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Hudson, Heidi. Decolonising gender and peacebuilding: feminist frontiers and border thinking in Africa
2016, Decolonising Gender and Peacebuilding: Feminist Frontiers and Border Thinking in Africa,” Peacebuilding, 4(2), pp. 194–209
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Abstract:

The article seeks to theorise an integrated decolonised feminist frame for peacebuilding in an African context. Arguing that a decolonial-feminist lens has the potential to change the way we look at peacebuilding practices, I propose the notion of ‘feminist frontiers’ – an engaged yet stabilising heuristic tool for analysing racialised and gendered relations post-conflict. The argument is structured around three pillars, namely: metageographies as metaphoric mental-space constructions of a colonial peace; masks that constrain the introduction of complicated and intersected human subjecthoods; and mundane matter that elicits ambivalent engagements between human and post-human subjectivities in the areas of everyday political economies and infrastructural rule of peacebuilding. I conclude that such feminist frontiers represent intermediate and mediated spaces or epistemological borderlands from where the undertheorised and empirically understudied discursive and material dimensions of peacebuilding from a gender perspective can be investigated.

Comment: This article is useful for students of of conflict resolution as it proposes an alternative means through which to approach peace keeping and peace building.

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Khadiagala, Gilbert M.. Allies in Adversity: The Frontline States in Southern African Security, 1975–1993
1994, Allies in adversity : the frontline states in southern african security, 1975-1993. Athens: Ohio University Press.
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One of the fundamental questions in Africa’s search for meaningful political and economic integration is how small states with limited resources promote change in their regional neighborhoods. This study looks at Africa’s Frontline States—Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—to assess their role in southern African security since the 1970s. Several issues formed the basis for collaboration among these Frontline States (FLS) in the 1970s and 1980s: advancing Zimbabwe’s and Namibia’s independence, building regional economic institutions, and managing South Africa’s dominance. The FLS contributed to decolonization and economic integration by aggregating their collective strengths and attracting external actors into the region.

Through the eyes of principal African actors, this study explains local and international efforts at resolving conflicts across the racial and economic divides of southern Africa. It complements the myriad studies on security, conflict resolution, and regional integration in an area undergoing tremendous transformations as it attempts to leave the decolonization conflicts of the 1970s behind.

Comment: This is a valuable book for students of African studies, African history and African politics. Khadiagala presents a comprehensive examination of interstate relations in the southern Africa region, examining the extent to which relatively weak, majority-ruled states in southern Africa were able to organise a credible security alliance. The author provides theoretical and empirical insights on the limits and vulnerabilities of security alliances which are dependent on powerful external actors.

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Khadiagala, Gilbert M.. Meddlers or mediators? : African interveners in civil conflicts in Eastern Africa
2007, Meddlers or mediators? : African interveners in civil conflicts in eastern Africa. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff (International negotiation series, v. 4).
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Since the 1990s, African actors have been engaged in ending civil wars. These efforts have often been characterized as the quest for indigenous solutions to local conflicts. Using cases of mediation in Eastern Africa-Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Sudan - this study probes the strengths and weaknesses of African mediation initiatives. The book contends that although African actors have limited resources to mediate civil wars, over the years, they have learnt to seize opportunities that accrue from participating in conflict resolution to contribute to peaceful settlements. Conceptualized as building organizational power for mediation, this process has entailed evolving professional norms and standards of intervention. Eastern African mediators have also benefited from interaction with international mediators in conflict resolution.

Comment: Khadiagala’s book sheds light on the vagary of conflict mediation through citizen-led (elder statesmen), state-centric and regionally-driven initiatives. Recommended for scholars of peace, conflict resolution, history, politics and African studies.

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Larémont, Ricardo. Climate Change and Conflict in the Western Sahel
2021, African Studies Review, 64(4), pp. 748–759.
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Abstract: The states of the western Sahel (Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, and northern Nigeria) are politically quite fragile. Recent severe changes in climate are accelerating conflict and violence in an already economically desperate region, causing increased skirmishes between pastoralists and farmers, while depleting water resources and encouraging many to migrate either within the region or to North Africa. This article provides a commentary on the increasing levels of violent conflicts in the Western Sahel. Larémont explains the role of climate change, jihadist groups and the failing role of the state. It further critically analyses the interference of Western countries in this region.

Comment: Connects climate change to violent conflict in the Western Sahel. Good for interdisciplinary teaching in history, conflict studies and climate change, particularly the socio-political effects of climate change.

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Maphasa, Thulani. Finding Peace in Uncertain Times: South Sudan and the Revitalised Peace Process
2020, South Africa Institute of International Affairs
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, Contributed by: Wout Didden
Abstract: South Sudan’s latest peace deal has been lauded as a milestone in the country’s long road to peace and stability. The Revitalised Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) outlines power-sharing arrangements between rivals President Salva Kiir and main rebel/opposition leader Riek Machar, and provides a blueprint for a sustainable peace and democratic transition. Despite this welcome development, South Sudan’s revitalised peace process has been marred by delays, uncertainty, divisions and the regionalisation of the conflict. As a result, key issues relating to state boundaries and security arrangements remain unresolved, leaving the primary drivers of the conflict untouched. The civil war in South Sudan – which broke out in 2013 – has cost an estimated 400 000 lives, displaced millions and plunged the nascent country into a state of deprivation. South Sudan and its people must urgently facilitate a return to peace, stability, reconciliation and unity. This paper contextualises the agreement, examines its contents and presents the key enablers of and barriers to the success of the revitalised peace process.

Comment: Overview, summary and discussion of the peacemaking process in South-Sudan. Views from an South-African scholar that is specialised in African actors influencing the peacemaking process. An objective view.

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