Currently viewing the category: "Peace and Security"

In my presentation at the Youth, Conflict and Governance in Africa workshop at Yale University on March 1, 2014, I drew from findings and analysis in the third chapter of my forthcoming book, The Outcast Majority: War, Development and Africa’s Youth (University of Georgia Press, 2015). I spoke about urbanization, employment and livelihoods with [...]

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My main points are that peace needs money. More particularly, the way in which peace is financed determines the nature of that peace. Sustainable peace requires the right kind of money. I am not talking about financing peace processes—which are invariably good value for money, even if the day-to-day expenses of hosting delegates in hotels might appear to be extravagant—but rather the financing of the post-peace dispensation.

There has been much attention to how natural resources can be a curse rather than a blessing, and can drive conflict. There is less attention on how rental revenues, including natural resources along with aid and security cooperation rents, shape the prospects for peace. Nonetheless, there is a certain model for peacemaking that has become dominant in Africa, and that model has built-in assumptions about the nature of how peace will be financed.

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Technological changes, especially in the domain of Information and Communication Technology, have colored the recent history of these regions. And although wireless coverage here is mostly still far below the average levels found in Europe, South Africa or Kenya, having even relatively poor coverage is making a huge difference to ordinary people’s connectivity compared with the situation as recently as five years ago. Improvements in this domain are to be expected in the coming decade.

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There is no easier way of illustrating the applicability of this to post-2003 Iraq than in the inevitable post-poll political horse-trading that will inevitably follow April 30. Moreover, the dynamics of the rentier political marketplace so define the Iraqi political order that they are the cornerstone – the raison d’etre – of the resulting “national-unity” government and “power sharing”.

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The unique structure of the SPLA means that the same kleptocratic principle applies to local leaders and army commanders in rural areas. This generates the “rent-seeking rebellion” cycle:

The level of fatalities among soldiers and civilians is completely disproportionate to the claims of the rebel leader or mutineer.

This in turn [...]

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Alex de Waal, Chad Hazlett, Christian Davenport and and Joshua Kennedy co-authored a new article in Social Science & Medicine,”The epidemiology of lethal violence in Darfur: Using micro-data to explore complex patterns of ongoing armed conflict.” Below is the abstract, full text available through the journal.

This article describes and analyzes patterns of lethal [...]

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