Essays | August 4, 2014

Democracy versus Stability: Political Reconciliation and the Government of National Unity in Zanzibar

“Race, political economy, social classes, the struggle for democracy, the question of unity, and proximate factors such as leadership have all been cited by scholars as causes of political instability in Zanzibar. To understand political reconciliation in the region, however, one needs to approach the problem from the perspective of actors, interests, and strategies for peace.”

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A group of men walking along the beach in Zanzibar.
Essays | July 3, 2014

The May 2014 Malawi Elections: A Democratic Success Story?

“These results have been widely embraced by democracy enthusiasts and seen as a significant milestone in Malawi’s democratization project …. However, a critical review of the overall conduct and handling of the polls in May raises a crucial question as to whether or not these elections should be celebrated as the significant achievement they have been made out to be.”

Photo credit to Flickr user masondan. Photo taken February 14, 2014, 2014 by Dan Mason. This picture is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. No changes were made. Original photo:
Malawians riding on a bus prior to the May 2014 elections.
Peacebuilding in Congo | June 5, 2014

Post-M23 Euphoria and the Recurrent Peace Dividends in Eastern DRC

“The examples of M23 and ADF showcase the positive potential of decisive peace enforcement, but neither the unsatisfactory ‘peace agreement’ following the FARDC-FIB success against M23, nor the atomization of ADF into much less powerful but persistent micro-units, are long-term solutions …. [T]he quest for peace needs to be understood as a molecular process involving at least as much of a bottom-up as a top-down logic.”

Photo credit to Flickr user United Nations Photo. Photo taken March 14, 2014 by UN Photo/Sylvain Liechti. This picture is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. No changes were made. Original photo:
A MONUSCO peacekeeper on patrol while a resident gathers wood in the eastern Congo region of Beni.
Radar | May 21, 2014

Insurgents and Terror in Jos, Nigeria: Where Next?

“As national and international attention is mainly focused on Sambisa forest in the search for the girls that were abducted by Boko Haram from Chibok in Borno State, it is important not to overlook the dire fact that other parts of Nigeria are vulnerable to coordinated attacks by Boko Haram. It happened in Kano and Plateau State—but there is no telling where it will happen next.”

Photo credit to Flickr user selena deckelmann. Taken July 4, 2009. This picture is licensed CC BY-ND 2.0. No changes were made. Original url:
A man tries to navigate his way through traffic in Nigeria.
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