Armed Conflict in Africa addresses two core questions: why has Africa been so sorely afflicted by violence in modern times and what can be done to bring about a more peaceful future? These questions are of obvious importance. Since the end of the Cold War, Africa has experienced more armed conflicts and endured more direct and indirect casualties of war than any other continent. The violence has been both pervasive and brutal. During the last decade of the twentieth century, endemic violence has played a key role in inhibiting social and political progress and preventing Africans from experiencing the unprecedented economic growth that so many other peoples enjoyed. Allowing these problems to fester can only lead to further problems in the new millennium. The purpose of this work is to encourage its readers to face rather than evade the problem of war and to encourage critical and creative thinking about these vital concerns. The book fills a gap in contemporary scholarship on Africa by offering a multi-disciplinary examination of the roots of conflict and suggesting a range of possible solutions.
The eight contributing authors are well-respected thinkers originating from a number of different countries. Some are scholars while others have been active in public life. They have been trained in a variety of academic disciplines and have very different approaches and interpretations. The book has thematic coherence but is not informed by any single ideology or methodology. Rather, it seeks to stimulate critical analysis by presenting the reader with conflicting perspectives resting on the assumption that the first step on the road to problem solving is to understand the problem. The book focuses first on analysis of the roots of conflict and then on conflict resolution.
Carolyn Pumphrey is currently Coordinator for the Triangle Institute for Security Studies and for Duke University's Program in Asian Security Studies and teaches history at North Carolina State University. Her research interests are in the history of restraints on war. Rye M. Schwartz-Barcott is an active duty officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and President and Founder of Carolina For Kibera, Inc. (CFK), a Democracy and Human Rights Program of the University Center for International Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) that is supported, in part, by the Ford Foundation and World Bank.
Chapter 1 General Introduction Chapter 2 Conflict in Africa: An Overview Chapter 3 Violence in Africa since 1950: Frontiersmen Chapter 4 The Economic Context of Conflict in Africa Chapter 5 Ethnicity As Myth: The View from Central Africa Chapter 6 Nongovernmental Organizations and Their Potential for Confict Reduction in Africa Chapter 7 Conflict Resolution: A Methodology for Assessing Internal Collapse and Recovery Chapter 8 The Sudan: Negotiating a Settlement Chapter 9 Conclusion: A Call from Arms?