What factors have caused and sustained Islamism in West Africa? In answering this historically relevant question, this article re-examines the dominant narratives and hegemonic schools of thought that have attempted to tackle this phenomenon. Drawing from existing theoretical trends, this article repackages and synthesises their hypotheses into a basic formula. Escaping the ideological trappings of the past and overcoming the old structure-agency and material-ideational divide, this article argues that in West Africa, and the Sahel-Sahara region in particular, prerequisites for terrorism and factors that allow an effective dissemination of 'Salafi-jihadism' are primarily located in geography (human and physical) and history. Islamism, this article argues, is thus a mix of context-derived geopolitical and contemporary factors and a case of ideational resuscitation of historical events and religious memories.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Australasian review of African studies|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|