Getting In: Mediator’s Entry into the Settlement of African Conflicts

alt Mohammed O. Maundi, I. William Zartman, Gilbert Khadiagala and Kwaku Nuamah
Published by: United States Institute of Peace, 2006
ISBN: 10: 1929223625 13: 978-1929223626

Reviewed by: Venashri Pillay, Senior Researcher at ACCORD
In Conflict Trends Issue 3 of 2007

This clearly-written and well-organised book sheds light on the previously unexplored area of mediation initiation and entry in violent and protracted African conflicts. By addressing the critical entry stage of mediation (including decisions to invite, initiate and accept such intervention), the authors have filled a significant gap in the existing mediation scholarship, which has largely focused on the mediation process and settlement outcomes.

From Warfare To Welfare

alt Edited by Marie Muller and Bas De Gaay Fortman
Published by: Royal Van Gorcum, 2004
ISBN: 10: 902324043X 13: 978-9023240433

Reviewed by: Senzo Ngubane
In Conflict Trends Issue 3 of 2004

Undoubtedly, the question of security in Southern of security in Southern Africa will continue to be one of the main issues for discussion around regional cooperation among member states that belong to the Southern African Development Community (SADC). This is the case for a number of reasons. These include the fact that the sub-region does not seem to have been able to define in clear and concrete terms what approach it ought to take when it comes to its security. Or, where attempts have been made to define that approach, the responsible policy makers and other relevant actors have not been able to take the necessary steps to ensure implementation. This reviewer has argued elsewhere that, among other challenges that exist around the discourse on security in Southern Africa, there seems to be a gap between the academic thinking on the one hand and the policy approaches and decisions on the other. To put the matter differently, there is a plethora of academic thinking about a need for an alternative approach to security in the region. Such a gap is found specifically within the concept which has come to be known as human security.

From Soldiers to Citizens: Demilitarization of Conflict and Society

João Gomes Porto, Chris Alden and Imogen Parsons
Aldershot. Ashgate, 2007, 192 pp.
ISBN 978-0-7546-7210-4

Reviewed by Grace Maina, Acting Manager of the Knowledge Production Department at ACCORD
In the African Journal on Conflict Resolution Volume 10 No. 1, 2010

The focus of this book falls into the greater discussions of peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction. This book provides an in-depth analysis of the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) process and delves into an even deeper conversation about the concept and practice of Reintegration. The authors use empirical research on the Angolan DDR process to assess the merits and challenges of our understanding of the process of reintegration.

From Peacekeeping to Complex Emergencies – Peace Support Missions in Africa

alt Edited by Jakkie Cilliers and Greg Mills
Published by: SAIIA/ISS, Johannesburg, 1999
ISBN: 10: 1874890994 13: 978-1874890997

Reviewed by: Kwezi Mngqibisa, ACCORD
In Conflict Trends Issue 4 of 1999

The main thrust of this book is the pursuit of consensus around a standard African peacekeeping doctrine. In the first article, Cilliers and Mills do an excellent job in introducing the reader to the harsh realities that characterise conflicts and their resolution.

From Enslavement to Environmentalism: Politics on a Southern African Frontier

alt Hughes, David McDermott
Published by: Seattle and London: University of Washington Press in association with Weaver Press, Harare, 2006
ISBN: 10: 0295985909 13: 978-0295985909

Reviewed by Reviewed by Annie Derges, Senior Documentalist, SAPES Books
In the African Journal on Conflict Resolution Volume 7 No. 1, 2007

The politics of land dispossession and repossession in Zimbabwe are much in the news, and much written of, invariably in oversimplified terms. This eminently clear and readable account of the complexities of land disputes provides a different conceptualisation of territory and geography from an anthropological point of view. The author, on field expeditions to two small habitations in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, encountered vastly different concepts of territory and geography. How has it come about that a people, divided arbitrarily by a colonial border, view the landscape and the politics of land so differently?

For the Sake of Peace: Seven Paths to Global Harmony, a Buddhist Perspective

alt Daisaku Ikeda
Published by: Middleway, 2001. Santa Monica
ISBN: 10: 0967469724 13: 978-0967469720

Reviewed by: Motse Ramathe
In Conflict Trends Issue 4 of 2001

As a Buddhist leader, educator and philosopher, Daisaku Ikeda has written extensively on the sub- ject of world peace. In his latest book, For the sake of Peace, Daisaku Ikeda confirms the individual’s responsibility in bringing peace to the world. He argues that world peace can be achieved through self-control, dialogue and the creation of a culture of peace.

For Better or Worse? Women and ZANLA In Zimbabwe’s Liberation Struggle

alt

Josephine Nhongo-Simbanegavi
Published by: Harare, Weaver Press, 2000
ISBN: 10: 079742105X 13: 978-0797421059

Reviewed by Terence M. Mashingaidze, Lecturer, Midlands State University, Gweru, Zimbabwe
In the African Journal on Conflict Resolution Volume 3 No. 1, 2003

Traditional scholarship about Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle tended to be gender neutral and highly romanticised. The liberation fighters were presented as fair, brave and disciplined whilst the opposite applied to the forces of the colonial state. Recent historiography is now showing that all the protagonists in the war perpetrated injustices against the unarmed civilians and within their ranks. It is in this vein of challenging, reconstructing and deconstructing dominant notions and paradigms that Nhongo-Simbanegavi’s book, For Better or Worse? Women And ZANLA In Zimbabwe’s Liberation Struggle, emerges. The book deserves the commendation of all those interested in the history of African liberation movements. It is probably the most cogent refutation of the claims of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) to the establishment of gender equity during the war of liberation. It shows the resilience of patriarchal hegemony in the various contexts that punctuated Zimbabwe’s history, such as the colonial and post-colonial periods, and the times of war and peace. The book is well researched and weaves a rich tapestry of women’s, mostly combatants’, experiences during the war and in the post-colonial dispensation. Besides oral interviews and data from secondary sources, the book relies heavily on the rich but largely inaccessible ZANLA archives at the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) headquarters in Harare.

Disarmament And Defence Industrial Adjustment In South Africa

alt By Peter Batchelor And Susan Willett
Published by: Oxford University Press, South Africa, (year unknown)
ISBN: 10: 0198294131 13: 978-0198294139

Reviewed in Conflict Trends Issue 1 of 1999

The South African defence industry, built up during the apartheid years and during the UN embargoes on sales of arms to South Africa, became one of the most important sectors of the country’s industrial base and a significant exporter. Since the end of aparteid, the end of the cold war and the elections of 1994, South Africa has cut its military expenditure drastically and is seeking to use the resources released to restructure and revitalise the country’s industrial base and to support reconstruction, development and redistribution. The new government has a unique opportunity to develop innovative policies on defence and security matters, the arms industry and arms exports. This analysis of the South African experience provides a valuable contribution to the international debate on the economic effects of military expenditure and defence industrialization and on the relationship between disarmament and development in developing countries.