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PhD defence

Appropriation foncière, migrations agricoles et conflits armés en Pays Dogon (Mali)

  • I. Poudiougou
Thursday 12 October 2023
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


  • Prof.dr. J.B. Gewald
  • Prof.dr. R. Beneduce
  • Prof.dr. W.E.A. van Beek


This thesis describes the socio-political dynamics in Dogon country, in central Mali. Since 2015, this region has experienced an unprecedented phenomenon of armed mobilization. Various insurgent (jihadist) and counterinsurgent (self-defense) groups are fighting to impose new modes of rural governance by means of violence, despite the deployment of the Malian Armed Forces (FAMA) and contingents of the UN forces (MINUSMA). Using an ethnographic approach and proceeding in processual and analytic manner, this thesis examines the armed mobilizations and the violence they generate as deriving from interactions between several phenomena, notably land.
Depending on historical contingencies, mechanisms of marginalization, inequality and forms of institutional hybridization appear within village communities. In these situations, the principle of primogeniture and autochthony allow segment of society to have access to socio-political privileges and exclude other segments from access to land and its resources. The marginalized are forced to migrate or to resist inequalities in various ways, including armed violence, to gain access to land and achieve social and political respectability.
The approach adopted apprehends land, agricultural migration, and armed conflict as interrelated phenomena. Analyzed in relation to the formation of the post-colonial Malian state, they constitute the three main parts of this thesis.

PhD dissertations

Approximately one week after the defence, PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

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