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  • Author: Patrice Sartre
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The Gulf of Guinea has become notorious for its violent conflicts and political instability. This insecurity has its origins in bad governance, corruption, and failures of social and economic development. Violent power struggles and competition for the control of economic assets periodically cause crises to flare up, and these tend to be persistent and widespread. The international community has worked to move countries in the region onto a stable trajectory. West Africa has also made efforts to develop a coordinated approach to the region's challenges through a common security architecture. Such subregional initiatives may ultimately prove most conducive to long-term stability.
  • Topic: Security, Corruption, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Solomon Dersso
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), composed of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda with its secretariat headquartered in Djibouti, covers northeast Africa, a region continuing to experience major changes, arguably more than any other part of the continent. This is the only region of Africa where colonially drawn borders have been redrawn. In contrast to other regions of Africa, this is also where the prospect of further redrawing of borders—with Somaliland seeking international recognition as a separate state—remains a real possibility.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Development, Economics, Environment, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan
  • Author: Mireille Affa'a-Mindzie
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: After the severe twin crises that nearly brought Mali to its knees in January 2012, the country is gradually recovering from their debilitating consequences. In August 2013, Mali successfully elected its new president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, thus putting an end to an eighteen-month-long transitional government that was put in place following the March 2012 coup. Even though the violence has abated and renewed hope seems to be in the air, the structural causes of the Malian conflict are still stubbornly present and their consequences are still being felt by neighboring Sahel countries that suffer from similar underlying ills. The situation in Mali and other concerned states in the region generated a renewed interest in the Sahel-Sahara region and in efforts to stabilize this region. This prompted the International Peace Institute, the Executive Secretariat of the Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel-Saharan Areas of Niger (SDS Sahel Niger), and the Centre for Strategies and Security for the Sahel Sahara (Centre 4S) to convene an international seminar on security and development in the Sahel-Sahara on February 15 and 16, 2013, in Niamey, Niger.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Development, Economics, Peace Studies, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Jean Ping
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Everyone knows that Africa, cradle of humanity, land of the Pharaohs and human civilization, and vast reservoir of human and natural resources, is not doing well. She crosses the deepest crisis that has shaken her since the end of colonial times. The specter of chaos lurks everywhere. She is now seen as the continent of “collapsing states” and “zombie nations”; the continent of extreme poverty, misery, and injustice; the continent of horrors, of the Rwandan genocide and of the worst atrocities committed in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Darfur and elsewhere. This brutal reality has been, for quite some time now, analyzed by most observers and experts with certain fatalism, as testified by these book titles with pessimistic or even alarmist tones: “Black Africa Started on the Wrong Foot” (René Dumont), “Can Black Africa Take Off?” (Albert Meister); “And What If Africa Refused Development” (Axelle Kabou); “Africa Down” (Jacques Giri). By now, it is just a chorus of permanent lamentations about the “lost continent,” the “damned continent,” or the “cursed continent” whose past is not passing. And the rest of the world, which sees us as negligible, even contemptible (“all corrupt and all dictators,” they say), consider that henceforth, they no longer need us.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics, Post Colonialism, Natural Resources, Fragile/Failed State, Neoimperialism
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Darfur, Liberia, Sierra Leone
  • Author: Arthur Boutellis
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The security sector in Côte d'Ivoire is both at the root of the recent crisis and the key to finding a way forward. While successive attempts to resolve divisions have recognized some of the larger challenges of security-sector reform (SSR), the failure to reunify the Ivoirian security forces prior to holding the presidential elections in 2010 was a key factor behind the recent crisis and contributed to its escalation into a military confrontation-a confrontation that included violence against civilians committed by both sides. The decade-long crisis and its latest episode have made the politicians in Côte d'Ivoire increasingly dependent on uniformed men. This will have to be addressed through comprehensive security-sector reform to prevent a return to armed conflict.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Demographics, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Abdel-Fatau Musah
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the challenges to human and regional security in the territory covered by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It examines causal factors and their effects, profiles the actors shaping the security environment, and describes the nature and impacts of their interventions. Finally, it projects possible future scenarios based on the current security dynamics. The paper examines the geopolitical environment of West Africa, with emphasis on the strategic importance of the region and the vulnerabilities emanating from its location. Within this context, it discusses the roles of local, regional, and international actors in the evolving regional security architecture, sifting through their actions, motivations, and interventions. It analyzes the attempts by national, regional, and international institutions to transform the security environment, highlighting their roles, strengths, and weaknesses; and it projects various security scenarios, proposing policy options to meet the challenges that these scenarios present.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Claire Spencer
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: North Africa is often loosely defined, but for the purposes of this paper, it encompasses the states of the Arab Maghreb Union (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia) together with Egypt.1 With the exception of Mauritania, this group of states lies on the northern littoral of the African continent, between the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Sahara to the south. This contiguity, however, has not automatically made for a cohesive region; differences between political and economic trajectories have overridden the social solidarities that still unite the peoples of North Africa.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Algeria, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Lotta Hagman
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In Sierra Leone and elsewhere, the fields of security and development are intrinsically linked and cannot be treated as separate spheres. Just as activities by security actors have an impact on development programs, development activities have security implications. More work is needed in defining a common agenda at the intersection of security and development in order to foster strategies in both areas that are mutually reinforcing. On an operational level, making development thinking part of a peacekeeping operation from the outset, both in planning and implementation should be a priority.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Sheila Coutts, Kelvin Ong
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: While a functioning security sector provides the cornerstone for stable and democratic post-conflict societies, the record of the international community in establishing this critical function is mixed. Despite repeatedly having to manage the immediate post-conflict situation in various peace operations in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America, the international community still fails to take the state of the local security sector adequately into account when planning its own intervention.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Human Rights, International Law, International Organization, Migration, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America