Archive | February, 2020

More French Troops in the Sahel

Tony Chafer is Professor of French and African Studies at the University of Portsmouth Read more on France’s growing problems in the Sahel   On Sunday France announced it was increasing its military presence in the Sahel by adding a further 600 troops to its 4,500-strong operation in Mali and four other countries in the region. This is in addition to the  220 extra troops for the region that Macron announced at a G5 Sahel summit which he hosted in Pau last month. The announcement came as France tries to contain a rise in violence that has increased insecurity across the region. With this announcement France is seeking to underline its regional commitment, having lost 13 of its own troops in a helicopter collision last November. Part of the reason for the increase is no doubt to keep up pressure on France’s  European allies to mobilise troops and resources in support of the French mission in the Sahel, Operation Barkhane. Paris is also putting pressure on the US not to draw down its military presence in the region, which it has indicated it wishes to do. Defence minister Florence Parly returned last week from a visit to the US where she […]

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CFP: Beyond Borders- Postgraduate Study Half Day, 6 May 2020

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Postgraduate Study Half Day 2020 Call for papers 6 May 2020 – Milldam Building, University of Portsmouth Keynote: Dr Alison Carrol, Brunel University London Where dominant groups form in particular places and they start to define their own coherent identity, borders may be imagined as a demarcation line between distinct communities. Yet in reality, borders are not ‘natural’, their meanings are constructed, and they are often hotly contested. For example, dominant powers have historically drawn up borders arbitrarily to divide and bound annexed, conquered and colonised societies, of which complicated legacies persist. The contemporary implications of these legacies tend to be a quite macro discussion, of which bottom-up perspectives are missing. Crucially, many scholars today emphasise the importance of peripheral agency in alternative understandings of how borders are (de)constructed, not only by national actors, but also by regional, international and transnational ones. The theme of agency is key to researchers who consider how local populations live with, understand, transgress, and make borders meaningful, as well as changes of opinion over time. New case studies in different spatial and relational contexts on cross-frontier exchanges, networks, transfers, and relationships are particularly useful for offering insight into […]

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