African Peace and Conflict Research 1997-2004

Hanne Fjelde
The report is a summary and assessment of recent research on African conflict, resolution and prevention by Sida supported research networks in Africa. It discusses the onset, prevalence and dynamics of armed conflicts in Africa, including the crisis of the state, etho nationalism, militarisation on the sub-national level, resource insecurity and the links to various globalisation effects. The report also comments on the relationship between the claims, the empirical evidence and the methodology used, and compares with the international mainstream discourse. The reviewed research emphasizes the need of first addressing the structural causes feeding and prolonging state weakness, such as poverty, unequal access and external dependence. It also points to the necessity of exploring alternative levels of political authority and legitimacy at the local as well as the regional level.