Atlantic Currents 2015: An Annual Report on Wider Atlantic Perspectives and Patterns
This second edition of Atlantic Currents builds on the previous one in seeking to develop a deeper understanding of the history and trends that shape the societies bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Many of those trends are driven by powerful new flows of goods, ideas, people, and conflict that traverse these societies and their shared ocean.
As can be seen in this volume and other research on the Atlantic space, there are numerous current transnational challenges and opportunities that could be better understood from a systems perspective that focuses on structure, interaction, flows, and multiple causes. Understanding the component parts of a system remains important, but zeroing in too closely on the pieces can blind analysts and policymakers to the broader dynamics at play that constrain and enable certain outcomes.
In their respective chapters, Moubarack Lo, Ndidi Nwuneli, and David Rice each discuss what could be considered different types of economic transformation. Rice takes a global view with a focus on Africa in explaining how the world can harness the power of the private sector to reach the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals. Nwuneli’s focus on social entrepreneurship and the transnational linkages that foster its expansion points to a growing movement among businesses and energetic citizens to “do well while doing good." Lo’s chapter delves into the economic theory of development and transformation as he discusses what it means for a country to economically “emerge,” which is a concept linked to the terminology of emerging economies and has become prominent in discourse in Africa.
In his chapter, Michel Petit discusses the multiple factors that would help engineer a new green revolution in the Wider Atlantic, focusing on sustainability. A positive example of transatlantic collaboration is detailed in the chapter by Nizar Messari and Zineb Benalla, where they discuss Brazil’s agricultural diplomacy, as well as providing an up-close look at some of the localized impacts of the systemic flows of weapons and virulent ideologies in the Greater Sahara in their discussion of Benalla’s proactive efforts to counter violent extremism through transformational strategies in the northern region of Mali.
In terms of systemic challenges, Tuesday Reitano and Mark Shaw demonstrate in this volume how drug and migrant trafficking routes through the Greater Sahara today flow across porous borders of weak states based on certain patterns that date back centuries and that are linked to the ethnic Tebu and Tuareg nomadic groups that span several states.
The volume concludes with an in-depth look at economic and social indicators for countries in the Atlantic Basin.