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Democracy and development in Mali

R. James. Bingen

Publication Year: 2000

Mali, a country rich with history and culture, but one of the poorest in the world, emerged in the 1990s as one of Africa's most vibrant democracies. Strengthened by bold political and economic reforms at home, Mali has emerged as a leader in African peacekeeping efforts. How has such a transition taken place? How have these changes built on Mali's rich heritage? These are the questions that the contributors to this volume have addressed. During the past twenty-five years, the scholarly research and applied development work of Michigan State University faculty and students in Mali represents the most significant combined, long-term, and continuing contribution of any group of university faculty in the United States or Europe to the study of Malian society, economy, and politics. The applied nature of much of this work has resulted in a significant number of working papers, reports, and conference presentations. This volume represents a coherent and connected set of essays from one American university with a widely known and highly respected role in African development. While the essays identify and review Mali's unique historical and contemporary path to democracy and development, they also contribute to the advancement of theoretical knowledge about African development. Contributors: R. James Bingen, Andrew F. Clark, John Uniack Davis, Niama Nango Dembélé, Salifou Bakary Diarra, Cheikh Oumar Diarrah, Georges Dimithè, Josué Dioné, Maria Grosz- Ngaté, John H. Hanson, Adame Ba Konaré, Ghislaine Lydon, Nancy Mezey, David Rawson, David Robinson, John M. Staatz, and James Tefft.

Published by: Michigan State University Press


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pp. v-viii

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pp. ix-x

The idea for this volume originated during a series of discussions in late 1997 as the editors were planning how to host President Alpha Oumar Konar

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pp. xi-xiv

The invitation by the editors to write the foreword for this volume, which highlights the long commitment by Michigan State University to research in Mali, provided me with the occasion to reflect upon my own twenty-year research career on arts and culture in Mali. ...

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pp. xv-xx

In May 1998, President Alpha Oumar Konar

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pp. 1-6

Most observers would agree that Michigan State University President John Hannah's response to the invitation in 1960 from his personal friend and president of Nigeria, Nnamdi Azikiwe, to help build a new University of Nigeria at Nsukka represented the real beginning of African Studies at Michigan State University. MSU faculty had been active in higher education institution-building projects ...

Cultural and Historical Setting

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Overview of the Section on Cultural and Historical Contributions

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pp. 9-14

Mali arguably has the richest cultural heritage of all of the nation states of West Africa. The explanation is both simple and complex. The simple reason is the state of Old Mali, based in the Niger River valley. Starting as a chiefdom, expanding to a kingdom, and becoming an empire under the leadership of Sunjata K

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Perspectives on History and Culture: The Case of Mali

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pp. 15-22

Perspectives on history and culture: here is a subject which arouses vigorous debate among historians. This is because the relation between history and culture is so vital to the life of human communities. To take the case of Mali, it is said that the country is one of a great culture which draws its savor from a glorious past, ...

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“French Africans”—Faidherbe, Archinard, and Coppolani: The “Creators” of Senegal, Soudan, and Mauritania

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pp. 23-40

In late 1944 French intellectuals began to think of the role that the "Empire" had played in the liberation of France and in the life of the nation generally. Robert Delavignette, a former colonial official and head of the colonial training school,1 and Charles-Andre Julien, an emerging historian of Algeria, in Les constructeurs de la France d'Outre-Mer,2 ...

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Generational Conflict in the Umarian Movement after the Jihad: Perspectives from the Futanke Grain Trade at Medine

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pp. 41-60

AI-Hajj Umar Tal's call to jihad enticed tens of thousands of Futanke1 to fight in his mid-nineteenth-century conquest of the Western Sudan.2 Expansion carne to a halt with Umar's death in 1864, but his sons continued waging war in the region until the French ended Umarian rule with their late nineteenth-century conquests.3 The military campaigns of Umar's sons prompted another several thousand young Futanke to leave the Senegal valley ...

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Women in Francophone West Africa in the 1930s: Unraveling a Neglected Report

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pp. 61-86

On 7 October 1937, Marcel Jules de Coppet, the governor-general of French West Africa (AOF),l delegated an important assignment to a conseill

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Labor Migration, Gender, and Social Transformation in Rural Mali

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pp. 87-102

Labor migration is a significant demographic and politico-economic phenomenon in Mali, as in neighboring Sahelian countries. Yet in contrast to migration in Senegal and especially in Burkina Faso, labor migration in Mali has attracted little attention on the part of researchers. As a result, available data are largely restricted to aggregate statistics and fail to provide an ...

Economic and Agricultural Policy Reform

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Overview—MSU’s Food Security Research and Outreach Program in Mali

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pp. 105-118

In 1985, the Department of Agricultural Economics at MSU, in collaboration with Malian colleagues working in various ministries and research institutes, began a program of applied research and outreach focused on agricultural marketing reforms and on the potential roles for regional trade and cooperation in Mali's food security and economic growth strategies. The program also helped to strengthen Mali's public agricultural market information system and ...

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Food Security Policy Reform in Mali and the Sahel

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pp. 119-144

The food crises of Mali and the other Sahelian countries during the 1970s and 1980s stemmed not only from the lingering effects of the severe droughts in the mid-1970s and early 1980s. Many observers of Sahelian development have concluded that poorly designed pricing and marketing policies distorted agricultural incentives and failed to address the major causes of the enduring food production gap throughout the subregion. In the late 1970s, many ...

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The Response of Cereals Traders to Agricultural Market Reform in Mali

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pp. 145-166

Since 1981, the government of Mali has undertaken a broad range of reforms aimed at fostering a much greater role for the private sector and market processes. These reforms have involved the sale of state enterprises, permitting private-sector (including independent farmer and trader organizations) competition and removal of domestic and international barriers to trade. These changes, combined with the liberty of association and expression that ...

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The Reform of Rice Milling and Marketing in the Ofice du Niger: Catalysts for an Agricultural Success Story in Mali

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pp. 167-188

One of the great successes of Malian economic policy during the 1980s and 1990s has been the transformation of the rice subsector. Domestic production shot up dramatically, growing at an annual rate of 9 percent between 1980 and 1997, largely due to yield increases in the irrigated area of the Office du Niger. As a result, national rice production more than tripled between 1985 and 1998, from 214,000 m.t. (paddy) to 688,000 m.t.1 ...

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Small-Scale Inland Valley Swamp Rice Production: A Viable Enterprise in the Grain-Cotton Farming System of Southern Mali

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pp. 189-212

Until the early 1970s, Mali was self-sufficient in cereals. After the 1974 drought, food production failed to keep pace with the rapidly expanding demand for food, and between 1979 and 1991, per capita food production declined by an average of 0.7 percent per year.1 As the gap between national food production and demand widened in the late 1980s, Mali became increasingly dependent on commercial imports and food aid. Rice imports alone ...

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Cotton in Mali: The “White Revolution” and Development

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pp. 213-242

It is no oversimplification to state that as cotton goes, so go the prospects for development in Mali. Cotton has always figured predominantly in the country's economic and social life, and a good year for cotton production and marketing is also usually a good year for food production and overall economic progress. But the contribution of cotton to Malian development continues to be From the mid-1970s through the late 1980s, cotton production grew ...

Political Innovation

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Overview—The Malian Path to Democracy and Development

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pp. 245-250

Mali's modern political history deserves close inspection for its contribution to the knowledge and practice of democracy and development. Since the creation of the First Republic in 1960, Mali's largely under-recognized political journey offers important evidence that can enhance our understanding and appreciation of the various ways in which democracies continue to be constructed little by little across Africa. Over the last thirty years we have ...

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From Military Dictatorship to Democracy: The Democratization Process in Mali

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pp. 251-264

This essay analyzes the successful, and largely peaceful, transition from military dictatorship to civilian democracy in Mali. Unlike most other nations, Mali held a national conference, wrote a constitution, and held elections after deposing a repressive military regime. Because of its openness and success, the democratization process in Mali - and in particular the use of a national conference - can serve as an indicator of what might happen in other ...

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Dimensions of Decentralization in Mali

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pp. 265-288

I n 1991, Mali's revolutionary elite met at the National Conference to set out the boundaries of the new national order. The conference report concluded in part that the previous administration was inefficient, incompetent, and oblivious to the needs of the nation, that state intervention in rural areas had only reinforced central power, and that existing notions of decentralization followed the logic of neocolonial administration. As a cure to these ills, the ...

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Classrooms of Democracy? The Educational Prospects of Malian Civil Society

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pp. 289-320

Primary among the dramatic changes that have swept a shrinking world in the past decade is the advent of democracy in many contexts previously deemed inhospitable due to a lack of certain prerequisites. For example, democratic transitions of varying degrees have been undertaken in over half of Africa's countries. While the routinization of competitive electoral processes gives reason to be hopeful regarding prospects for stable democratic ...

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Improving Women’s Health in Mali: Research, Policy Review, and Recommendations

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pp. 321-348

This chapter discusses how a democratized Mali might address issues concerning women's health care. The chapter begins with an overview of two approaches to understanding health care issues - a social-psychological model and a social-structural model, which is used in more recent research of women's health care issues.1 Following this overview, I present the results of my own field research in Mali concerning the gender differences in pharmaceutical use ...

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Prospects for Development and Democracy in West Africa: Agrarian Politics in Mali

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pp. 349-366

I n the course of an exploratory research activity in southern Mali during 1992, I witnessed an especially heated confrontation between an older farmer and a representative from one of the country's parastatal crop production agencies. The farmer was one of the local leaders for the new union of cot ton farmers, the Malian Union of Cotton and Food Crop Producers (SYCOV).1 Over the next three years, I had the opportunity to learn more and write about ...


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The Malian Democracy: A Continuing Process for the Quest of Perfection

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pp. 369-376

The Third Malian Republic1 is based on a commitment by the country's political leaders to build a dynamic democracy grounded on the rule of law and respect for human rights. The choice of these leaders to promote a democratic and pluralist society stems from their belief in the values of democracy, and their conviction that only effective participation of the population ...

About the Contributors

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pp. 377-380

E-ISBN-13: 9780870138959
Print-ISBN-13: 9780870135606

Page Count: 352
Publication Year: 2000