Research and Practice | April 23, 2015

Journeys of Peace: Ex-combatants from Azania People’s Liberation Army in South Africa

“This essay summarizes the conclusions drawn from a study funded by the African Peacebuilding Network of the Social Science Research Council. It seeks to explore the ways in which ex-combatants make the transition from the use of violence to peace. These conclusions challenge the view that ex-combatants have continued to be violent in post-apartheid South Africa, and they establish that, even though ex-combatants have held onto their military skills, they are peaceful citizens.”

Photo credit to UN Photo/Stuart Price via Flickr user United Nations Photo. Taken on May 24, 2012. This photo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Image was cropped to fit frame. Original photo:
Soldiers walk at dusk under a rising crescent moon.
Research and Practice | April 9, 2015

Are Female Peacekeepers Making a Difference, and If Not, Why Not?

“What is clear is that female peacekeepers suffer under a hypermasculine military culture because they are ‘othered’ on many levels that affect their performance. The literature suggests that where women do seem to have made a difference, they were deployed in all-female units and served in predominantly constabulary roles. Some criticize these units because they are gender segregated, but, ironically, they are the ones most often praised for their success.”

This picture was obtained via Flickr user UNAMID. Photo credit to Albert González Farran, UNAMID.  Taken on May 28, 2014. No changes were made. This photo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Original photo:
A female UNAMID police officer interacts with children in Nyala, South Darfur.
On the Spot | March 23, 2015

Nigeria’s 2015 General Elections

Coordinated with the help of Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji, this special section highlights the most significant issue(s) in Nigeria’s 2015 general elections, to be held March 28, 2015, after a six-week postponement. As Africa’s largest democracy prepares for the polls, several questions must be answered: What do these elections portend for the country in the face of domestic demands for solutions to problems of unemployment, inequality, the marginalization of minorities, and growing insecurity, and Nigeria’s role within West Africa and the rest of the continent? What implications will the elections likely have for national stability and development in Africa’s largest economy? And what do the elections portend for the country’s relations with its neighbors, the West, and emerging powers?

Photo credit to Flickr user Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung. Taken on  December 16, 2014. This picture is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. The photo was cropped to fit screen. Original photo:
A Nigerian man shows his voter ID card.
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