We want your paper by June 25th. Photo by Helgi Halldórsson.

Workshop on African security

Workshop in Uppsala, 22-24 November 2017

African security governance is at a crossroads. On the one hand, human security is a core component of a nascent security culture vested in Africa's regional and sub-regional organizations (Jeng, 2012). On the other hand, some observers have noted an increase in global militarism and hard security approaches in dealing with contemporary threats to peace and security (Stavrianakis & Selby, 2012). For instance, against the backdrop of the “global war on terrorism” launched by the US in 2001s, scholars have identified the increasing militarization of the relations between global powers and Africa (Forte, 2012). Additionally, a securitization of development assistance provided to African states is an increasingly important area of attention (Abrahamsen, in press).

Several African leaders are currently engaged in advancing a militarist narrative, whereby security threats in Africa demand stabilization efforts and a “joint fight” by African and international partners (Project Syndicate, 2016; WPR, 2017). The readiness of Africa’s own peace and security institutions to lead counter-terrorism efforts is given top priority. For instance, Africa's regional peace and security mechanisms have increasingly come to take a more proactive stance on interventionism through the deployment of stabilization operations aimed at ending armed violence and restoring state authority (de Coning, Gelot and Karlsrud, 2015).

Seen against this security governance culture at a “crossroads”, we seize this moment to bring together leading researchers in the field African security governance to a workshop in Uppsala, Sweden. Key questions subjected for discussion during this workshop include:

  1. Is the concept of militarism sufficient to capture the challenges and trends facing African peace and security governance?
  2. What is the added-value of the new approaches used to study African security governance or the African peace and security architecture (APSA)?
  3. Do the new approaches require different theoretical and methodological choices?

Call for papers
The workshop hosted by the Nordic Africa Institute seeks to inspire advances to the research agenda on African peace and security governance. We invite new approaches that seek to capture complexity, contestation and change within institutional arrangements and governing mechanisms, including, but not limited to, regime complex theory, securitization theory, security assemblages, discourse approaches, security practice approaches and the study of processes of spatialization. Additionally, we ask participants to reflect on the usefulness of bringing the concept of militarism into the study of regional and global governance.

Please apply by sending us an abstract latest June 25th. As soon as we have collected all proposals, we will revert to you with further information. Based on successful selection among the applicants, we can offer funding to cover travel and accommodation.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Mikael Eriksson, Swedish Defense Research Agency, FOI. Contact email: mikael.eriksson@foi.se and mikael.eriksson@nai.uu.se

Dr. Linnéa Gelot, Folke Bernadotte Academy, FBA and School of Global Studies, Gothenburg University. Contact email: linnea.gelot@fba.se linnea.gelot@fba.se

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