Political Opportunity and the Conflict Landscape in Africa: Do we need new Paradigms?
What Works: Peacebuilding Strategies that Really Work
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.
The environment of peace and conflict is daily being altered by the rapid, spontaneous coverage of African peace and conflict events on social media. As one one twitter user observes "Its like everyday there is something new ... Everyday. Bombing. Fighting. Killing. #BringBackOurGirls." The rapid deliberate and non-deliberate sharing of information on social media is having opposite effects on peace and conflict. It is increasing opportunities for building stable peace as well as increasing opportunities escalating conflicts. This workshop examines ways of leveraging social media to build peace.
In the African armed conflict literature, resources, particularly resource contestation is blamed for most armed conflicts in the continent. Scholarship, has therefore, focussed on exposing the resource-conflict link with little success of altering the African conflict landscape. As Karl Marx argues, "philosophers have succeeded in interpreting the world; the point is to change it." This workshop brings together experts to explore ways of moving beyond the discuss of causation to the praxis of disconnecting resources from the politics of violence in hope of eliminating conflicts associated with resources.
Social media and the Peace-Conflict Tension: Prospects and Challenges
Resources, Conflict, and Opportunities for Stable Peace: Africa 2015-2025
Over the last two decades, majority African countries have been dealing with the effects of serious armed conflicts, especially involving non-state actors. Although countless efforts have been expended (with varying outcomes) on dealing with these conflicts, African countries are still largely vulnerable to destructive conflicts. This workshop, therefore, brings peacebuilding researchers, advocates, policy makers and experts on peace and conflict together to explore practical ways of responding to armed conflicts that have the potential to produce positive results.