Marte’s research investigates the dynamics of Salafi-Jihadist expansion and takes southern Mali’s Sikasso region as a case study. Combining political science, sociology, Islamic studies and anthropology, the project aims to provide insights into the process of Jihadist expansion from two perspectives.
On the one hand, the “local” arena where Jihadists attempt expansion, which is not simply a tabula rasa. Rather, it has experienced a period of intense social, political and economic transformation that predates the presence of Jihadist armed conflict in the Sahel region. Understanding the political and moral economy, and their transformation is thus key.
On the other hand, Jihadists attempting to expand into new terrains navigate this unique social topography. The project seeks to understand how they expand, and how their expansive project is connected to a broader attempt to govern populations in the Sahel.