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Culture, Diplomacy, and Counterinsurgency
Fernando Gentilini served nearly two years as the civilian representative of NATO in Afghanistan, running a counterinsurgency campaign in the wartorn nation. Afghan Lessons is the fascinating story of his mission, a firsthand view of Afghanistan through a kaleidoscope. He explores Afghan history, literature, tradition, and culture to understand some of the most basic questions of Western involvement: What is the purpose? What does an international presence mean, and how can it help?
Highlights from Afghan Lessons
"This is a book about different worlds, different realities. The reality of everyday life in an unreal world. People that need to be looked after, jobs that need to be done, a country that needs to be restored, all from within the necessary confines of an armed camp. And this in the middle of another reality, which we do not understand, full of things forgotten under decades of war. The keys to this reality lie in the past, perhaps lost." from the Foreword by Robert Cooper
"To tempt me to explore their country, the Afghans kept repeating that there were three different Afghanistans: 'The first is the one you Westerners imagine; another coincides with the city of Kabul; the third is the country of remote provinces, far away from the cities, and of the three, this is the only real Afghanistan.'"
"'There can be no development without security and no security without development.' ... Everyone said it over and over again, both the civilians and the military, but depending on whether it was said by the former or the latter, the emphasis was placed on the first or second part of the slogan. In all honesty this seemingly obvious concept concealed two contrasting ways of seeing things."
Transition under Threat
Many have questioned the wisdom of the international intervention in Afghanistan in light of the escalation of violence and instability in the country in the past few years. Particularly uncertain are Canadians, who have been inundated with media coverage of an increasingly dirty war in southern Afghanistan, one in which Canadians are at the frontline and suffering heavy casualties. However, the conflict is only one aspect of Afghanistan’s complicated, and incomplete, political, economic, and security transition.
In Afghanistan: Transition under Threat, leading Afghanistan scholars and practitioners paint a full picture of the situation in Afghanistan and the impact of international and particularly Canadian assistance. They review the achievements of the reconstruction process and outline future challenges, focusing on key issues like the narcotics trade, the Pakistan—Afghanistan bilateral relationship, the Taliban-led insurgency, and continuing endemic poverty. This collection provides new insight into the nature and state of Afghanistan’s post-conflict transition and illustrates the consequences of failure.
Co-published with the Centre for International Governance Innovation
Postcolonial Cultures, Migration, and Racism
This stimulating and insightful book reveals how increased control over immigration has changed cultural and social production in theater, literature, and even museum construction. Dominic Thomas's analysis unravels the complex cultural and political realities of long-standing mobility between Africa and Europe. Thomas questions the attempt to place strict limits on what it means to be French or European and offers a sense of what must happen to bring about a renewed sense of integration and global Frenchness.
The repression historically faced by African Americans has had an important effect on the nature of the group's participation in foreign affairs. This book offers a much-needed and long-overdue survey of the field, setting the stage for further exploration and analysis.
Chapters discuss the Congressional Black Caucus and TransAfrica Forum; African American political organizations and Africa; Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice; the evaporation of strong black voices in events such as those in Rwanda and Darfur; and self-critical Pan Africanism. A prologue by Michael L. Clemons and introductory chapter by Ronald W. Walters provide new ways to conceptualize these international perspectives, while Clemons's epilogue speculates on the opportunities and challenges offered by the presidency of Barack Obama.
Vol. 1 (2011) through current issue
African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review is an interdisciplinary forum for creative and rigorous studies of conflict and peace in Africa and for discussions between scholars, practitioners, and public intellectuals in Africa, the United States, and other parts of the world. It includes a wide range of theoretical, methodological, and empirical perspectives on the causes of conflicts and peace processes including, among others, cultural practices relating to conflict resolution and peacebuilding, legal and political conflict preventative measures, and the intersection of international, regional, and local interests and conceptions of conflict and peace. ACPR is a joint publication of the Africa Peace and Conflict Network, the West African Research Association, and Indiana University Press.
Constitutionalism is steadily becoming the prevalent form of governance in Africa. But how does constitutionalism deal with the lingering effects of colonialism? And how does constitutional law deal with Islamic principles in the region? African Constitutionalism and the Role of Islam seeks to answer these questions. Constitutional governance has not been, nor will be, easily achieved, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im argues. But setbacks and difficulties are to be expected in the process of adaptation and indigenization of an essentially alien concept—that of of nation-state—and its role in large-scale political and social organization.
An-Na'im discusses the problems of implementing constitutionalized forms of government specific to Africa, from definitional to conceptual and practical issues. The role of Islam in these endeavors is open to challenge and reformulation, and should not be taken for granted or assumed to be necessarily negative or positive, An-Na'im asserts, and he emphasizes the role of the agency of Muslims in the process of adapting constitutionalism to the values and practices of their own societies. By examining the incremental successes that some African nations have already achieved and An-Na'im reveals the contingent role that Islam has to play in this process. Ultimately, these issues will determine the long-term sustainability of constitutionalism in Africa.
Patterns and Perspectives
Spurred by major changes in the world economy and in local ecology, the contemporary migration of Africans, both within the continent and to various destinations in Europe and North America, has seriously affected thousands of lives and livelihoods. The contributors to this volume, reflecting a variety of disciplinary perspectives, examine the causes and consequences of this new migration. The essays cover topics such as rural-urban migration into African cities, transnational migration, and the experience of immigrants abroad, as well as the issues surrounding migrant identity and how Africans re-create community and strive to maintain ethnic, gender, national, and religious ties to their former homes.
Solving African Problems with Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance
This book looks at the first ten years of the African Union. This is the second in a series of books that will be produced each year from annual conferences held on the multi-faceted issue of African liberation. The key themes of the book explore ways of improving the effectiveness of the African Union, fostering unity amongst African countries through entrenchment of pan-Africanism, and building ownership of the African Union by the African people and their communities. In addition, the thoughts of key figures of pan-Africanism and black emancipation, such as Sylvester Williams and Frantz Fanon, are re-positioned to even greater contemporary relevance. Through its promotion of Ethiopianism, pan-Africanism and the African renaissance, we trust that this book will add new interest and a fresh perspective to how Africans move forward together into a post-colonial era where policies and actions are determined by the united agency of liberated Africans the world over.
Media Coverage of the Humanitarian Disaster in the Congo and the United Nations Response, 1997–2008
Africa’s Deadliest Conflict deals with the complex intersection of the legacy of post-colonial history—a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions—and changing norms of international intervention associated with the idea of human security and the responsibility to protect (R2P). It attempts to explain why, despite a softening of norms related to the sanctity of state sovereignty, the international community dealt so ineffectively with a brutal conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which between 1997 and 2011 claimed an estimated 5.5 million. In particular, the book focuses on the role of mass media in creating a will to intervene, a role considered by many to be the key to prodding a reluctant international community to action.
Included in the book are a primer on Congolese history, a review of United Nations peacekeeping missions in the Congo, and a detailed examination of both US television news and New York Times coverage of the Congo from 1997 through 2008. Separate conclusions are offered with respect to peacekeeping in the Age of R2P and on the role of mass media in both promoting and inhibiting robust international responses to large-scale humanitarian crises.