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Africa 2023: Citizen Movements, Praetorian Restorations and New International Configurations
Evènement  Posté le 08:30 04-05-2023, modifié le 08:30 04-05-2023 par Tournons la Page

Co-organized by Cornell UniversityNorthwestern University and Sciences Po, in partnership Tournons La Page and Politique africaine.

PLACE : Amphithéâtre Simone Veil - 28 rue des Saints-Pères - 75007 Paris
DATE : From 16 to 17 May 2023

In the 2010s, African civil society organizations got increasingly involved in public debates about constitutional changes (especially on the limitation of presidential terms), and the freedom of expression. Civic movements tried to coalesce and bring about new debates about the meaning of democracy and whether it actually had delivered in their country. With some differences, they elaborated new narratives on the legacy of colonial time that further questioned foreign military interventions and the essence of their national sovereignty.

In the 2020s, mobilization against French engagement rose all over the Sahel region. This was the unsurprising outcome of these debates as well as a surge in defiance of France’s policy towards Africa and new activism on social networks. Military take-over in several West African countries was met with ambivalence by these activists. How to account for this growing uncertain relation between citizen movements, praetorian restorations and new international configurations? This conference will tackle these controversial issues by bringing together academics and civic movements activists, mostly members of the pan-African coalition Tournons la page.

More content on the general argument and the abstracts of each panel.

Please register here (mandatory)

Day 1 - Tuesday, May 16

9:30 : Official Opening Speeches

Panel 1 - 10:00 - 11:15 

Democratic achievements and their limits in Africa 1990-2023
Chair : Laurent Fourchard, Sciences Po - CERI

Democratic progress in Africa, 1990-2023: Stylized facts and hypotheses about the Future 
Nic van de Walle, Cornell University 

Speakers : Mohammed Tozy, IREMAM, Aix en Provence - Marc Ona Essangui, Tournons la Page (TLP), President

Panel 2 - 11:30 - 13:15

Has democracy delivered? 
Chair: Sandrine Perrot, Sciences Po - CERI

Democratic Backsliding and Resilience: Opening Democratic Space Through Opposition Strategies
Rachel Riedl, Cornell University
2013-2023 : the deterioration of the civic space in Africa
Marc Ona Essangui, Tournons la Page - TLP
“A dead goat does not fear a knife”:  The dead ends of the passive democratic revolution of the 1990s and the unfulfilled promises of the civic insurgencies of the 2010s
Richard Banégas, Sciences Po - CERI

Speakers : Elhadji Idi Abdou, TLP-Niger 
Lunch breack 

Panel 3 - 14:45 -17:45

Not the praetorian alternatives, we witnessed before
Chair: William Reno, Northwestern University
African militaries from the bottom up: the actions and influence of the junior ranks
Maggie Dwyer, University of Edinburgh
Beyond the Coup D’état in African Civil Military Relations?
Moses Khisa, University of North Carolina State
Preventing Security Force Misconduct: Survey Evidence from African Security Forces
Sabrina Karim, Cornell University
Praetorians learning lessons? The view from Bissau and Conakry
Vincent Foucher, Sciences Po Bordeaux CNRS & ACPA
 Response to Radicalization in West Africa
Lamin Keita, Northwestern University

Speaker : Brigitte Ameganvi, TLP – Togo/France

Jour 2 / Day 2 - Mercredi 17 mai - Wednesday, May 16


Panel 4 - 9:30 -11:30

Counter-hegemonic discourses and new international configurations
Chair : Richard Banégas, Sciences Po-CERI
Russia's False Crusade Against Western Neocolonialism in Africa
Samuel Ramani, Oxford University
Unpacking the "Anti-French sentiment"
Marie-Emmanuelle Pommerolle, Université Paris I
Mali: from postcolonial contestation to strategic competition
Denis Tull, SWP, Berlin

Speaker : Paul Samangassou, TLP 

Panel 5 - 11:45 - 13:30  

From defending the constitution to endorsing military coups
Chair: Rachel Riedl, Cornell University
The Sudanese political transition under the tutelage of arms (2019-2023) 
Clément Deshayes, IRSEM, Paris
Civil society and security challenges in West Africa
Ismaël Compaoré, Université Thomas Sankara de Ouagadougou
Africa’s Left Deficit: Explaining the Decline of Oppositional Parties and the Rise of Popular Movements
Zachariah Mampilly, Barush College & City University of New York
Speaker : Demba Karyom, TLP - Chad