Peace and security generically embrace creating stable and enabling environments for the constructive and non-violent resolution of conflicts. As a paradigm, an adequate conceptualisation of peace and security in Africa would link human security with human development and provide a multidimensional understanding of positive peace and security free from the previous shortcomings of defense and state-centered conceptualisations of security. It would also encompass and contribute towards ‘just peace’ while being instrumental in the eradication of violent conflict and poverty. In addition, it sets a strong focus on prevention at the root, using a unifying platform for multilateral action by many partners from all levels of governance and civil society in order to move societies toward a culture of peace.
The Unit seeks to critically engage relevant focus areas on peace, conflict, human security and development; and, aimed at informing policy formulation and institutional practice in Africa [and in particular, South Africa].
To implement the Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA) research agenda on ‘Seeking Solutions for Africa’s Developmental Challenges’ through generating innovative applied research products that contribute towards ‘just peace’ and assuage violent conflict and poverty.
The overall objectives of the Unit are:
- To undertake funded research in the areas of peace, conflict, security and development in Africa;
- To conduct regular seminars and conferences on issues of conflict, human security, peace-building and development;
- To generate peer-reviewed publication of research in the form of journal articles, policy briefs, monographs, books/book chapters, working papers and collections of conference papers;
- To participate in regular media appearances to provide critical analysis of topical issues on peace, conflict, security and development in Africa;
- To conduct campus lectures and mentor young researchers; and,
- To build and maintain networks for peace and development within the continent including South-South and North-South partnerships.
Key Focus Areas
- Comparative studies on fragile states and human security in Africa;
- Engendering peace and post-conflict reconstruction in Africa;
- Regional organisations and mechanisms for conflict resolution in Africa;
- Gender, conflict, HIV/AIDS and development in Africa; and,
- Socio-demographics, environmental scarcity and conflict in Africa.