Putting Mali Back Together Again: An Age-Structural Perspective

Read “Putting Mali Back Together Again: An Age Structural Perspective” by Richard Cincotta, posted on the New Security Beat, May 9, 2013.

Once considered a model for Sahelian democracy, Mali’s liberal regime (assessed as “free” in Freedom House’s annual survey of democratic governance continuously from 2000 to 2011) virtually disintegrated in March 2012 when a group of junior army officers, frustrated by the central government’s half-hearted response to a rebellion in the state’s vast northern tier, found themselves – somewhat accidently – in control of the state. With renewed elections in Mali slated for July and French troops containing Tuareg and Islamist insurgents, the Sahelian state appears to be on track to start again where it left off just over a year ago. However, several African and Western political commentators contend that putting Mali’s laudably democratic, yet habitually fragile and chronically ineffectual regime, back together again is simply a bad idea.

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Whither the Demographic Arc of Instability

Read “Whither the Demographic Arc of Instability?“, an essay by Richard Cincotta featured on the Stimson Center Spotlight, November 2011.

One map that quickly garnered the attention of strategists outlined the world’s weak and politically fractious states – a pattern that came to be known as the “arc of instability” (Map 1, for 2000). Inside the arc, authoritarian governments ruled with little regard for law, insurgencies undermined economic hopes, and militant organizations capable of international terror, some linked to Al Qaida, were equipped and trained. Outside the arc existed a world of modern industrial and service economies, globalized communications, and trade.

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