Regional interventions against coups

"Undoing Coups" by Antonia Witt published: analysis of international intervention in Madagascar following the 2009 coup

“Undoing Coups. The African Union and Post-coup Intervention in Madagascar” has been published by ZED Books. The book by Antonia Witt is based on the results of her double award-winning dissertation and offers an in-depth analysis of international intervention in Madagascar after the fall of the government in 2009 and its significance for African “anti-coup” efforts.

In her book, Antonia Witt deals with the consequences of the African Union-led intervention in Madagascar, whose goal was to restore “constitutional order” after the fall of the Malagasy government. Regional anti-coup interventions such as this one are increasingly relevant, but not yet adequately researched, cases of non-Western intervention in Africa. During her research, Antonia Witt conducted more than 130 interviews in Madagascar, Addis Ababa, Johannesburg, Gaborone and Paris. The interviewees included diplomats, representatives of international and regional organizations, representatives of the Malagasy negotiating parties, civil society organizations and churches, and journalists. In addition, historical archive material, official documents, statements, letters and strategy papers of the actors involved, as well as media reports were analyzed.

The book examines how the international intervention reconfigured the political order in Madagascar and shows how this on the one hand spurred the power struggle within the Malagasy elite, but on the other hand also prevented a deeper political change. Antonia Witt also explores the question of what the intervention meant for the international order in Africa in the broader sense and how the anti-coup efforts changed the power of African international actors such as the AU.

In July 2018, Antonia Witt was awarded the Young Scientist Award of the Association for African Studies in Germany (VAD e.V.) for her dissertation “Ordering by Default. The Politics and Power of Post-coup Interventions in Africa”. A year earlier, she had also been awarded the Christiane-Rajewsky-Prize of the German Association for Peace and Conflict Studies (AFK e.V.) for her dissertation.


About the Author

Dr Antonia Witt is a Senior Researcher and Project Leader at PRIF’s Research Department Glocal Junctions where she is working on African regional organizations and the African Peace and Security Architecture.