This book models the trade-off that rulers of weak, ethnically-divided states face between coups and civil war. Drawing evidence from extensive field research in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo combined with statistical analysis of most African countries, it develops a framework to understand the causes of state failure.
Sovereignty, Responsibility, and the War on Terror
Author: Elizabeth Schmidt
Publisher: Ohio University Press
In Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War—interdisciplinary in approach and intended for nonspecialists—Elizabeth Schmidt provides a new framework for thinking about foreign political and military intervention in Africa, its purposes, and its consequences. She focuses on the quarter century following the Cold War (1991–2017), when neighboring states and subregional, regional, and global organizations and networks joined extracontinental powers in support of diverse forces in the war-making and peace-building processes. During this period, two rationales were used to justify intervention: a response to instability, with the corollary of responsibility to protect, and the war on terror. Often overlooked in discussions of poverty and violence in Africa is the fact that many of the challenges facing the continent today are rooted in colonial political and economic practices, in Cold War alliances, and in attempts by outsiders to influence African political and economic systems during the decolonization and postindependence periods. Although conflicts in Africa emerged from local issues, external political and military interventions altered their dynamics and rendered them more lethal. Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War counters oversimplification and distortions and offers a new continentwide perspective, illuminated by trenchant case studies.
Africa has experienced dozens of conflicts over a variety of issues during the past two decades. Responding to these conflicts requires concerted action to manage the crises – the violence, the political discord, and the humanitarian consequences of prolonged fighting. It is also necessary to address the long-term social and economic impacts of conflict, to rebuild communities, societies and states that have been torn apart. To accomplish this requires the involvement of institutions and groups rarely considered in formal official African conflict management activities: schools, universities, religious institutions, media, commercial enterprises, legal institutions, civil society groups, youth, women and migrants. These groups and organizations have an important role to play in building a sense of identity, fairness, shared norms and cohesion between state and society – all critical components of the fabric of peace and security in Africa. This volume brings together leading experts from Africa, Europe and North America to examine these critical social institutions and groups, and consider how they can either improve or impede peaceful conflict resolution. The overarching questions that are explored by the authors are: What constitutes social cohesion and resilience in the face of conflict? What are the threats to cohesion and resilience? And how can the positive elements be fostered and by whom? The second of two volumes on African conflict management capacity by the editors, The Fabric of Peace in Africa: Looking beyond the State opens new doors of understanding for students, scholars and practitioners focused on strengthening peace in Africa; the first volume, Minding the Gap: African Conflict Management in a Time of change, focused on the role of mediation and peacekeeping in managing violence and political crises.
The Oxford Handbook of Terrorism systematically integrates the substantial body of scholarship on terrorism and counterterrorism before and after 9/11. In doing so, it introduces scholars and practitioners to state of the art approaches, methods, and issues in studying and teaching these vital phenomena. This Handbook goes further than most existing collections by giving structure and direction to the fast-growing but somewhat disjointed field of terrorism studies. The volume locates terrorism within the wider spectrum of political violence instead of engaging in the widespread tendency towards treating terrorism as an exceptional act. Moreover, the volume makes a case for studying terrorism within its socio-historical context. Finally, the volume addresses the critique that the study of terrorism suffers from lack of theory by reviewing and extending the theoretical insights contributed by several fields - including political science, political economy, history, sociology, anthropology, criminology, law, geography, and psychology. In doing so, the volume showcases the analytical advancements and reflects on the challenges that remain since the emergence of the field in the early 1970s.
Liberation Politics and the Outbreak of Africa's Deadliest Conflict
Author: Philip Roessler
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
In October 1996, a motley crew of ageing Marxists and unemployed youth coalesced to revolt against Mobutu Seso Seko, president of Zaire/Congo since 1965. The rebels of the AFDL marched over 1500km in seven months to crush the dictatorship, heralding liberation as a second independence for Central Africa as a whole. US President Bill Clinton toasted AFDL leader Laurent-D�sir� Kabila and his regional allies -- having developed a unique camaraderie and personal trust on the region's battlefronts -- as a 'new generation of African leaders' ushering in an 'African Renaissance.' Within months, however, the Pan-Africanist alliance fell apart. The AFDL's collapse triggered a cataclysmic fratricide between the heroes of liberation that became the deadliest conflict since the Second World War, drawing in eight African countries. This book draws on hundreds of interviews with protagonists from Africa and the international community to offer a novel theoretical and empirical account of Africa's Great War. Bridging the gap between comparative politics and international relations, it argues that the renewed outbreak of calamitous violence in August 1998 was a function of the kind of regime the AFDL was and how its leaders saw Congo, the region and themselves. As a Pan-Africanist liberation movement, the collapse of the AFDL government internally and the unravelling of regional order externally were inextricably linked.