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  • Author: Signe Marie Cold-Ravnkilde, Mikkel Funder, Ida Peters Ginsborg
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The report presents the main findings of a desk study of experiences with conflict prevention and resolution in natural resource management, and how these can be applied in development cooperation in relation to climate change.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Climate Change, Development, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Lars Buur
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Mirroring an international trend, the new Danish development strategy has support to fragile states as one of its five priority areas. In line with this commitment, and as a relative novelty, the development strategy emphasizes the need to take risks and operate in risky environments. This is clearly important, not only for fragile state engagement and post-conflict reconstruction efforts, but for aid delivery more generally. Nonetheless, this also potentially creates a double-bind situation when risk-taking clashes with the consequences of risk-taking, particularly when tax payers' hard-earned revenue is at stake and politicians become nervous about negative media coverage and bureaucrats fear for their careers. In such a situation, risk-taking is politically and bureaucratically fraught. Development aid in general, and aid to fragile states in particular, is indeed a risky business, circumscribed by processes of rent-seeking, corruption, primitive accumulation and political favouritism; besides the more mundane – but no less risky – policy, planning and implementation failures where “white elephants” can easily be nurtured. Fragile states come in many shapes and supporting them requires considerable flexibility, independence, responsiveness, and local and political knowledge in order to seize the moment of golden opportunity.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Markus Virgil Hoehne
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Somalia has been without effective state institutions since 1991. Over the past two decades, moderately effective state-like institutions have been rebuilt in Somaliland and Puntland in northern Somalia, but they do not enjoy international recognition and are limited in power and scope. This text concentrates on the integration of non-state actors, particularly traditional authorities, during the process of state-formation in Somaliland. Arguably, this integration has brought about a hybrid political system that functioned quite well during the first years of existence of Somaliland. Hybrid political systems are currently of great interest in various African settings, including the possibility of integrating traditional authorities into (local) government in South Sudan. These systems, however, mix modes of legitimacy of different political actors in a way that, in the long run, either undermines the democratic capabilities of modern states or seriously damages the credibility and effectiveness of traditional authorities. Thus, hybrid political systems may be a way to stabilize politics in a transitory phase (e.g., after civil war or independence) but they are not the easy way out of the dilemma that state institutions in many African states are weak, have only a very limited outreach and in many regards lack popular legitimacy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Civil Society, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Signe Marie Cold-Ravnkilde, Moussa Djiré, Abdoulaye O. Cissé, Amadou Keita, Anna Traoré
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Recent years have witnessed an increasing focus on water as a source of conflict. So far, much of the focus has been on the risk for transboundary water conflicts. Our current knowledge on local water conflicts is however more limited, and tends to be based on sporadic accounts of local water conflicts rather than on systematic empirical evidence. At the same time, the extent and nature of local water cooperation is often overlooked, just as we know little about the particular role of the poorest in water conflict and cooperation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali
  • Author: Bjørn Møller
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Somalia has been without a functioning state ever since 1991, when the former dictator, Siyad Barre, was overthrown. None of the competing factions were strong enough to take his place as ruler of the country, producing first chaos, but gradually a form of stateless order. The international interventions have ever since the failed, and counter-productive intervention by the United Nations and the United States in the early 1990 exacerbated rather than mitigated the problems, let alone solved them. This was especially the case for the Ethiopian invasion (December 2006-January 2009), which produced utter chaos and a severe humanitarian crisis. Since the withdrawal of the Ethiopian forces, Islamist extremist militias have been establishing control of Somalia, and they may or may not be able to maintain this control. If they pursue their radical programme of Islamisation, their reign is likely to be short, but if they moderate themselves they may retain control.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Foreign Policy, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Somalia
  • Author: Morten Nielsen
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Although reciprocal relationships with neighbours and local-level civil servants are of paramount importance to people living on the outskirts of Maputo, Mozambique, they also harbour destructive potentials. In an unstable urban environment built on a presumption of malice, it is consequently important only to reveal what needs to be seen while concealing those facets which might awaken unwanted desires. This working paper examines how residents in a periurban area seek to position themselves at appropriate distances to important but potentially dangerous others. It is argued that house-building constitutes a potent medium for proportioning viable distances so that reciprocal exchanges can be realized without being harmed by presumed greedy and envious others. In particular, the paper explores how house-builders imitate urban norms which state and municipality claim to be using but which they are incapable of implementing. Through such processes of inverse governmentality, illegal occupancy acquires a form of pragmatic legitimacy when appearing to materialise state-defined urban norms.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mozambique
  • Author: Luke Patey
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In 1999, Sudan shipped its first barrel of oil to the international market. It did so with one civil war painfully continuing between the Khartoum government and the Sudan People's Liberation Army, unrest threatening the petroleum pathway along the pipeline route in the East, and a growing conflict in the western province of Darfur. This was not a rare occurrence in Africa. Nigeria and Angola had experienced the paradoxical duality of the economic progression of oil development; a one-sided affair simply benefiting the ruling elite, while the majority of the population suffered civil war and unrelenting poverty. However, unlike previous cases of the 'resource curse' in Africa, what seems to be a growing trend took shape in Sudan with the engagement of Asian investors, particularly China, in the development of its oil industry. While Asian investment initially took place alongside Western oil companies, state-owned enterprises from China, Malaysia, and India later came to dominate the sector. Nonetheless, whether this investment will deviate from the historical norm of fuelling civil war and underdevelopment has yet to be seen.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Oil
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Sudan, Darfur, Malaysia, India, Nigeria, Angola, Khartoum
  • Author: Bjørn Moller
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The report provides a brief overview of the religious landscape of Africa with a special focus on the role of religion in the continent's several conflicts. It then proceeds to look at East Africa, where the three religious “families” of traditional religion, Islam and Christianity are all present in large numbers. It does not find any significant correlation between conflict propensity or terrorism and religion, neither in the sense that religious diversity gives rise to any “clash of civilizations” nor in the sense that the predominance of any one religion (e.g. Islam) make a country more prone to conflict or terrorism. It then proceeds to country case studies of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, providing a brief overview of the history of religion and conflict and an assessment of the present situation and the prospects for the future.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Religion
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, East Africa
  • Author: Eva Østergaard-Nielsen
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Diaspora and exile groups may play an important, but sometimes also controversial role in conflicts and political unrest in their countries of origin. This is by no means a new phenomenon. Yet, the growing number of intra-state conflicts, the enhanced possibilities for transnational communication, mobilization and action as well as the upsurge in domestic and international security concerns after 9/11, have heightened attention to the role of diasporas.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Abdullah A. Mohamoud
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Diasporas are one of the contemporary global forces shaping the directions and trends in this 21st century. This makes it imperative to build up knowledge and insights about the long distance activities of the diaspora in order to influence the course of the direction. There are limited studies on some of the older diasporas which however focus disproportionately on negative practices of minority militants in them which do not reflect the total picture of their overall activities. For instance, most of the available studies on the subject are largely informed by the activities of Irish, Sri Lankan Tamils, Sikhs and Kurds in the diaspora. There is hardly any documented knowledge and information about the long-distance activities undertaken by the Congolese, Rwandese and Sudanese and others in the diaspora and their impacts on the course of political events in their respective countries of origin. One explanation is the comparatively late emergence of the African diaspora communities. The phenomenon of the contemporary African diaspora is of very recent origin. It is largely the result of violent conflicts and wars that have flared up in many African countries since the early 1990s. More importantly, it is because of their recent origin -- now just a decade old -- that we know very little about the activities of the African diaspora as compared with the older and well-established diaspora. This is an area which is still waiting to be explored as the interactions of the African diaspora with their homelands in Africa have not yet been sufficiently studied.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sri Lanka
  • Author: Louise Riis Andersen
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Security Sector Reform has become a pivotal part of international peacebuilding efforts. Donor agencies and Western government are devoting substantial resources to strengthen the legitimacy and efficiency of war-torn societies' security systems. At the same time, it is commonly accepted that lasting solutions cannot be imposed on societies. In order to be sustained, reforms must be locally owned. Based on an outline of the concept of Security Sector Reform and a presentation of two different approaches to ownership, the brief discusses the ongoing SSR-process in Liberia in view of the recent shift from a transitional to a democratically elected government. It identifies dilemmas between the current SSR-agenda and the objective of ownership, and argues that a more inclusive and less state-centred approach is needed.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Eva Østergaard-Nielsen
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Diaspora and exile groups may play an important, but sometimes also controversial role in conflicts and political unrest in their countries of origin. This is by no means a new phenomenon. Yet, the growing number of intra-state conflicts, the enhanced possibilities for transnational communication, mobilization and action as well as the upsurge in domestic and international security concerns after 9/11, have heightened attention to the role of diasporas. For some, diasporas are irresponsible long distance nationalist or fundamentalists that perpetuate conflicts through economic and political support or intervention. Others have noted how diaspora and exile groups are committed to non-violent conflict resolution and may stimulate and reinforce local processes of democratization and post-conflict reconstruction in their countries of origin. This brief discusses a number of issues surrounding the complex and sometimes ambiguous role of diasporas and exiles in conflicts in their country of origin.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Abdullah A. Mohamoud
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Many domestic conflicts in numerous countries in Africa have not only been regionalised but they are also largely internationalised among other factors through the activities of diaspora groupings. Avail-able evidence suggests that homeland conflicts also directly affect the lives and well-being of the diaspora despite the fact that they are far away from the conflict zones. This reality therefore makes it imperative to address also the international dimension of the conflict, particularly the critical role that African diaspora groups play with regard to homeland conflicts. The connection between the African diaspora's activities and the dynamics of conflict in their homelands is a dimension that has been largely overlooked in research and policy analysis despite its critical significance.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Bjørn Moller
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The paper critically analyses the emerging international norm of subsidiarity according to which "Africa are responsible for African conflicts", which is found to be a possible justification for "buck-passing" on the part of the West, leaving the continent with the fewest military means to deal with the largest number of the most destructive armed conflicts. The paper then provides an overview of the various regional and subregional organisations in Africa, including the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as well as a host of less important organisations. It concludes with a survey of the various forms of support promised to these organisations by the West.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ninna Nyberg Sorensen
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Against the background of increased human mobility over the last three decades, resurgent interest in the migration-development nexus has stimulated new lines of academic inquiry and pushed policy considerations in new directions. This paper outlines current discussions around the links between migration, development and conflict. It also considers the complex nature of 'mixed flows', the difficulties in distinguishing between forced/political and voluntary/economic migration, and the links to development from these various–and often overlapping–types of flows. The paper uses migration from Somalia/Somaliland as the main example. This case–like the cases of most other sending countries–is of course specific. Still lessons can be drawn that are useful in other contexts, and may provide a basis for constructive discussion of potential opportunities in the current migration and international cooperation regimes.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Bjørn Møller
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The first question one must ask is whether “the Great Lakes Region” is in fact a meaningful and useful frame of analysis.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Marta Martinelli
  • Publication Date: 03-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In 1993 Bouthros Bouthros-Ghali expressed his admiration for the methods performed by a group of Catholic peace-lovers, called Community of Sant'Egidio, in their attempts at mediating a deep rooted conflict like the one in Mozambique. He said: " The Community of Sant'Egidio has developed techniques which are different but at the same time complementary to those performed by professional peace-makers. The Community has discreetly worked in Mozambique for years, towards a peaceful adjustment to the situation...It has practised its techniques characterised by confidentiality and informality, together and in harmony with the official work of international governments and inter-governmental organisations. Starting from the Mozambican experience the term "Italian formula" is used to explain this mixture, unique in its kind, of commitment to peace, governmental and not. Respect for the parties to the conflict and all those involved in the field is fundamental for these initiatives to be successful"
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, Italy, Mozambique