strazzari will discuss how this ‘spectralisation of the criminal’, in fact, forms part of the problem. Organised crime does not emerge from a power vacuum, but instead has to do with the practice of governance and the resilience of local/national/regional orders.

(Photo credit: © Egmont Institute)