Reflecting on NSI’s Participation in the 12th Atlantic Dialogues


The New South Institute (NSI) proudly participated in the prestigious 12th edition of the Atlantic Dialogues, hosted from December 14th to 16th, 2023, in Marrakech, Morocco. This globally recognized conference, organized by the Policy Center for the New South, convened a diverse range of leaders and experts to engage in vital discussions on topics affecting the Atlantic Basin and the wider world.

At the forefront of NSI’s representation was Executive Director Ivor Chipkin, whose participation underscored NSI’s commitment to deepening the understanding of global governance challenges. Chipkin’s involvement particularly shone in the session titled “From Barracks to Power: A New Norm in the Sahel?” on December 15th, focusing on the recent shifts in governance and power dynamics in the Sahel region.

Chipkin was joined by a distinguished panel of experts, each bringing a wealth of experience and unique perspectives. The panel included Younes Abouyoub, a veteran United Nations diplomat and governance expert specializing in the MENA region. Zineb Benalla, CEO of Eirene Associates, brought her extensive expertise in counterterrorism, peacebuilding, and gender equality in the Maghreb and Sahel regions. Enrico Castello, an analyst at NATO’s Strategic Direction South Hub, contributed his in-depth knowledge of peace and security gained from field experience in Africa and Europe. The session was moderated by Rida Lyammouri, Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South, recognized for his research on geopolitics and international relations in the West African Sahel.

This session critically examined the emergence of military-led governments in the Sahel, assessing their capability to address deep-rooted developmental challenges and the resultant shifts in regional geopolitical alliances. The discussion, enriched by the diverse perspectives of the panel, including Chipkin’s, delved into the potential establishment of military governance as a new norm in the Sahel.

Ivor Chipkin, with his profound expertise in institutional building, public administration reform, and the impacts of state capture on democratic institutions, brought a unique perspective to the discussion. His insights were rooted in his extensive research and academic work, particularly on how state capture can profoundly affect the functioning of institutions and the quality of democracy, offering a nuanced understanding of the challenges faced in the Sahel region from a governance standpoint.

NSI’s participation in the Atlantic Dialogues, particularly through Ivor Chipkin’s expert contributions, highlights our dedication to contributing to global discourse on governance and public policy. This engagement not only reinforces NSI’s role as a thought leader in these areas but also ensures that the lessons learned and insights gained will continue to inform our work in advancing effective public administration and combating state capture.

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