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Following recent coups in Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso, and contested claims of vote rigging in Nigerian and Sierra Leonean elections, there is a growing sense that West Africa has entered a new phase of so-called ‘democratic backsliding’ and political instability. In this panel event, three highly experienced experts offer reflections on recent developments and apparent trends in the region, providing insight into local contexts and broader implications.

To what extent are impressions of failing democracy accurate? What are the implications for the regional bloc ECOWAS, which has warned of military action but so far proven unable to impose its will? And internationally, where does the apparent withering of French influence, or the growth of Russian presence, fit into the story? This panel event provides an opportunity for informed discussion on these pressing issues, and will include Q&A with the audience.


  • Professor Alex Vines - Head of Africa Programme at Chatham House
  • Dr Pascal Carlucci - Former Advisor for EUCAP Sahel-Niger
  • Dr Folahanmi Aina - SOAS
  • Dr Maja Bovcon - Verisk Maplecroft


  • Dr Flavia Gasbarri, Senior Lecturer in War Studies Education


  • Dr Kieran Mitton, Reader in Conflict, Security and Development

At this event

Flavia Gasbarri

Senior Lecturer in War Studies Education

Dr Kieran Mitton

Reader in Conflict, Security and Development

Event details

Room K1.28
Strand Building
Strand Campus, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS