Sahara or Sahel? The Fuzzy Geography of Terrorism in West Africa
Rutgers University; Centre for Population, Poverty and Public Policy Studies, Luxembourg
University of Bordeaux - Michel de Montaigne University Bordeaux 3
November 6, 2010
CEPS/INSTEAD Working Papers No. 2010-35
Since the mid-2000s, terrorism has pushed the peripheries of West Africa into the news and the public eye. While the political implications of this phenomenon have been extensively documented, most commentators have adopted a zonal approach to terrorism in which the Sahel and the Sahara are usually confused. This paper assumes that this confusion dramatically highlights the failure of academic and common geography to think beyond territories in West Africa, and to move away from a ‘sedentary’ vision of West African societies. The paper contributes to an understanding of the geographical locations of terrorism in West Africa by showing, firstly, what the main reasons behind the current confusion between the Sahel and Sahara are. Secondly, we show that this confusion arose from a territorial vision of space, which has important implications not only for local economic activities, but also for our own understanding of the spatiality of networks in West Africa.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 20
Keywords: terrorism, space, networks, social networks analysis, Sahel, West Africa
JEL Classification: C81, D85, L14working papers series
Date posted: April 8, 2011
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo2 in 1.609 seconds