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A rising tide of discontent may not have caused the coup, but it helps explain why Malians, who have been steadfast supporters of democracy, have tolerated the military junta, even supported it. […] When examining Mali’s current political crisis, we must carefully consider how ordinary Malians view the privatization of their lands, resources, and public companies by foreign enterprises. Indeed, unchecked neoliberal economic policies imposed from without threaten the viability of sustainable democratic institutions and the very social fabric that makes democracy work in the first place.

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