Schizophrenic agendas in the EU's external actions in Mali

An academic article explaining the results of research into the EU's security activities in Mali.


"Because of its geographical proximity to the EU, the Sahel region's perceived cross-border security threats of terror, migration and organized crime have become a top European security policy priority. Contributing to existing debates on EU external actions, the article develops the idea that the EU's engagement in the Sahel has become an attempt to construct and confirm the Union's ability to act as a global security actor. Through the analytical lens of ‘translation’ emphasizing the continuous transformation of norms and ideas by actors and contexts, the article examines how EU staff implement shifting policy objectives in their security practices in Mali; the effects these intervention practices produce; and how, in turn, these effects reflect back upon the EU's role as a security actor. The article shows how the EU's actorness and ability to perform security are hampered by the lack of buy-in from their local partners, as narrating success in a context of escalating violence becomes increasingly implausible. Thus, we argue that while the EU's activities in Mali reinforce the idea of the EU as a security actor, the limited character and impact of the EU's activities on the ground also reinforce the idea of it as a limited or even ineffective actor. The article thereby provides fruitful input to discussions of the constitutive effects of everyday practices in interventions and the production of EU security actorness as played out in the Sahel." (emphasis added)

See: Signe Marie Cold-Ravnkilde and Christine Nissen, Schizophrenic agendas in the EU's external actions in Mali (International Affairs, Volume 96, Issue 4, July 2020)

 

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