Luca Raineri

 
 

Luca Raineri

Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies of Pisa Italy

 

To What Extent Do Environment and Geography Affect Security Conditions in the Sahara?

This research focuses on some ill-explored factors contributing to the growing insecurity of the Sahara. Based on the discussion of the unconvincing performances of conventional security strategies, the research builds upon eminent literature in the fields of political theory, geopolitics and world history, aiming to debate the heuristic opportunities and contradictions emerging from the framing of the Sahara in terms of connector rather than insulator (McDougall J. and Scheele J., 2012), or in other words in terms of bridge rather than barrier (Zartman W., 1963, Kaplan R. 1994), thus challenging the traditional view of the Sahara as a natural limes. Based on the notion of connectivity, originally developed with reference to Mediterranean studies (Horden P. and Purcell N., 2000, but also Braudel F. 1972), I shall further inquire into this perspective aiming to test the plausibility of a paradoxical, although influential conceptualization of space, drawing parallels between the desert (namely, the Sahara) and the sea (Hegel G., 2011; Schmitt C., 2002; Deleuze G., Guattari F., 1986). Theoretical implications may contribute to provide empirical evidence to support otherwise largely deductive theories in the fields of political theory and geopolitics, and to highlight the contradictions of competitive frameworks of analysis, that have recently tried to give account of Saharan geopolitical features both in terms of “new heartland” (Lacoste Y., 2011) and of “global borderland” (McDougall J. 2012).