About

Yvan Guichaoua joined us in September 2015 as convenor of the MA International Conflict and Security. Prior to this, from 2011, Yvan was a lecturer in International Politics at the University of East Anglia. He is also a former teaching fellow at Yale University and research officer at the University of Oxford. His focus is the dynamics of insurgency formation, rebel governance and state responses in Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Niger since 2004. Since 2007, Yvan Guichaoua has been studying Tuareg recurring rebellions in Niger and Mali and the rise of Jihadism in the Sahel. His works pays close attention to the complex interactions between violent entrepreneurs, low level combatants and civilian populations shaping the success or failure of irregular armed groups as well as the forms of violence they perpetrate. Yvan engages regularly with the policy-making community (International Crisis Group, World Bank etc) and is frequently consulted by the media on the Sahelian crisis.

Latest book chapters
2014. " Tuareg Militancy and the Sahelian Shock Waves of the Libya Revolution" in Cole, P. & McQuinn, B. The Libyan Revolution and its Aftermath. Hurst / Oxford University Press.
2013. "Group Formation, Identities, and Violent Mobilization: Evidence from Nigeria and Niger" in Justino, P., Bruck, T, and Vewimp, P. A Micro-level perspective on the dynamics of conflict, violence and development. Oxford University Press.
2013. "Recruitment in non-state armed groups", in Brown, G. & Langer, A., Elgar Companion to Civil War and Fragile States, Edward Elgar.

Edited books
2012. (with Thorp, R., Battistelli, S., Orihuela, J.C., Paredes, M.). The Developmental Challenges of Mining and Oil. Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan.
2011. Understanding Collective Political Violence. Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan.

Publications

Article

  • Guichaoua, Y. (2020). The bitter harvest of French interventionism in the Sahel. International Affairs [Online] 96:895-911. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1093/ia/iiaa094.
    This article studies the bitter diplomatic sequence arising in the fall of 2019 between France and the Sahelian countries where France has been conducting military operations since 2013. Far from being just one more hiccup in the troubled relations between France and its former colonies, the article interprets this sequence as a constitutive effect of French protracted military presence in the Sahel. Specifically, it argues that although France has a rather clear security-driven agenda, its operational moves produced by bureaucratic thinking are questioned by influential sections of Sahelian public opinions who frame the French military presence as a deeply political issue over their country's sovereignty. In addition, being the de facto military guarantor of the security of Sahelian regimes, France constrains the domestic political conversation through the ‘red lines’ it imposes on actors. This externally-induced distortion of the domestic political landscape eventually places Sahelian authorities in front of a dilemma. Pleasing their foreign patrons might cost them the support of the section of public opinion most attached to national sovereignty, and expose them to nationalist entrepreneurs.
  • Desgrais, N., Guichaoua, Y. and Lebovich, A. (2018). Unity is the exception. Alliance formation and de-formation among armed actors in Northern Mali. Small Wars & Insurgencies [Online] 29:654-679. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09592318.2018.1488403.
    Our paper investigates the political trajectories of armed actors in Mali since 2012, using recent theoretical advances on alliance formation and collapse in civil wars. Our paper establishes an analytically productive distinction between levels of wartime cleavages and factors shaping groups’ trajectories. Strategic alliances, we argue, emerge from anticipated benefits on the national political scene as well as in the local political economy. The two sets of considerations do not necessarily converge. This dual logic is studied through the cases of two armed groups, both siding with the government after originally aligning with jihadi and separatist coalitions respectively.

Book section

  • Guichaoua, Y. (2014). Tuareg Militancy and the Sahelian Shock Waves of the Libya Revolution. In: The Libyan Revolution and Its Aftermath. Hurst / Oxford University Press.

Thesis

  • Razakamaharavo, V. (2018). Unveiling the Puzzle of Conflict Recurrence through the Prism of Conflict Transformation. Madagascar: From the Colonial Period to 2016.
    The conflict trajectory in the cases of Madagascar features highly unstable dynamics composed of various shifts (and no shift) of conflict stages. With nine main successive episodes of conflict spanning a long period of time (the colonial period to 2016), dynamics of escalation, de-escalation and stability (where the level of conflict remains the same) are building up the cycles of peace/conflict processes in this country. The present manuscript studies conflict recurrence in Madagascar and mainly argues that peace is multi-leveled throughout the cycles. Starting from that viewpoint, the concept of conflict transformation is used in explaining the ebbs and flows at play constructing the conflict trajectory. An innovative as well as original conceptual and methodological approach to the study of conflicts, weaving together Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and in-depth narrative analysis was applied. Reactive and non-reactive methods were used to collect the data, which, after being tested with fsQCA, Tosmana and R software, were examined by conducting conflict analysis, semiotics, public policy studies and critical discourse analysis. The Units of analysis in the research design allowing the study of the dynamics of conflict recurrence in Madagascar were the structural factors and parts of the mechanism pertaining to :a) conflict dimensions (cultural, socio-demographic and economic, political and global external), b) repertoires of action the conflicting parties used throughout the shifts (or no shift) of conflict stages, c) their framings of the conflicts, d) the boundary construction of the self/the other and e) the accommodation policies as well as f) the metanarratives and local narratives. On the whole peace and conflict processes in Madagascar.
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