The Spaces of Intervention for Mali and Guinea-Bissau
Katharina Döring & Jens Herpolsheimer (Leipzig U)
|Publication Date||March 2018|
South African Journal of International Affairs 25/1: 61–82.
This article focuses on interventions by the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States in Guinea-Bissau and Mali. In the literature, these are often approached in a ‘top-down’ manner, focusing on formal institutions, not accounting for the complex dynamics in and around conflict intervention. This article argues that adopting space as an analytical lens allows new ways to address these issues. It highlights how interventions by different actors and their interactions are influenced by spatial perceptions and framings, which result in the making of different ‘spaces of intervention’ through different practices. The two described here, ‘scaling’ and ‘establishing reach’, enable strategic and continuous formation and negotiation of spaces for action, according to actors’ needs and interests. Thus, shedding light on specific actors and their practices, the article contributes to a better understanding of the complex dynamics in conflict intervention in West Africa.
Katharina Döring (SFB 1199, Leipzig U, Germany)
Katharina Döring is a doctoral student at the Leipzig University (Germany) and researcher at the SFB project B7 investigating new regionalisms and violent conflict in Africa. She studied within the Erasmus Mundus MA programme “Global Studies – A European Perspective” at the universities of Leipzig, Addis Ababa, and Roskilde and focused on international studies, new political geography, and global history. Currently, she explores the potential of a space-sensitive perspective for understanding the responses of the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) towards the Malian crisis in 2012.
Jens Herpolsheimer (SFB 1199, Leipzig U, Germany)
Jens Herpolsheimer is a doctoral student at the Leipzig University (Germany) and researcher at the SFB project B7 investigating new regionalisms and violent conflict in Africa. His research focuses on the interventions in Guinea-Bissau by the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union. He received his BA and MA at the Leipzig University (Germany) in the field of African studies during which he completed a semester abroad at the Science Po in Bordeaux (France) and interned at the Centro de Estudos Internacionais of ISCTE-IUL in Lisbon (Portugal). His research interests include peace and security, African politics, new regionalisms, and lusophone Africa.