West African Papers

The West African Papers series explores African socio-economic, political and security dynamics from a regional and multidisciplinary perspective. It seeks to stimulate discussion and gather information to better anticipate the changes that will shape future policies. The series is designed for a wide audience of specialists, development practitioners, decision makers and the informed public. Papers are available in English and/or French, and summaries are available in both languages. Initiated by the Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC) to highlight and promote West African issues, the work presented is prepared by its Secretariat, Members and partners, other OECD departments, related international organisations, associated experts and researchers.

English Also available in: French

The unstable foundations of political stability in Chad

Chad has emerged as an important counter-terrorism partner in the Lake Chad Basin and the broader Sahel-Sahara region due to its recent political stability and military contribution to security efforts in these troubled zones. However, a closer look at developments in domestic politics, notably the continued and increasingly severe repression of the political opposition and civil society, suggests that this stability may not be built on solid foundations. This paper considers the role Chad has played in the fight against Boko Haram and other forms of regional violent extremism in an effort to take stock of the current threats the Chadian government faces from external actors. It then investigates growing domestic grievances due to an ongoing fiscal crisis, attacks on civil liberties, and a disrupted electoral calendar which risk escalating and destabilising the current government. The paper argues that the mitigation of these diverse and multi-dimensional security threats, particularly at the domestic level, would benefit from an environment that is more supportive of democratic institutions and the rule of law, thus enhancing the country’s prospects for stability in the short- and long-term.


Keywords: political stability, Chad, Sahel, Boko Haram, security
JEL: F5: International Economics / International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy; D74: Microeconomics / Analysis of Collective Decision-Making / Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions; N47: Economic History / Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation / Economic History: Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation: Africa; Oceania; H56: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / National Security and War
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