Consolidation of Democracy in Africa: A View from the South


Solomon, Hussein and Liebenberg, Ian
Published by: Ashgate: England & USA, (eds.) 1999
ISBN: 10: 0754611744 13: 978-0754611745

Reviewed by: Senzo Ngubane, Research Officer, ACCORD
In the African Journal on Conflict Resolution Volume 2 No. 1, 2001

Since the emergence of the Post-Cold War era a large amount of contributions have been made, both as oral and as written statements, about Africa's democratisation (or lack thereof). As Africa approached the turn of the 20th century, the issue of democratic transition and consolidation continued to be a matter of contested terrain among academics, students of African politics and policy makers. This book should be seen as a further contribution to this vigorous debate about the nature and content of democracy in Africa. It deals specifically with the issues involved in the process of democratic consolidation. Consisting of nine chapters, this book looks at various organs of society (for example, civil society, the state, the military) and the extent to which each of them contributes to or hinders democratic consolidation.

Conflict Resolution Wisdom From Africa

alt Jannie Malan
Published by: Accord
ISBN: 10: 0958412774 13: 978-0958412773

Reviewed by: By Alioune Sall, United Nations Development Programme, Abidjan, Cote d’lvoire
In Conflict Trends Issue 1 of 1998

This is a very well written and detailed book about conflict resolution wisdom in Africa. It begins with a detailed but concise narration of African history and gradually moves on towards modern times. It focuses the discussion of conflict by utilising a social context approach. It looks at how conflicts are normally addressed in the environment where they are emerging or have emerged. Talking may start informally within the families or neighbourhoods concerned. It also looks at how members of society, i.e. elders of both genders, may make meaningful contributions to preventing conflicts. Another constructive way of preventing and counteracting conflict is to promote socio-economic development. Africa’s experience of imposed, foreign types of development has led to an important change of perspective. A home-grown version of people –centred development is being advocated, and is apparently gaining support. 

Conflict resolution in the 21st century: Principles, methods and approaches

Jacob Bercovitch and Richard Jackson
Ann Arbor, MI, University of Michigan Press 2009, 226 pp.
ISBN: 9780472050628

In this book, Jacob Bercovitch and Richard Jackson, two internationally recognised experts, undertake the systematic evaluation of traditional and modern principles, methods and approaches to conflict resolution. The authors argue that, in the current context of post-Cold War relations, terrorism and intra-state conflict, the 'toolkit' used for conflict resolution needs to be vastly expanded and improved to include tools from a range of related disciplines in order to successfully address and deal with conflict in the 21st century.

Conflict And Resolution: Peace-Building Through The Ballot Box In Zimbabwe, Namibia and Cambodia

Griffith, Allen (Allan Griffith, who had been Foreign Policy Adviser to Australian prime ministers or over 30 years, completed this book as visiting fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, shortly before his death in November 1998)
Published by: New Cherwell Press, Oxford, 1998
ISBN 10: 1900312158 /13: 978-1900312158

Reviewed by: Jannie Malan
In the African Journal on Conflict Resolution Volume 1 No. 1, 1999

The conjunction in the title of this book has not just been inserted as an attentioncatching novelty. The book is indeed about both conflict and resolution. In each of the three case studies it is not only the peace process that is described and discussed, but also the preceding conflict process. The serious cause and urgent purpose of each of the conflicts are taken into consideration. The actions and reactions of the involved people and leaders are related in a clear and well-documented way. The extended and complicated series of happenings are organised into insight-promoting units. The author makes very good use of his skills of selecting details and choosing descriptive as well as thought-prompting words. Enough detail is included to give the reader a penetrating sense of what happened. Apposite key words appear in chapter and section headings.

Compendium of Key Documents Relating to Peace And Security in Africa

alt Editors Monica Juma, Rafael Velasquez Garcia and Brittany Keeselman
Published by: Africa Programme, United Nations-affiliated University for Peace (UPEACE): New York, 2006
ISBN: 0-9585097-3-5

Reviewed in Conflict Trends Issue 3 of 2006

The Compendium of Key Documents Relating to Peace and Security in Africa is part of the evolving Series on Peace and Security in Africa published by the Africa Programme of the United Nations-affiliated University for Peace (UPEACE). The objective of the Compendium is to make available the main documents on, and act as a reference for, issues relating to peace and security in Africa. It will be of use to practitioners, academics and policy makers in the field of conflict prevention, transformation and resolution. It contains key documents on peace and security in Africa covering the period between 1963 and 2005.

Civil Wars, Civil Peace: An Introduction to Conflict Resolution

alt Kumar Rupesinghe With Sanam Naraghi Anderlini
Published by: Pluto Press, London, 1998
ISBN: 10: 0745312373 13: 978-0745312378

In Conflict Trends Issue 1 of 1999

As the dawn of a new millennium approaches, serious questions need to be raised regarding the nature of ‘civilised’ humanity and human beings’ capacity to harm each other in ways as systematic as they are vile. This raises a deeper, existential question: ‘Does man’s capacity to hate have no limits and will the conflagration ignited by such hatred not threaten the very existence of the human species?’

Cadastral Politics: Countermapping and Cartographical Conflicts From Enslavement to Environmentalism: Politics on a Southern African Frontier

  David McDermott Hughes
Seattle and London: University of Washington Press in association with Weaver Press, Harare. 285 pp.
ISBN: 978-9966-065-73-5

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?