Ayokunu Adedokun

United Nations University (UNU-MERIT) and Maastricht University Graduate School of Governance, Netherlands.

Ayokunu Adedokun

Civil War and Post-conflict Peace building in Africa: The Role of the International Community and Domestic Actors

This PhD research focuses on the 'role of the international community and domestic actors in civil war and post-conflict peace building in Africa'. My central research question is: How and why do post-conflict peace-building succeed in some countries and fail in others? The existing literature comes to contradictory and puzzling conclusions. For example, while some scholars argue that differences in post-conflict peace-building outcomes across countries emerging from civil war were to be explained by the intervention of the international community (Paris, 2004; Doyle and Sambanis 2006; Fortna, 2008), other scholars focus on how a civil war ends —whether it ended in a government victory, a rebel victory or a negotiated settlement (Luttwak 1993; Wagner 1993; Gurses and Mason 2008; Toft 2010).

Meanwhile, more recent studies find that States’ attributes such as the level of economic development (Fearon and Laitin, 2003; Collier and Hoeffler, 2004); pre-war level of democracy (Hegre et al, 2001) the degree of ethnic fractionalization (Horowitz, 1985) and state dependence on oil exports (Ross, 2004) influence the outcomes of post-conflict peace-building. Although these explanations focus on different aspects and use different explanatory variables to explain the variation in post-conflict peace-building, they are complementary and overlapping in many important ways. Missing from these narratives, however, is a consideration of how the international community and domestic actors can shape the outcome of post-conflict peace-building.

In this project, I attempt to lay out a completely different way of thinking, encapsulating how the international community and domestic actors can make a difference by other means in post-conflict peace-building. In particular, I use Angola and Mozambique as case studies to develop theoretical and empirical bases for understanding when, why and how civil war can pave the way to successful post-conflict peace-building in Africa.