Mauritania: the Evolution of Political Structures


Nina Grishina


The Islamic Republic of Mauritania as an independent State emerged as a result of the collapse of colonial French West Africa, which included Mauritania. Its independence was declared on November 28, 1960.

At the turning point of historical epochs, under the influence of national liberation movements on the continent and the general democratization of world government institutions, wide opportunities opened up for political activity, both for individual parties and movements, and for a particular individual.

The pressure of foreign monopolies, the archaic social structure, internal political instability and the complexity of relations with neighboring countries have become serious obstacles to the development of Mauritania. During the years of independence, Mauritania has repeatedly experienced coups d’etat, which could not but have a negative impact on the entire socio-political spectrum of this West African country.

Decades of French colonial influence has been reflected in the formation of political institutions in Mauritania, such as the Constitutional Council and the judiciary.

Mauritania’s domestic policy has been based on racial and ethnic lines for many years. The protracted confrontation resulted in a conflict between the black population mainly in the south of the country and the traditionally Berber Arabs living in the northern regions, whose representatives held leading state posts.

Each new head of state who came to power in post-colonial Mauritania, among the main tasks of domestic development, set the task of uniting various ethnic groups.

Despite the obvious difficulties in solving this issue, the main tasks of the country’s leadership in the field of domestic policy are strict compliance with the current legislation in order to restore public confidence in state institutions and psychological restructuring of the consciousness of the vast majority of the population, aimed at developing a new attitude to domestic political life.

In the 1980s, the country began a movement for the right of women to participate in the socio-economic sphere. But only in the 21st century did they gain the right to hold political office, although they are still required to live under Sharia law. At the level of public consciousness, the participation of women in politics and in other spheres of public activity is not approved. Traditional slavery is a special problem of socio-political development.


political structures, traditions, government, political activity, Constitution, women’s rights, domestic slavery




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