2nd South-South Conference of the Historical Society of Nigeria (HSN)
Peace and Peacebuilding Practices in Africa: Historical Legacies, Contemporary Encounters, Future Directions
Department of History and International Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Wednesday, 20 – Sunday, 24 June 2018
Dr. Cyril Obi
African Peacebuilding Network,
Social Science Research Council,
New York, USA
Professor C.B.N. Ogbogbo, FHSN
President, Historical Society of Nigeria (HSN)
Professor Seth Accra Jaja
Vice-Chancellor, Federal University Otuoke
Without the benefit of modern Western-styled methods, Africans evolved diverse, wellorganized, regulatory mechanisms – between individuals, families, communities, or inhabitants of different territories – which they used for peace, conflict management and peacebuilding purposes. Many of these mechanism were effective, uniquely creative, democratic (participatory), and gendered. Indeed, the oft-used mantra: ‘African solutions to African problems’ – largely seeks to authenticate such historic heritages. The changing landscape of contemporary conflicts in the continent has, however, thrown up numerous challenges to peace and stability in African societies that seem to exceed such indigenous mechanisms, and exacerbates the dilemma of finding solutions to conflictual relations.
The importance of peace and peacebuilding in Africa cannot be overstated. Indeed, international consensus is shifting towards the recognition of peace as not just a ‘human right’, but also a universal aspiration, deep human yearning and precondition for human development. Further underscoring its place in the African continent, it is noted that both economic development and prosperity are possible only in the presence of positive peace, as opposed to the mere absence of war – a position that often speaks to many African situations. Nevertheless, despite the need for ‘building peace’, issues related to this subject have often been neglected and/or ignored in both pedagogy and research on the continent. In contradistinction, issues pertaining to violence and conflicts are often privileged instead, thus quite trendy, although we, as humans, have experienced more of peaceful interrelations.
By not studying ‘the peaceful’, we continue to honor ‘the abnormal’ and ‘the unnatural’ at the expense of ‘the normal’ and ‘the natural’, therefore acceding to the domination and preference of ‘the abnormal’ in scholarship. Consequently, as much as we know about how different peoples and groups do not get along well, we know little about the converse – the ways and means in which diverse peoples and groups are sometimes able to engage in efforts at ensuring peaceful outcomes. By making such preference of ‘the abnormal’ the dominant object of thoroughgoing research, do we not simultaneously pursue an ‘impure truth’ and a subversive goal? The truth remains that we need to know a great deal more about peoples’ activities and practices at ‘making’, ‘building’ and/or ‘learning’ peace, particularly as the study of peace processes is often needed to complete the study of its dialectical counterpart.
As several events around Africa have been a call to action for our communities in respect to peace and peacebuilding practices, this conference will provide a platform for scholars and professionals to reflect on and explore legacies, challenges and opportunities, as well as new thinking, frontiers and future directions, which research and practices in the areas offer. It will likewise be a dynamic space to network and exchange ideas on the interconnections, disconnections and missing links in peace and peacebuilding practices.
Sub-themes: Presentations should address, among others, the following areas:
1. Peacebuilding Practices in Historical Perspective
2. Indigenous Methods of Peacebuilding: Legacies and Paradigms
3. The State, Peacebuilding and Development
4. Peace and Peacebuilding Research and Practice in the Niger Delta
5. Niger Delta Amnesty: What Prospects for Peace and Development?
6. Peacebuilding Pedagogy: Experiences, Challenges and New Thinking
7. Research Encounters: New Methodologies and Theoretical Standpoints
8. Future Directions in Peace and Peacebuilding Research
9. Building Peace: Encounters of Preventive Diplomacy and Peacemaking
10. Gender, Peacebuilding and Development in Africa
11. Fragility, Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Interventions
12. Intergovernmental Institutions and Peacebuilding in Africa
13. ‘Negative Peace’ versus ‘Positive Peace’: Cases and Implications
14. Intergroup Relations and Peaceful Coexistence
15. Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development
16. Community Peacebuilding in Africa
17. Peacebuilding and the Changing Landscape of Conflicts
18. ‘Selling Peace’: Peacebuilding and the Media
19. Peacebuilding and ‘the Indigene – Settler Question’
20. Conflict Prevention, Resolution and State Building
21. Peace and Security Policy Communities
22. Peacebuilding in Policy and Practice
There will also be two or more Roundtables which would focus on certain key issues germane to the theme of the conference.
NB: All presentations must have a historical perspective and be ‘Africa-focused’ (or have some form of comparative framework of which an African case is part of).
The conference committee will be pleased to welcome paper abstracts of 300 words maximum, and panel proposals of no more than 500 words maximum, with up to five names of the proposed panelists. Each proposal must contain relevant contact details and institutional affiliation information of the participant. Proposals should be sent to: email@example.com, with the words “South-South Conference Proposal” written in the subject line of the mail.
Deadline for paper and panel proposals: 30 November 2017.
Notification of acceptance for panels and paper abstracts: 30 December 2017.
Full papers are due by: 30 March 2018.
For further inquiries
Convener and Co-Host:
Dr. Akachi Odoemene
Phone: +234 805 235 1678
Vice President (South-South), HSN
Chair, Local Organizing Committee (LOC)