The following, lengthy paper is a very informative overview of events in northern Mali in recent years. Readers not familiar with that history should note the absence from the paper of any treatment of the vast militarization of the region of West Africa by the big imperialist countries in the past ten years and the more recent military campaign waged by the Mali army against the peoples in the north of that country.
One Hippopotamus and Eight Blind Analysts
A multivocal analysis of the 2012 political crisis in the divided Republic of Mali
By Baz Lecocq, Gregory Mann, Bruce Whitehouse, Dida Badi, Lotte Pelckmans, Nadia Belalimat, Bruce Hall, and Wolfram Lacher Bruce Whitehouse.
Published on Bruce Whitehouse’s blog, ‘Bridges from Bamako‘, April 14, 2013A few months ago, historians Baz Lecocq (Ghent University) and Gregory Mann (Columbia University) assembled a multinational, interdisciplinary team of Mali scholars to write a comprehensive analysis of that country’s crisis. In all, eight researchers specializing in diverse aspects of Mali’s populations and their history contributed to this project. Initially we nicknamed it “the floating hippo” for reasons that the second paragraph makes clear, but the article’s official title is “One Hippopotamus and Eight Blind Analysts.” Ours is the most holistic, wide-ranging scholarly attempt so far to explain recent events in Mali. A more polished, but briefer, version of it will be published by the journal Review of African Political Economy in issue 137 later this year.
To read the 10,000-word “extended editors’ cut” (PDF document), click on the link here: