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Special Reports

Political Opportunity and the Conflict Landscape in Africa: Do we need new Paradigms?

April 2016

Violent political contestation is associated with the majority of armed conflicts in Africa. Many scholars believe that politics poses the greatest obstacle to peace as well as the greatest opportunity for ending armed conflicts in the continent. Yet, it is not politics per se but expanding (or declining) political opportunities that is at the heart of the conflict question. This workshop explains what these opportunities are, how they are created or eroded, and why they are influential in provoking, escalating, or de-escalating armed conflicts on the continent.

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