IES researcher Jan Claudius Völkel published a new analysis of Geostrategic, political and socio-economic interests in North Africa and the Sahel

IES researcher Jan Claudius Völkel has published a new analysis of “Geostrategic, political and socio-economic interests and stragies of regional actors in North Africa and the Sahel” for the Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung (BpB, Federal Agency for Civic Education, in German language).

His analysis starts from the observation that two former regional hegemons, Libya and Egypt, have widely lost their previous dominance as structuring powers with the ouster of their longterm dictators Muammar al-Qadhafi and Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The collapse of their regimes has contributed to the outbreak of various conflicts and power struggles in the region, such as the Tourag uprisings in Mali in 2012. The spread of violent extremist groups of various shades further complicates the already difficult situation, as they attack governmental infrastructure or even civilians. Besides, conflicts about increasingly rare resources such as water or pastureland trigger violent clashes as well. A region-wide common denominator and main reason for the problems is the insufficient consolidation of a functioning “stateness”, i.e. the existence of state institutions that provide security and the basic needs to the local population, and which then would enjoy the trust of them in return. In sum, there is not much hope that the often inhumane living conditions in North Africa and the Sahel will somewhat improve in the foreseeable future.