Grinw as a Vector for Trust and Tolerance: Investigating the Impact of Membership in Political Discussion Groups in Mali

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In 2012, Mali suffered a rebel occupation and coup d’état, which displaced more than 400,000 Malians. Despite the reintroduction of multi-party elections (in summer 2013) and the presence of more than 10,0000 troops, Mali still faces lingering insecurity, increased ethnic tension, and an uncertain democratic future. This ongoing study with former Visiting Fellow Philippe LeMay Boucher seeks to evaluate how grinw, informal politics discussion groups that are ubiquitous throughout urban and periurban zones, impact trust and tolerance in post-conflict Mali. In addition, a solo book project supported by an ACLS Fellowship aims to use focus groups in grinw to reveal Malian attitudes towards three areas central to the recovery of the democratic Malian state: democracy and governance, allegiance to the state and other subgroups, and social cohesion. Without understanding Malian conceptualizations and understanding of these key thematic areas, it will be difficult to project or anticipate Mali’s future governance trajectory.