Call for papers: What are effective ways to curb the influence of illicit money on democratic governance and security in Africa? CODESRIA/UNOWAS Conference 2017


Application deadline: July 30, 2017

Conference date: October 19-20, 2017 
Venue: Bamako, Mali

The Council for Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) announce an international conference on Money, Security and Democratic Governance in Africa that will be held in Bamako, Mali on October 19-20, 2017.

This conference forms part of CODESRIA’s ongoing engagement with the issues of security and governance in Africa. UNOWAS’ involvement reflects its leading role in addressing security and governance issues in West Africa and the Sahel, which suffer from many of the issues that will occupy this conference.

Security, governance and money are intimately linked. Governance challenges are known to fuel insecurity and insecurity in turn undermines efforts at promoting good governance in many countries. Illicit financial flows have a tendency to subvert good governance and fuel insecurity in many countries. The illicit proceeds of transnational organized crime, including drugs and human trafficking have become big contributors to governance challenges in Africa. Illicit funds have permeated, and compromised electoral and governance processes and structures in a number of countries. Further, many groups are known to use proceeds from various forms of trafficking to purchase arms and pay for their operations. Difficulties in domestic resource mobilization undercut the ability of states and supra-state entities to provide adequate security. Countries and regional organizations often depend heavily on external funding for their operations raising new concerns.

New efforts to reinforce security agencies in response to insurgencies and terrorism also raise concerns over a resurgence of the state security paradigm after the rise of human security in the 1990s. This return to the primacy of force not only crowds out investments in other vital areas of service delivery, but also threatens much of the progress made in focusing on the links between governance and security.

Major questions

The CODESRIA-UNOWAS conference on Money, Security and Democratic Governance in Africa will seek answers to the following questions:

1. To what extent do illicit financial flows undermine democratic governance and
security in Africa and what are the sources of the funds involved in these flows?

2. What are effective ways to curb the influence of illicit money on democratic governance and security in Africa?

3. How are gender and age involved in the interactions of money, security and governance?

4. How can social movements, especially those involving women and the youth help curb the influence of illicit financial flows on democratic governance and security in Africa?

5. How has investment in law enforcement agencies and security forces affected the capacity and interest of African states to deal with human development challenges?

6. What are some of the deleterious ‘side effects’ of efforts to curb the influence of illicit flows on democratic governance and security in Africa?

Those interested in participating in the conference are invited to send papers of 8000 8500 words (including all references, notes and appendices) and a CV with full contact details including email addresses and phone numbers to CODESRIA no later than July 30, 2017.

Empirically grounded and theoretically ambitious papers that have not yet been published will be privileged in the selection process. The conference organizers will bear the conference participation costs of those whose papers are selected for presentation at the meeting.

Submission of papers

All documents should be sent in Word format by email to Please use the subject line ‘CODESRIA-UNOWAS’ when sending your email.