This regional line relies on the Centre’s 30 years of experience in knowledge-production and international networking in African Studies, and aims at studying major fracturing and divisive challenges for Sub-Saharan Africa development at the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century. The three breakout clusters of this line will intersect with the three research groups of the Centre for International Studies: Institutions, Governance and International Relations, Societal and Development Challenges, and Economy and Globalization.

The first cluster focuses on Political and security challenges. Researchers working in this subfield will study:

  • State fragility as a source of permanent concern due to its political and security implications (focusing particularly the horn of Africa and the two Sudan states and the region that covers countries belonging to and bordering the Sahel);
  • The implications of the Arab revolutions and the fall of the North African authoritarian regimes;
  • Religious dynamics and religious revival in Africa (traditional religions, evangelical churches, and Muslim reformism).

The second cluster includes the topic of social and demographic challenges. The Centre’s members will be involved in studying:

  • Divisive and fracturing challenges occurring mainly in urban communities, due to population growth and the rate of urbanisation;
  • Youth social integration, challenges in education regimes and education strategies, and social support in urban areas;
  • New epistemologies in postcolonial contexts.

The third cluster will focus on economic and development co-operation challenges. Researchers will investigate:

  • The impact of emergent economies in African development as a major factor of growth and social transformation since the beginning of the current century;
  • The changing importance of non-African countries and regions on trade, investment and aid flows, as the range of African partners has widened and is expected to widen further;
  • The paradox of development in Africa that is caused by an increasing demand for raw materials;
  • The strategic changes that new partnerships and new financial investments are causing to African development, as well as the new range of opportunities that are developed to address its enormous domestic and regional problems;
  • Local impact of global dynamics, food security, and migration.