Author: tor-a-benjaminsen

Tor A. Benjaminsen is research professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). He holds a PhD within human geography, and his research interests include environmental change and its governance within a broad and critical political ecology perspective.

Why did Mali fall into jihadist hands?

Jihadists have succeeded in taking control of more than half of Mali, where many people in rural areas are now adherents of one armed group or another. This situation is largely the result of widespread frustration with the bad governance by the country’s corrupt ruling elites. While the jihadists have managed to take advantage of… Read more »

Let the Desertification Zombie Rest in Peace

The myth that African agriculture and livestock farming is causing desertification originated early in the colonial times. The reason was that colonial authorities wanted to exploit resources for their own profits. Efficient management of natural resources was presented as part of the white man’s burden. The losers were smallholder farmers and herders who lost access… Read more »

Climate Change, Jihadism and Policy Failures in the Sahel

On the 22 November 2017, the Subcommittee on Security and Defence in the European Parliament held a public hearing on the ‘The Security Dimension of Climate Change – What Implications for EU Common Security and Defence Policy?’. I was one of three invited speakers at this event, and talked about ‘Climate Security in the Sahel’…. Read more »