Peacebuilding in Africa: evolving landscapes, emerging challenges and new African thinking
23-25 February 2015 | WP1358
Wilton Park, Wiston House, Steyning, West Sussex.
Since the end of the Cold war, and following the initial euphoria of the third wave of democracy, the peacebuilding landscape in Africa has evolved and shifted dramatically both in response to the changing dynamics of conflict as well as the emergence of new conflict actors on the continent. In many cases, the changing landscape of conflict has thrown up challenges that exceed the initial scope of provisions of existing peacebuilding norms and frameworks. These changes have exacerbated the peacebuilding dilemma in a context where post-war peace tends to unravel within the first decade of the signing of a peace agreement/cessation of hostilities and conflict. It also raises questions about the challenges that emerging shifts in conflict dynamics and the international context pose for the idea and practice of peacebuilding in Africa.
Key issues for discussion
Among others, the urgent questions inviting reflection include the following:-
- Whose thinking is shaping the peacebuilding agenda in Africa? What are the conceptual, methodological and paradigmatic issues in the face of complex conflict, peace and security challenges?
- Where is the African effort in re-thinking the research and policy agenda in the evolving peacebuilding terrain?
- Are such African efforts contributing to new knowledge and practice in African peacebuilding? What, if anything, is new and/or transformational in these efforts?
- What are the relationships between these African efforts and international engagements on this peacebuilding terrain?
- If African efforts are not at the heart of this terrain, what should be done to enable African leadership in peacebuilding thinking and practice?
Goal and objectives
The proposed conference has several objectives:
- To assess the current threat landscape in Africa and the challenges to building stable peace.
- To analyse the dynamics of peacebuilding and Africa-Global engagements since the end of the Cold War and its implications.
- To explore and discuss current and emerging thinking and analysis on peacebuilding in Africa.
- To convene researchers, policy analysts and actors in peacebuilding in Africa and global spaces to present leading debates on peacebuilding.
- To discuss alternative and/or complementary peacebuilding approaches, which are potentially relevant to the transformation of the conflict and security landscape in Africa.
We envisage that the following thematic issues will form the focus of the conference:
- Evolving conflict and security terrain in Africa
- Extant knowledge, new thinking about “African peacebuilding”
- Peacebuilding policy spaces: evolving issues and actors
- Alternative perspectives to building peace in Africa
- Case-studies of African peacebuilding initiatives
This conference is by invitation only.
Enquiries about the programme to: Ms Isobelle Jaques, Programme Director Wilton Park, Wiston House, Steyning, West Sussex. BN44 3DZ Telephone: +44 (0)1903 817781 Fax: +44 (0)1903 879231