The Malian Armed Forces and its discontents: civil-military relations, cohesion and the resilience of a postcolonial military institution in the aftermath of the 2012 crisis.

Boisvert, Marc-Andre (2019) The Malian Armed Forces and its discontents: civil-military relations, cohesion and the resilience of a postcolonial military institution in the aftermath of the 2012 crisis. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

This dissertation studies the dynamics of mobilisation and demobilisation of Malian soldiers and subaltern officers, the militariat, during the 2012 mutiny-turned-coup. It investigates how a postcolonial military institution, portrayed as incomplete and dysfunctional, shapes cohesion among its members, and how it outlives a crisis.

This study draws on civil-military relation theory, military sociology and postcolonial theory to understand the relationship between the soldier and the military institution. It uses mixed qualitative methods (detailed qualitative case-study and ethnographic participant observation) to address critical aspects of the sociological processes behind a subaltern coup.

It demonstrates key aspects of the postcolonial military institution: the inward-looking institutional strategies and the adaptation of neo-patrimonialist practices. It also validates the persistence and evolution of an institution’s social processes at a time where the military institution faces external pressure for change. It shows the role of rumours and leadership in the mobilisation among soldiers, as well as how peer cohesion is being built on the military base to the detriment of unit cohesion.

It concludes that long-lasting coup-proofing strategies have been detrimental to the building of institutional cohesion. It argues that social processes have fostered resistance to institutionalised cohesion, allowing the persistence of a core/periphery dichotomy and neo-patrimonialism. It also discusses the institutional adaptation and resistance to new security imperatives.

Keywords: civil-military relations theory, military sociology, Mali, armed forces, militariat, coup theory, postcolonial theory, neo-patrimonialism, state institutions.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2020 10:42
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2020 10:42
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/77807
DOI:

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