Conference contribution
How security turmoil in the Sahel helped Niger renegotiate its influence on global politics
Conferance name
Global South Caucus of International Studies (International Studies Association)
Conference date(s)
2019-08-01 / 2019-08-03
Conference place
Legon Center for International Affairs & Diplomacy, University of Ghana, GHANA
Niger, global politics, security, European actors, foreign policy
The situation of Niger in global politics is perhaps more ambivalent than ever. With one of the lowest Human Development Indexes worldwide, the country is surrounded by substantial security issues spilling over from neighbouring countries. In recent years, Niger experienced a dramatic surge in the flow of migration coming from Mali, Libya, Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan countries. In this challenging context, the relative stability of the political system under President Mahamadou Issoufou contributed to the attraction of a myriad of actors in Europe. Niger is now considered a cornerstone in the institutionalization of the G5 Sahel initiative and eventually will be in the regional “stability”. The ambition of this paper is twofold. On the empirical dimension, it seeks to give an overview of the current relation between Niger and European actors. It insists on strategies conducted by Nigerien policymakers in the framing of a dynamic foreign policy. On the conceptual dimension, this paper shows how the deterioration of a regional environment has been used as a leverage by Niger to renegotiate its position towards its historical creditor, the European Union. This study uses a qualitative methodology essentially based on interviews conducted in Niamey and Brussels.