Donors between a Wake-up Call and Business as usual: Talking about Politics, Imagining the State and Revamping Aid in Bamako, 2012–2013
Abstract: This paper analyses the transformations of international intervention in Mali since the crisis that burst in March 2012. It shows that the crisis in Mali generated interesting debates about international intervention in Mali and debates within the Bamako-based donor community in 2012 and 2013. Attempts at stopping doing “business as usual” were short-lived, but major changes in Mali's transnational government have occurred under the influence of “new” stakeholders (emergency NGOs, the military, UN blue helmets and civilian staff), agendas (the war on terror, “stabilization”, peace and state-building) and practices (for instance, the UN “cluster” approach). This has created a renewed competition and a negotiated division of labour between different categories of international actors. This entails no “merging” between logics and practices of security and development (as argued by Mark Duffield, 2001). The presentation draws on empirical evidence accumulated through eight months of field-work, policy documents, non-participant observation and over 200 interviews carried out in Bamako since 2007.