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Security from Below: Grassroots Democracy and Change in West Africa

Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 4:30-7:00 p.m.
Globe Auditorium, 110 S. Woodward Ave.

This symposium brings together scholars working on security and development issues across West Africa in agriculture, governance, health, migration, policing,, religion and their interconnections.

At a time when authoritarianism is on the rise in the US, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, this event explores how people power is assuring the continued survival of democracy in West Africa under an array of challenging circumstances. An activist from Mali living in the US, a scholar from Sweden, and two US-based researchers address these themes in dialogue with world events. A public discussion will follow to allow audience participation.

An interdisciplinary panel examines the extent to which state regimes dominate the management of the public sphere and the lengths to which non-state actors must often go to enhance civic participation in national life.

The analysis sets aside Western assumptions about the nature of secular, state power, acknowledging the many ways in which state actors exceed, neglect, or violate their constitutional prerogatives, offering non-state actors a pretext to assume state-like roles.

Moderator: Joseph Hellwig, Associate Professor of Religion and cultural anthropologist

Thomas Bassett, Professor Emeritus of Geography, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Sten Hagberg, Professor of Cultural Anthropology in the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology at Uppsala University in Sweden

Rosa de Jorio, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Florida

Ramata Sissoko Cissé , Adjunct Professor of Biology, Georgia Gwinnett College

Sponsored by the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy’s Broad Lectureship in International Affairs, the Center for Global Engagement’s Engage Your World Intercultural Dialogue Series and the Mande Studies Association.