The Inner Life of the African Peace and Security Architecture

SFB 1199 (Leipzig U), Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA), European Centre for Development Policy Management (ecdpm), Södertörn U & Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation (FES)

Jointly organized by ReCentGlobe at Leipzig University, Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA), European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), Södertörn University and Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation (FES).

This seminar series aims to revive a much-needed conversation amongst scholars and practitioners involved with the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) about ongoing developments and the policy implications of scholarship. The shifts in African regionalism and African peace and security governance challenge scholars and practitioners alike to adjust their understanding of these processes and consequentially their responses to them. Generally speaking, it can be difficult to gain insider knowledge about African organisational dynamics, especially in regard to decision-making dynamics and inner operations of the various African regional organisations. This has inspired the publication of Researching the Inner Life of the African Peace and Security Architecture. APSA Inside-Out (BRILL, 2021), edited by Katharina PW Döring, Ulf Engel, Linnéa Gelot and Jens Herpolsheimer.

The editors and authors of APSA Inside-Out explore innovative methods and concepts to unpack ongoing changes among actors, practices, and narratives within African peace and security governance. The seminar series will share and disseminate research findings and novel perspectives on how to study the inner life of APSA and simultaneously bring out where these findings are most relevant for practitioners and policymakers.

APSA Inside-Out offers a better understanding of the inner life of APSA. The notion of inner life highlights the realisation that the day-to-day dynamics of decision-making, bureaucratic intricacies, and implementation practices really inform and shape the contours of APSA.

These dynamics at the very core of understanding the workings and operations of African peace and security governance are not apparent at all from reading the communiqués, declarations or public pronouncements by the various bodies and pillars. Among the volume’s main contributions are novel analytical perspectives that emphasize inter alia informality, practices, socio-spatial relations, gendered narratives, and decision-making. The volume stands out as it pays critical attention to different methods and research practices among them media analysis, survey research, research collaboration, roll-call analysis, and work-based research. The authors introduce these conceptual and methodological reflections through concrete empirical analysis of ongoing and emerging trends in African peace and security, such as the role of gender in intervention narratives and practices, mediation, societal perspectives on African interventions, regional military coalitions, as well as relations among donors/partners and African regional organizations.

These conceptual and empirical findings will be discussed throughout this three-part seminar series. The first seminar will focus on the kind of research necessary to excavate these ‘new stories from within’, while the second and third seminar will turn empirically towards West Africa and East Africa, respectively.

The event will take place online. To register, please click here. You can find the complete program here.