Seminar – The Crisis in Mali: Political Instability and Regional Radicalization (October 17)

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Along with the Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society (LUCIS) and the Marokko Instituut (The Hague), the African Studies Centre in Leiden is co-organizing a panel discussion about recent crisis in Mali. Panelists will include Zekeria Ould Ahmed Salem (University of Nouakchott) and Mirjam de Bruijn, Benjamin Soares and Martin van Vliet from the ASC. Paolo de Mas from the Marokko Instituut will be the moderator. Open to all and followed by drinks.

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Seminar (Leiden): Violence, Informal Authority and Conflict Resolution in Kano, Nigeria

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

For several decades, northern Nigeria has been plagued by recurrent episodes of low-level, high-intensity collective violence in the form of riots, communal clashes and now attacks by Boko Haram. In the context of metropolitan Kano, the major urban centre of the region, this seminar will consider some of the ways in which this violence can be prevented or reduced. More specifically, it will analyse the agency of informal authorities in conflict resolution: traditional rulers, religious leaders, ethnic community leaders and neighbourhood elders. It will argue that while some areas of peace building and conflict resolution fall exclusively within the mandate of formal state authorities, informal authorities can play an important role in shaping public intergroup perceptions and (de)mobilizing for collective violence. Authorities outside the state therefore have considerable potential for ‘discursive’ influence regarding conflict and violence, complementing the more material and coercive power of the state.

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