Independent Minds, Working Together

Faculty-at-Large Lecture to Address Terrorism in West Africa

Boubacar N’Diaye, professor of Africana Studies and political science, to speak on April 10

31 March, 2014 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio — Boubacar N'Diaye, professor of Africana Studies and political science at The College of Wooster, will present "From 'Model Democracy' to Terrorists' Playground: Mali's Downfall, West Africa's Security Nightmare" at the next Faculty at Large lecture on Thursday, April 10. The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 11 a.m. in Lean Lecture Room of Wishart Hall (303 E. University St.).

Once touted as a model of a successful democratization process of the 1990s in West Africa, Mali saw its territory invaded and two-thirds of the country occupied by a coalition of jihadi and irredentist groups, including Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), by the end of 2012. In his lecture, N'Diaye will examine the mix of political, religious, and security dynamics in Mali and in Northwest Africa that precipitated Mali's downfall. The coup d'état that accelerated it and France's January 2013 military intervention, which prevented Mali's complete takeover and transformation into the first territorial base for Al Qaeda and its affiliates in Northwest Africa, will also be explained. N'Diaye argues that the collapse of the Malian state and France's role in its rescue are symptomatic of the serious security and governance challenges West African states have not yet managed to address appropriately.

N'Diaye, who has been a member of Wooster's faculty since 1999, is an expert on civil-military relations and related security issues. His course offerings and scholarly works focus on comparative politics, democratization, the military in politics, security sector reforms in Africa, Pan-Africanism, and themes of interest to Africa and its Diaspora. He earned his Ph.D. in political science at Northern Illinois University, where he also taught African Studies. He is the author of The Challenge of Institutionalizing Civilian Control: Botswana, Ivory Coast, and Kenya in Comparative Perspective. He also edited a special issue of the Journal of Political and Military Sociology on military involvement in West Africa (Winter 2000), and is the co-author of Not Yet Democracy: West Africa's Slow Farewell to Authoritarianism, and co-editor of Security Sector Governance in West Africa and Elections in West Africa, 1990-2009.

In addition, he does consulting work for the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, the World Bank, and the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum. He also is the current Chair of the African Security sector Network, a pan-African think tank.

Additional information about N'Diaye's lecture is available by phone (330-263-2576) or e-mail.