Transnational and Regional Dynamics of Violence and Conflict Resolution in Eastern Africa and the Horn of Africa

Jul 2011 – Feb 2012

The Horn of Africa and Eastern Africa may be viewed as a group of countries or as a geographical space where people, cultures, social and economic networks are linked together and to some extent interdependent economically, politically and socially. Since the early 1980s this region has been among the world’s most politically volatile. Yet, comprehensive regional analyses of conflict and peace processes in East Africa and the Horn of Africa regions are rare and out-dated. This strategic initiative seeks to research and explain instances and processes of political violence and conflict resolution in the Eastern African and Horn of Africa. It emphasises the need to move beyond a restrictive nation state perspective and also to include regional and transnational aspects of politics, state building civil wars and peace negotiations. In pursuing this expanded analytical framework the researchers within the initiative harness and develop recent approaches to the study of regional politics, state failure and political violence. The strategic initiative will focus on three themes emerging from recent studies political violence and peace processes:

  • Dynamics of motive and opportunity in African politics and conflicts
  • Cultures of governance and practises of political violence
  • Regional and global factors in the analysis of civil war and peace negotiations

The strategic initiative is a platform for developing comprehensive research projects related to political violence in the regions of Eastern Africa and the Horn of Africa. The initiative is multi-disciplinary consisting of a network of experienced researchers within the fields of Anthropology, Development Economics, History and Political Science. It is co-ordinated by a core group of five researchers: David M. Anderson, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford, William Reno, Department of Political Science, Northwestern University, Øystein H. Rolandsen (PRIO), Cindy Horst (PRIO), and Helge Holterman (PRIO). Maria Gabrielsen (PRIO) and Tove Heggli Sagmo (PRIO) are also associated with the initiative.

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