The State, War, and the State of War

alt Holsti, Kalevi J.
Published by: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996 (reprinted in 1997, 1998)
ISBN: 10: 052157790X 13: 978-0521577908

Reviewed by: Senzo Ngubane
In the African Journal on Conflict Resolution Volume 1 No. 2, 2000

Attempts to offer an understanding of the relationship between war making and state creation in the world have been undertaken by many international relations and strategic studies scholars. In most of these attempts attention has been focused on how state making in Europe differed from that in other parts of the world. In this context, we have come across a number of publications on the collapsing or deteriorating of States in Africa. Linked to this is the question of war and how the world has come to understand it. In all these attempts various authors have tried to explain the changes that have taken place regarding the nature of wars and conflicts in the world.

The State of the World's Refugees

alt Hussein Solomon
Published by: Oxford University Press, 2000
ISBN: 10: 019924104X 13: 978-0199241040

Reviewed in Conflict Trends Issue 2 of 2002

The world has changed fundamentally since 1951 when the UNHCR was established with a budget of US$ 300 000 and a staff component of 33 to deal with 400 000 refugees who were homeless in the aftermath of the Second World War. By 1999, the UNHCR budget had surpassed US$ 1 billion and it employed more than 5 000 staff in 120 countries to respond to a worrying population numbering some 22,3 million of which 52,4 percent were refugees. These figures clearly indicate the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis confronting policy-makers. This, then, is a timely publication which examines the development of international refugee law and the establishment of institutions devoted to the protection of refugees and other displaced people over the past 50 years.

The seed of an African Renaissance: the Haiti revolution

This is an abridged version of a speech made by President Mbeki in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, on 1 January 2004 during the celebrations of the Bicentenary of the Independence of Haiti.

We bring you warm greetings and messages of support and solidarity from millions of your brothers and sisters in the vast expanse of the African continent. All of them, without exception, are with you in spirit as we celebrate a revolution that established the first black republic in the world, and the second independent state in the Americas and the Caribbean.

Indeed, all African people, wherever they may be, on the continent or in the Diaspora, view the Bicentenary of the Haitian Revolution as an inspiring occasion that communicates an important message to all of us that the poor of the world can and must act together decisively to confront the common challenges they face – poverty, under-development, discrimination and marginalisation.

As we know, as a French slave colony, this country contributed two third of French overseas trade, was France's greatest colony in the world and an envy of other colonial powers.Yet, as the coincidence of circumstances would have it, the San Domingo masses began their heroic revolt when the Paris masses carried out their historic revolution, which transformed France into a modern democracy, inspired by the principles of equality, liberty and fraternity.

The Right to be Nuba

alt Suleiman Musa Rahhal (ed)
Published by: The Red Sea Press, 2001
ISBN: 10: 1569021368 13: 978-1569021361

Reviewed by: George Mboya, Journalism Graduate, United States International University – Africa, Nairobi, Kenya
In the African Journal on Conflict Resolution Volume 3 No. 1, 2003

The war is the Sudan has ravaged on for 18 years with no end in sight. The book in review shows the plight of one particular community in the Sudan. If this community is being neglected now during the war then it cannot be ignored when efforts at peace are being made. The book tells the story of a people who are fighting for their right – the right to be Nuba. With or without any prior intention by the authors, the book ultimately serves as a mouthpiece for other marginalised communities whose participation in any peace effort is vital. The book brings a tribute to the Nuba and their fight against injustice. It provides a testimony to the courage of a people bent on preserving their culture and heritage, which is vitally important in any peace process.

The Resolution of African Conflicts: The Management of Conflict Resolution and Postconflict Reconstruction

alt

Editors Alfred Nhema and Paul Tiyambe Zeleza
Published by: Ohio University Press, 2008
ISBN: 10: 1847013023 13: 978-1847013026

Reviewed by: Sadiki Koko, Senior Researcher at ACCORD
In Conflict Trends Issue 1 of 2009

An observation of conflict trends in Africa indicates that intrastate armed conflicts, which were on the rise between 1990 and 1998, have significantly decreased in number. Many conflicts on the continent have been settled and others are in the process of being resolved, generally through peaceful means. However, a number of conflicts remain a challenge in Africa.

The daunting challenges of post-conflict reconstruction facing the majority – if not all – African countries recovering from violent conflicts pose the risk of conflict relapse. This trend has been observed in recent years in a number of African countries including Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Resolution of African Conflicts: The Management of Conflict Resolution and Post-conflict Reconstruction

Alfred Nhema and Paul Tiyambe Zeleza
Ohio University Press, 2008, 207 pp.
ISBN-13: 978 1 84701 302 6

 An observation of conflict trends in Africa indicates that intrastate armed conflicts, which were on the rise between 1990 and 1998, have significantly decreased in number. Many conflicts on the continent have been settled and others are in the process of being resolved, generally through peaceful means. However, a number of conflicts remain a challenge in Africa.

The politics of economic regionalism: Sierra Leone in ECOWAS

David J. Francis 
Ashgate Publishing, 2001, 257 pp.
ISBN: 9780754615194

The continent's recent history speaks volumes about the different political and economic challenges that Africa has had to face. These challenges - some of which have manifested themselves in various inter and intra-state conflicts - have been experienced in all the various regions of the continent, albeit in varying degrees. As a result, the continental leadership has opted to create structures and mechanisms beyond the state, in order to deal with these challenges. Among such structures is the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which was created for the West African region. Apart from trying to assess the push factors that make individual states opt for a regional structure, one of the areas that is worth exploring is the extend and nature of the impact that a regional structure has on its individual states - in a nutshell, this is the subject of David J. Francis' book.

The new South Africa at twenty: Critical perspectives

Peter Vale and Estelle H. Prinsloo eds. 
Pietermaritzburg, University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2014, 271 pp.
ISBN-13: 978 1 86914 289 6

South Africa's democratic transition in 1994 remains one of the most analysed, lauded and respected political transitions, for numerous reasons, in modern times. The definitive character of the transition, with respect to a number of international and domestic factors, elevated the significance of the process, and ultimately assigned the country a status that was nothing less than the de facto poster-child of the emergent post-Cold War international system.