Call for papers for the Colloquium on the theme “Twenty years after the war in Côte d’Ivoire: thinking about the crisis in times of peace”

GRESCI and FHB University are pleased to join forces with the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation and IRSEM to hold a colloquium aimed at analyzing the legacy of the Ivorian crisis, with an emphasis on current and future dynamics, via this return to the past. twenty years after the outbreak of the civil war on September 19, 2002 This colloquium will take place from September 19 to 21, 2022 at the headquarters of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire.

Twenty years after the outbreak of the war in Côte d’Ivoire, it is appropriate to take advantage of this time of peace to draw lessons from the war. Indeed, for a long time an island of stability in a West Africa marked by instability, Côte d’Ivoire ended up tipping over, on September 19, 2002, into a politico-military crisis that lasted a whole decade. The long negotiation process initiated by the Economic Community of West African States at the beginning of the war gradually opened up to various actors, but was unable to spare the country from a deadly end to the crisis. Indeed, the 2010 presidential election, which was supposed to bring peace and democracy, increased divisions while exposing the fragilities of a decade of crises. On April 11, 2011, more than 3,000 deaths closed the tragic page of the war in Côte d’Ivoire.

Closed, the word seems strong as war transforms societies, questions and has a lasting impact on the progress of a nation. In fact, the Ivorian crisis seems to be an ideal terrain for understanding the complexity of civil wars and for analyzing post-crisis reconstruction approaches which, beyond economic performance, are rooted in democracy, the preservation of freedoms and citizenship. The writings and productions on the subject have shown the particularities of the Ivorian case as a land of immigration, of tensions between democratic openness and authoritarian practices, in a context of particularly strong ties between France and the Ivory Coast.

The crisis itself called into question Ivorian strategic choices in terms of defense and diplomacy, the role of France and, more broadly, of the international community – including pan-African institutions – in conflict prevention and management. International actors and institutions have been at the heart of conflict management and the post-conflict reconstruction process, both in terms of justice with the International Criminal Court, security through the role of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire and the French Licorne operation, and in terms of economic recovery with the Bretton Woods institutions, the European Union, and the United States, among others. Beyond international action, the local dynamics of post-crisis reconstruction have been the subject of much research. Paradoxically, the crisis was a catalyst for synergies and mobilization of energies that gave rise to a tremendous artistic and cultural activity, of which the coupe-decalé was the culmination. In short, a double local and international logic whose causes and effects are intertwined.

What lessons can be drawn from the years of the Ivorian crisis and post-conflict reconstruction? What are the dynamics of yesterday that have disappeared or persisted? How does the trajectory of the Ivorian crisis and post-crisis period fit into the history of West African civil conflicts? The importance of Côte d’Ivoire in the subregion and the interest in the study of conflicts have encouraged the production of several books, articles and other reflections on the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire. But, two decades after its outbreak, a global reflection mobilizing actors and researchers around the issue, treating it in its various facets by updating the data is an opportunity that this conference offers.

To this end, the organizers invite researchers and practitioners to submit abstracts of 250 words specifying the axis in which they wish to intervene. Please send contributions in French or English to the following address: colloquevingtansciv@gmail.com, from April 15 to May 20, 2022. The following topics may be of potential interest:

  • Axis 1: Origin and causes of the Ivorian crisis and beyond, what remains of it today?
  • Axis 2: Living at the pace of war: mutations, political life, freedoms and human rights, living in the sub-region, arts, rebel governance, living at war in government territories and scientific productions.
  • Axis 3: International actors in the test of war and reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire: UN, France, ECOWAS, AU, Licorne, UNOCI, ICC, high-level personalities, development aid actors.
  • Axis 4: Consequences and mutations linked to the conflict.
  • Axis 5: Rebuilding and reconciling in Côte d’Ivoire: economic and social, diplomacy and defense, justice, democracy and citizenship. Territorial balances and state presence.
  • Axis 6: Questioning the crisis exit model: Good practices, liberal models, justice.

Please also note that contributors should approach their institution to obtain funding to attend the conference. Some limited funds will be available to support colleagues whose proposals are accepted, but this cannot be guaranteed at this time.

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