Regional Security Complex of Mali

Klaus Kristensen, Søren Juhl, Berg Jonas, Fisiha David & Beck Nørbjerg Hansen Rasmus

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


Mali has been described as a somewhat stable country, yet recent events have turned Mali into a country of conflict. This we found interesting, so to get a better understanding of the situation, we wanted to get a more clear comprehension of the involved actors and the dynamics of the conflict. The interest to understand their internal relationship and what the reasons to the conflict are is the foundation for our motivation to the further study of this conflict. We have chosen four actors operating in the conflict and will base the analysis and the understanding of the conflict around them. The actors are: MNLA, Ansar Dine, ECOWAS, and the government of Mali. We have chosen three theories in order to better our understanding of the conflict. Firstly we make use of the negative sovereignty theory, which seeks to explain the reasons why the conflict in Mali has emerged, by getting a historic examination of the West African region and Mali particularly. Secondly we make use of securitization and its theoretical tools to understand how the actors’ speech-acts relate to each other. Lastly we make use of Regional Security Complex Theory, which is the theoretical framework that explains the dynamics of actors in a given region. As mentioned we have used negative sovereignty to get a deeper understanding of why the current conflict appeared in a somewhat stable democratic country. This is done through our collected empirical data. Securitization theory has made it possible to see what and how our chosen implicated actors’ speech-acts determine their relationship. Regional Security Complex Theory we have used to get a further exploration of how the dynamics in the region can be understood. The conclusion on our analysis has showed how Mali as a state with negative sovereignty is a consequence of the new moral codecs after World War II, and how that affected the international society’s view on, the colonial states. This led to a fast decolonization which had major consequences for the rule of the post-colonial African countries, which were countries with non-state actors with the same capabilities as the government. The negative sovereignty in Mali made way for the rebellion by MNLA and Ansar Dine could succeed in the northern part of the country. Those actors securitized each other as threats, and has given us an understanding in how they see each other. The regional Security Complex gave a possibility to analyze the complexity of both Mali and West Africa. We have discussed how our used theory fits with the empirical data we collected, and what talked for and against the chosen theories in the context.

UddannelserGlobal Studies, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato18 dec. 2012


  • Mali
  • Conflict