The Broker Online


The Broker magazine features expert contributions at the forefront of international development debates. Our stories go beyond mainstream discussions, putting new or different developments into perspective.

About the magazine & archive Experts and authors

Five strategic failures of the French intervention in Mali

While jihadist groups such as Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) were defeated within Mali in 2013, this article highlights five failings of the intervention logic that suggest this was a tactical rather than strategic defeat.

TEST Sahel Watch: the conflict in Mali

For more than two years, Mali has been suffering from a sudden eruption of armed conflict. In recent decades, economic, ecological, political and security factors have combined to create fertile ground for conflict. This led to ethnic tensions and, ultimately to a military coup. The situation is embedded in broader geopolitical rivalries involving ethnic militias and Islamist groups, other African countries including Algeria and Libya, Middle-Eastern countries like Qatar and Western governments, including France and the Netherlands. A narrow focus on national military approaches and statebuilding will therefore not take the sting out of the conflict.


Beyond treating symptoms

Support to SMEs in fragile and conflict-affected states has become a priority for the international development community. Yet thorough analysis of the broader institutional context in which these SMEs operate is needed to explain inequalities in the wider enabling environment and to make these interventions successful.

It’s not about formalization

How informal micro and small enterprises can (if they should at all) make the transition into formal enterprises and how this would affect their growth and employment structure

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