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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



International Conference on Security Regimens in Africa

Application deadline: 31 March 2016

Governance Research Program
Date: 21-23 September 2016
Venues: Bamako, Mali


Since its creation in 1973 CODESRIA has supported work on the broad theme of governance that has led to pioneering insights into the political economy of African countries and their location in a changing world. The goals of the program combine advancement in our understanding of the intricacies of governance in Africa and the provision of insights that can inform policy and practice.

Many African countries have experienced recent attacks by fundamentalist groups on establishments including educational institutions, hotels and public transportation systems that have transformed these groups, in the minds of many, into the epitome of the evolving panoply of threats to lives, societies and institutions faced by these countries. The spectacular and gory nature of violence by these groups and the sometimes unpredictable nature of its victims have led to heated debates over the causes and effects of these threats and the best ways of dealing with them. Also evident in many countries is a hasty move toward praxis in the form of the search for security solutions.

Responses have included the creation and improvement of stand-by and rapid reaction forces, joint task forces, the creation of special forces and intelligence agencies, general security sector reforms and the massive and, sometimes, highly visible deployment of security personnel and systems. These processes of securitizing life and society can be thought of as part of a wider process of fabricating and consuming security regimens in Africa. These have over time included the propagation of home security systems, the acquisition of exotic purebred guard dogs by the more valiant, the sprouting of fenced and guarded residential estates across the African landscape and the proliferation of private security agencies in many countries.

CODESRIA’s conference on ‘Security regimens in Africa’ posits processes of securitization as regimens that are performed in manifold ways and for which the need, want and desire are, sometimes deliberately created. They are also regimens that can take a multiplicity of forms, that have a diverse set of meanings and that produce a host of effects on society. The ‘problems’ they ‘respond to’ are numerous and changing with causes and manifestations that run from the local and national to the regional and international. Proceeding from this standpoint the conference seeks to bring together a group of scholars and practitioners to reflect on these processes from multiple disciplinary and methodological standpoints that stand to bring new insights to a much studied area. In the selection process, works that are sensitive to the histories of African countries and societies and that aspire to theoretical innovation while rooted in rigorous empirical research will be privileged.

Scholars and practitioners interested in attending the conference are invited to send in abstracts on the following themes:

• Instigating the fabrication and consumption of regimens: the mutating array of threats to lives, societies and institutions in Africa
• Getting to be on a regimen: the creation and acquisition of ‘security’ needs, wants and desires
• Fabricating regimens at local, national, sub-regional and regional levels: travelling recipes and home-grown adaptations
• The intricacies, rigors and possibilities of partaking in security regimens
• Serving up and partaking in the security regimen as performance
• The effects of regimens: tropes, lore and the unstable notion of the ‘deliverable’
• The class and gender dimensions of security regimens
• The economics of security regimens

Those interested in participating in the conference are invited to send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a CV with full contact details including email addresses and phone numbers to CODESRIA no later than 31 March 2016. Authors of abstracts selected will be informed of their selection by 30 April 2016 and should be ready to submit full papers by 15 June 2016. All documents should be sent in Word format by email to grp@codesria.sn. Please use the subject line ‘Governance Research Program’ when sending your email.

Governance Research Program
BP 3304, CP 18524
Dakar, Senegal
Tel: +221 – 33 825 9822/23
Fax: +221- 33 824 1289
E-mail: grp@codesria.sn

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