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Syntia Hasenöhrl: Affective Politics of Care during COVID-19: Feminist Views of Political Discourses and Intersectional Inequalities in Mali. [Abstract]

Contrary to many African states’ restrictive COVID-19 measures in the first half of 2020, which had severe socio-economic and political effects, the Malian government appeared more moderate in its fight against the pandemic and even introduced social measures to alleviate the effects of COVID-19 (measures). However, increasing anti-government protests still culminated in a military coup in August 2020. In order to shed light on government communication during that time as one factor in this paradox, this article focuses on the politics of care constructed by the Malian political elite between March and August 2020. The article uses an affective-discursive approach to analyse government communications and contrasts them with a feminist view of associations, NGOs, and activists. It shows that postcolonial, capitalist, and gendered path dependencies have decreased opportunities for care from the Malian state and increased the intersectional vulnerabilities of Malians to COVID-19 measures. In addition, the article demonstrates how the affective politics of domestic and international care that were maintained through the presidential discourse used securitisation and solidarity to construct subject positions that, however, incorporate rather than challenge the aforementioned inequalities.

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