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Major Flaws in Conflict Prevention Policies towards Africa. The Conceptual Deficits of International Actors’ Approaches and How to Overcome Them

Author

Listed:
  • Andreas Mehler

    (Deutsches Übersee-Institut)

  • Hans-Christian Mahnke

    (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)

Abstract

Current thinking on African conflicts suffers from misinterpretations (oversimplification, lack of focus, lack of conceptual clarity, state- centrism and lack of vision). The paper analyses a variety of the dominant explanations of major international actors and donors, showing how these frequently do not distinguish with sufficient clarity between the ‘root causes’ of a conflict, its aggravating factors and its triggers. Specifically, a correct assessment of conflict prolonging (or sustaining) factors is of vital importance in Africa’s lingering confrontations. Broader approaches (e.g. “structural stability”) offer a better analytical framework than familiar one-dimensional explanations. Moreover, for explaining and dealing with violent conflicts a shift of attention from the nation-state towards the local and sub-regional level is needed.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Mehler & Hans-Christian Mahnke, 2005. "Major Flaws in Conflict Prevention Policies towards Africa. The Conceptual Deficits of International Actors’ Approaches and How to Overcome Them," Economic History 0508001, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpeh:0508001
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 42
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    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/eh/papers/0508/0508001.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tony Addison & Philippe Le Billon & S. Mansoob Murshed, 2002. "Conflict in Africa: The Cost of Peaceful Behaviour," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 11(3), pages 365-386, September.
    2. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
    3. Andreas Mehler, 2002. "Structural Stability: meaning, scope and use in an African context," Africa Spectrum, Institute of African Affairs, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 37(1), pages 5-23.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Saharan Africa; Conflict Prevention; Conflict Factors; Root causes; Conflict Prolonging Factors; Escalation Patterns; Peace Order; Structural Stability;

    JEL classification:

    • N57 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Africa; Oceania

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