Centre for International and Defence Policy

Centre for International and Defence Policy
Centre for International and Defence Policy

Perpetual War in the Sahel:
The Convergence of Counterinsurgency, Counterterrorism and Peacekeeping

Tuesday, October 17, 2017  Time: 12-1:00 pm
Robert Sutherland Hall, room 448 

Bruno Charbonneau| October 2017


Bruno Charbonneau

Associate Professor, Political Science
Laurentian University




What are the effects of UN peacekeeping and international counterterrorism operations upon the possibilities of peace in Mali? Following the January 2013 French operation Serval, the international intervention was divided between two military missions: UN peacekeeping in Mali and French-led counterterrorism. This division of labour is taken as given, but what does it mean for international conflict management and Malian conflict resolution dynamics. It is argued that the binaries of war and peace, and of intervention and sovereignty, are no longer opposites, but blurred into an emerging ‘new normal’ of permanent military intervention. The construction of a regional counterterrorism governance or militarisation is shown to circumvent the fundamental questions about Malian peace, state sovereignty, and nationhood. The argument points to how the international ‘division of labour’ between peacekeeping and counterterrorism defines the possibilities of peace in Mali in relation to the perceived necessities of the ‘global war on terror’.


Bruno Charbonneau is Associate Professor of Political Science at Laurentian University, Founder and Director of the Centre FrancoPaix for conflict resolution and peace missions at the Raoul-Dandurand Chair in Strategic and Diplomatic Studies at University of Quebec in Montreal and cofounding member of the West African Peace and Security Network. He has published widely on the international politics of peace interventionism in Africa, in journals like Review of International Studies, International Peacekeeping, Les Temps modernes, Journal of Contemporary African Studies, and Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding. He is the author of France and the New Imperialism (Ashgate/Routledge, 2008) and co-editor of Peace Operations in the Francophone World (Routledge, 2014),Peacebuilding, Memory and Reconciliation (Routledge, 2012) and Locating Global Order (UBC Press, 2010).