The objectives of the journal are to promote a culture of peace and stability by facilitating the exchanging of ideas and expertise within the conflict resolution community on the continent of Africa, to contribute to developing home-grown (African) methods of preventing, managing and resolving conflict on the continent and the provide a forum for information sharing, networking and learning in the field of conflict resolution. Articles of an academic nature on the theory and practice of dealing with conflict, especially in the context of Africa, are published. Envisaged readers are academic researchers, teachers and students and practitioners in the field of dealing with conflict. Publisher's website:


The library contains articles of the African Journal on Conflict Resolution as of vol. 4(2004) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • Explaining electoral violence in Africa’s ‘new’ democracies

    S Omotola (African Journal on Conflict Resolution, 2011-01-25)
    The electoral process in many of Africa’s ‘new’ democracies has been characterised by violence. However, recent manifestations of electoral violence have assumed an unprecedented magnitude and changing form and character, with negative implications for democratic stability and consolidation. This paper analyses electoral violence in Africa, with emphasis on its manifestations, causes, implications and possible solutions. The paper argues that rising electoral violence in Africa is closely connected with the neo-patrimonial character of the African state, the nature of contestation for power, the weak institutionalisation of democratic architectures, including political parties and electoral management bodies (EMBs), and the fascinating political economy of electoral violence. This is complicated by the absence/paucity of democrats, with democratic mindset, to play the game of politics according to established rules. Worse still, avenues for democratic redress, including the judiciary and civil society, are also deeply implicated in the deepening contradictions of the state. The result is the deinstitutionalisation of the people in the democratisation process. Electoral violence is thus a major source of democratic instability with palpable threats of deconsolidation. These contradictions will have to be redressed to tame the monster.
  • Electoral systems, constitutionalism and conflict management in Southern Africa

    K Matlosa (African Journal on Conflict Resolution, 2007-10-18)
    No Abstract. African Journal on Conflict Resolution Vol. 4 (2) 2004: pp. 11-54
  • Elections, constitutionalism and political stability in South Africa

    D Nupen (African Journal on Conflict Resolution, 2007-10-18)
    No Abstract. African Journal on Conflict Resolution Vol. 4 (2) 2004: pp. 119-144
  • South Sudan’s December 2013 conflict: Bolting state-building fault lines with social capital

    Gerenge, Robert (ACCORD, 2016-03-30)
    The December 2013 violent conf lict in South Sudan, the world’s newest and most fragile state, has shown that a state-building trajectory that only emphasises formal institutional development is not viable. Like any state at its formative stage, formal institutions in South Sudan have demonstrated limited capacity to meet the high demands by citizens for ‘peace or postsecession’ dividends. The state’s limited capacity has further been eroded by political constructs claiming ethnic supremacy by both the Dinka and Nuer, the main parties to the December 2013 conf lict. This article argues that the entitlement tied to post-secession dividends claims by the Dinka and Nuer has (re)produced a generally volatile social space for South Sudan by defining the mode of political settlement of the state, and undermining the generation of social capital for conf lict management in the society. By constructing a nexus between state-building and social capital, this article shows that the state-building process in South Sudan requires the hybridity of formal and informal institutions. This helps in transforming the volatile social space created through the supremacy constructs of the Dinka and Nuer and high citizen demands placed on the fragile state.Keywords: State-building, social capital, ethnic supremacy, Dinka, Nuer, South Sudan
  • A comparative analysis of the Post- Arab Spring National Dialogues in Tunisia and Yemen

    Hamidi, Hanna (ACCORD, 2016-03-30)
    Post-conf lict societies are in a fragile state in which social cohesion needs to be gradually rebuilt. One of the tools employed to restore social cohesion in a fragile society is the organisation of a national dialogue which would allow most, if not all, of society’s political and civil society actors to air their grievances and make concrete recommendations for the long-lasting resolution of conf lict. In the MENA region, both Tunisia and Yemen have organised national dialogues after the Arab Spring with different results. This article uses Jane Jenson’s model on social cohesion to determine why Tunisia’s national dialogue has been more successful than Yemen’s in bringing about social cohesion.Keywords: Social cohesion, national dialogues, transitions, peacebuilding, Tunisia, Yemen
  • Student leadership and advocacy for social cohesion: A South African perspective

    Speckman, McGlory (ACCORD, 2016-03-30)
    This article utilises the insights of sociology and social psychology in defining social cohesion, outlining the ideal state and making a case for the role of student leadership in social cohesion. It draws from personal experience as former Dean of Students while it relies mostly, not entirely, on secondary sources in the disciplines of sociology and social psychology. The conclusion is that given the numbers behind them and the position of influence derived from student structures, student leadership is ideal for advocacy and activism.Keywords: Social cohesion, student leadership, liminality, advocacy, common assumptions, f luctuating vision
  • Forward by Guest Editors

    Potgieter, Cheryl; Zulu, Paulus (ACCORD, 2016-03-30)
    No Abstract
  • Social cohesion, sexuality, homophobia and women’s sport in South Africa

    Engh, Mari H; Potgieter, Cheryl (ACCORD, 2016-03-30)
    In the post-Apartheid era sport has been consistently celebrated as an avenue for fostering social change, curing various social ills, and uniting South Africans across the divides of race, class, gender and geography. The argument for using sport to foster social cohesion in South Africa rests on two main assumptions: firstly, that direct participation in sport and physical activity promotes sustained communication, collaboration and understanding across social divides; and secondly, that the success of national teams and athletes promotes national pride and unity. In this article we raise the question of whether sport can indeed foster social cohesion in a context where women’s sports participation and symbolic embodiment of the nation give rise to regulatory schemas that enforce compulsory heterosexuality and mainstream constructs of ‘feminisation’. We explore these issues by drawing on media reports of cases in which South African elite women athletes have had their gender or sexual identities questioned, challenged or regulated according to heteronormative gender regimes. By so doing we argue that efforts to increase women’s sports participation or the promotion of women athletes as embodiments of the nation can contribute to facilitating social cohesion. To realise the potential of sport as a tool for building social cohesion, a conscious and dedicated effort must be made, we argue, to deal more directly with narrow heteronormative gender regimes and the homophobic attitudes and prejudices that these foster.Keywords: Gender, sexuality, homophobia, sport, social cohesion, race,South Africa
  • Towards Pentecopolitanism: New African Pentecostalism and social cohesion in South Africa

    Kaunda, Chammah (ACCORD, 2016-03-30)
    This article evaluates the challenges that militate against the full engagement of New African Pentecostalism (NAP) in the process of social cohesion in South Africa. It argues that this new religious phenomenon in South Africa has been preoccupied with the promotion of internal social cohesion within its ecclesiastical boundaries to the neglect of national social cohesion. Employing the notion of ‘religious cosmopolitanism’ (Cahill 2003) as theoretical underpinning, the article proposes a new concept termed Pentecopolitanism, as an ethical frame for New African Pentecostal engagement in democratisation and social cohesion in South Africa. The notion of Pentecopolitanism is envisaged to function as an antidote against sectarianism and fundamentalism within NAP and a framework for its constructive engagement with pluralism in the current South African search for national social cohesion. Pentecopolitanism is a philosophy which arises out of the need for recognition of the social function of religion, so as to enable human beings to discover their humanity through the humanity of others.Keywords: Social cohesion, Pentecopolitanism, South Africa, Black Africans, New African Pentecostalism
  • Women in conflict and indigenous conflict resolution among the Issa and Gurgura clans of Somali in Eastern Ethiopia

    Tadesse, B; Tesfaye, Y; Beyene, F (ACCORD, 2010-09-09)
    This article tries to show the impacts of conflict on women, the role of women in conflict and indigenous conflict resolution, and the participation of women in social institutions and ceremonies among the Issa and Gurgura clans of the Somali ethnic group. It explores the system of conflict resolution in these clans, and women’s representation in the system. The primary role of women in the formation of social capital through marriage and blood relations between different clans or ethnic groups is assessed. The paper focuses on some of the important elements of the socio-cultural settings of the study community that are in one way or another related to conflict and indigenous conflict resolution mechanisms. It also examines the positive aspects of marriage practices in the formation of social capital which strengthens friendship and unity instead of enmity. 
  • Book Review: "From soldiers to citizens: Demilitarization of conflict and society"

    Maina, G (ACCORD, 2010-09-09)
    Book review: From soldiers to citizens: Demilitarization of conflict and societyJoão Gomes Porto, Chris Alden and Imogen Parsons 2007Aldershot. Ashgate, 192 pp.ISBN 978-0-7546-7210-4
  • Book review:

    Mnguni, Lukhona (ACCORD, 2016-03-30)
    A Nation in crisis: An appeal for moralityZulu, Paulus 2013Cape Town, Tafelberg, 224 pages.ISBN: 978-0-624-06536-4
  • The African Union and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD): Restoring a relationship challenged?

    Landsberg, Chris (ACCORD, 2012-11-22)
    Africa faces a dual challenge of governance and development, with institutional and implementation crises looming large. Whereas the continent has gone through an energetic period of diplomacy during the decade 1998–2008, in which institutions and programmes like the African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) have been established, we have also witnessed serious problems revealing themselves. One such problem has been institutional rivalries which served to undermine the continent’s political and development agendas, and one such enmity was the tension and rancour between the AU and NEPAD. The newly elected Chair of the AU Commission in Addis Ababa will have to address such serious institutional tensions and rivalries in the continent. The relationship between the AU and NEPAD has exposed competition over status, scarce financial and human resources, policy influence and petty squabbles amongst diplomats and officials. The tensions between these poorly anchored and weakly consolidated institutions and initiatives have prompted some to suggest that NEPAD needed to be fully integrated into the AU and to fall under the command and control of the AU as premier body. When the AU finally settled on the idea of ‘integration’ after years of prevarication and equivocation, new institutional and human resource capacity building challenges began showing themselves. This was not all, however. A political leadership vacuum was added to the series of problems which bedevilled the continent, and African pivotal states like South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Algeria and others, who were all instrumental in crafting the continent’s new, post-Cold War order, failed to demonstrate the necessary agency and leadership. While there is no doubting that NEPAD is a programme of the AU, its role should be, amongst others, to bolster technical and operational expertise, and support the AU and its processes, and become instrumental in facilitating, conceptualising, and even implementing policies. Crucially, NEPAD could and should provide technical backstopping for the AU and its organs, and become directly involved in promoting capacity building for the AU and regional economic communities (RECs). It has a vital role to play in ensuring that new processes of monitoring and evaluation are introduced within the context of African inter-state politics and diplomacy, and also in helping to ensure that programmes of the AU are implemented and African states and international partners meet their obligations towards the AU. NEPAD’s niche with regard to resource mobilisation should be bolstered. The AU for its part needs to urgently address its very serious institutional capacity constraints, and to focus squarely on the need to restore Africa’s international agency and leadership.African Journal On Conflict Resolution, 12(2) 2012
  • Between reactive and proactive interventionism: The African Union Peace and Security Council's engagement in the Horn of Africa

    Murithi, Tim (ACCORD, 2012-11-22)
    This article will assess the interventionism which the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) has fostered in the Horn of Africa region with particular reference to the Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Kenya. Ten years after the establishment of the AU and eight years after the operationalisation of the PSC, the Union has adopted a stance that can be defined as ‘interventionist’ as far as peace and security issues in Africa are concerned. This article will assess whether this interventionism has been predicated on a coherent AU policy towards crisis situations, or whether it can be best described as ‘reactive interventionism’. This article will thus elaborate on the notion of reactive interventionism. With the onset of more pronounced intra-state conflicts between the period of the 1990s and the present, it has become evident that a policy of intervention is necessary to stem the proliferation of complex emergencies. This is particularly evident in the Horn of Africa. Concomitantly, the PSC has been considerably more engaged with situations in the Horn than in other parts of Africa. This article will argue that while the PSC’s interventionism is laudable, the cases of Somalia and Sudan reveal that it has not been backed up by a genuine commitment by AU member states to ensure and conduct robust peace operations. This reveals that the PSC is beset by a ‘reactive’ form of interventionism which in many respects is a function of the absence of a proactive and preventive culture of crisis prevention within the AU system and its member states. This article will argue that the PSC needs to make the transition from reactive interventionism towards more proactive interventionism. The article will identify some of the obstacles and challenges that need to be overcome at the strategic level of AU decision making and at the tactical and operational level of implementation in order to ensure that proactive interventionism becomes entrenched in the modus operandi of the PSC and other organs of the AU system.African Journal On Conflict Resolution, 12(2) 2012
  • The African Union Peace and Security mechanism’s crawl from design to reality: Was the Libyan crisis a depiction of severe limitations?

    Sithole, Anyway (ACCORD, 2012-11-22)
    The formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on the 25th of May 1963 gave hope that African countries would unite in eradicating colonialism as well as facilitating economic and social development. Furthermore, the establishment of the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution in 1993 ensured that an institutional structure for the maintenance of peace and security existed on the continent. However, the OAU largely failed to address the challenges that the continent faced and this led to calls for the OAU’s transmutation into the African Union (AU). The establishment of the AU on the 9th of July 2002 was thus greeted with high levels of optimism and euphoria, and the expectation that the continental body would now fully tackle the problems on the continent. An important development was the formation of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) on the 25th of May 2004, as main component of the architecture through which peace and security in Africa were hopefully going to be achieved. This development presented an opportunity for the further institutionalisation of Pan-African ideals, with the hope that Africa would forge even closer unity. However, at present, the AU PSC continues to experience severe challenges, some of them inherent in the organisational structure of the continental body while some are externally induced. Some of these limitations include lack of unity of purpose as well as of political will among member states to deal with the conflicts bedevilling the African continent – as evidenced by developments during the Arab Spring. What transpired in Libya in 2011 was a clear indication of the slow evolution of AU ideals, a situation which was further compounded by the intervention and interference by some members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), under the aegis of the United Nations (UN) and the pretext of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’.African Journal On Conflict Resolution, 12(2) 2012
  • A review of the African Union’s experience in facilitating peaceful power transfers: Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Libya and Sudan: Are there prospects for reform?

    Rupiya, Martin (ACCORD, 2012-11-22)
    Succeeding the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), whose main concern had been decolonisation, the African Union (AU) began focusing on enhancing human security and consolidating democracy. The new Union was faced with huge challenges, however. Of 47 Sub-Saharan Africa states that had embarked upon democratisation, 42 failed to transform and democratise. Then, early in 2011, the grassroots in five North African states rose to overthrow their near monarchical regimes and succeeded in spreading the initiative into the rest of the Arab World. The AU found itself engaged in attempts to resolve complex conflict situations, but with the international community as an active participant. With limited resources, but boasting political legitimacy over African member states, the AU intervened into the various crises with mixed results. It was unable, however, to enforce the compelling tools at its disposal – such as mediation forums, suspension of membership, withdrawing recognition of legitimacy and even imposing sanctions on truant political players and member states. It also had to fight a credibility battle as an African organisation not taken seriously, undermined by former colonial powers and marginalised in the international security system. This paper, therefore, seeks to make a critical evaluation of four AU intervention efforts in situations of blocked political-democratic transitions, and to make suggestions on strengthening such efforts and enhancing credibility – in the eyes of ordinary Africans and the international community.African Journal On Conflict Resolution, 12(2) 2012
  • The quest for Pax Africana: The case of the African Union’s peace and security regime

    Dersso, Solomon A (ACCORD, 2012-11-22)
    In 1967 Ali Mazrui offered in his seminal work, Towards a Pax Africana, the earliest analysis on the need for Africans to assume responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security on the continent. Arguably, the most comprehensive effort towards achieving this ideal was made with the establishment of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) in the context of the transformation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to the African Union (AU). As the institutions and processes constituting the APSA are coming into operation, various questions are raised. Despite the fact that the political ideal of ‘African solutions to African problems’ underlying the APSA is routinely used in the literature and policy circles, questions still remain on what it actually entails and how it informs and shapes African policy making on peace and security issues affecting the continent. Most importantly, there is also the question of how far this ideal embodied in the APSA provides Africa with the means for achieving Pax Africana. In attempting to address these and related questions, this contribution will offer an analysis of the ideal of ‘African solutions to African problems’ within the framework of APSA and its role and limitations in Africa’s quest for maintaining its peace and security.African Journal On Conflict Resolution, 12(2) 2012
  • The African Union’s diplomacy of the diaspora: Context, challenges and prospects

    Mwagiru, Makumi (ACCORD, 2012-11-22)
    This article examines the venture of the African Union (AU) into diasporic diplomacy. It inspects the context in which this was done, and the thrust of its diplomacy in the diaspora. It identifi es four crucial diasporic communities with which states and organisations like the AU must interact if they wish to have proper and functional diasporic diplomacy. These are the African diaspora abroad (i.e. outside Africa), which consists of the historical and the contemporary diaspora, intra-African diasporas in the continent, and the diasporas of other regions in Africa. It is argued that the African diaspora abroad consists of the historical diaspora, and the contemporary diaspora. The article makes the case that the AU should concentrate its diaspora diplomacy on the historical diaspora, since concentrating on the contemporary African diaspora abroad pits it against member states which are also practicing diasporic diplomacy. Instead, it is suggested that the AU should play a facilitative role and also engage these other diasporas in the service of African diplomacy.African Journal On Conflict Resolution, 12(2) 2012
  • The African Union’s notion of ‘African solutions to African problems’ and the crises in Côte d’Ivoire (2010–2011) and Libya (2011)

    Apuuli, Kasaija Phillip (ACCORD, 2012-11-22)
    The formation of the African Union (AU) was precisely aimed at finding African solutions for African problems. The AU’s institutions, powers and objectives were meant to bring about fundamental shifts away from the constraints imposed on actions under the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) charter. When the crises in Côte d’Ivoire and Libya began, it was hoped that the AU would be the one to find solutions under its much cherished notion of ‘African solutions to African problems’. However, the organisation has sometimes taken half-hearted measures, and suffered from internal divisions among its members on how to react to the crises and their consequences, which rendered the notion of ‘African solutions to African problems’ moot.African Journal On Conflict Resolution, 12(2) 2012
  • Book Review: "Peace: A world history"

    Grant, L (ACCORD, 2010-09-09)
    Book review: Adolf, Antony 2009Peace: A world historyCambridge, Polity Press, 272 pp.ISBN 0780745641263Reviewed by Laura GrantLaura Grant has recently worked as an intern with ACCORD.

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