Saturday, 25 February 2017

Beyond the Liberal and Post-liberal Peace Debate: An Interdisciplinary Reflection on African Scholarship

Dr Patrick Tom’s talk on the exclusion of African scholars in the Liberal and Post-liberal Peace Debate on Friday, 24 February 2017 included researchers and academics from various backgrounds.  The presentation created an atmosphere for provoking thoughts concerning the scholarly contributions of the global south. Dr Tom focused his presentation on the post-cold war peace projects that were underpinned by liberal values and observed that Africans, especially Africa-based scholars, were missing in significant parts of the literature. Beyond the focus of the speaker, many scholars who were present drew from their disciplinary perspectives. The talk subsequently provided an opportunity for interdisciplinary reflections on intellectual contributions generally and explored the possible way forward.  

                                       Left to right: Dr Patrick Tom (the presenter) and Geoffrey Mabea (facilitating the talk)

There were several insightful questions and comments such as the importance of controlling or shaping narratives. Some participants considered that the quality of ideas concerning African development was as important as accessing the international platforms for scholarly publishing and disseminating information generally. The discussions also concerned general governance issues including the challenges of corruption and fair reporting in Africa. There seemed to be a dominant view that it was necessary to strike a balance between trying to control narratives and encouraging vibrant polities including free speech or criticism.

                                                                  The Participants 
The event ended on a positive note with suggestions from some researchers and academics that Dundee Africa Research Network should consider setting up a scholarly journal or other similar publications. Such publications will improve access to platforms where issues concerning African development can be discussed at the global level and attract more attention.

Members of the Convenorship Team are grateful to Dr Tom for his fascinating presentation. Many thanks also to all the participants.

By Geoffrey Mabea, Pontian Okoli and Oluwabamidele Kogbe

Friday, 17 February 2017

'Where are the African Scholars in the Liberal/Post-liberal Peace Debate ? Join DARN Talk on 24th Feb

Dear members and friends,
We are pleased to invite you to the next DARN Talk, scheduled as follows;

Theme: 'Where are the African Scholars? The Liberal/Post-liberal Peace                Debate'

Date:     Friday, 24th February, 2017.
Venue:  Room 1G05, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee.
Time:     4.00 PM 
Guest Speaker:  Dr. Patrick Tom
A growing literature has evaluated the international approach to peacebuilding in societies emerging from violent conflict. There is a general agreement that, for the past two decades, this approach has been grounded in the idea of the ‘liberal peace’ – the idea that liberal democracies are by their nature more peaceful than non-liberal democracies. Scholars based in the global north have dominated research and publication on the liberal peace. Yet, much of international peacebuilding which is liberal peace-oriented has been taking place in the global south, including Africa. African peace scholars based in Africa have largely remained silent on this debate, which has an impact on knowledge production and dissemination. This presentation aims at provoking debate on the issue of excluding African voices in this debate. 

Patrick Tom earned a PhD in International Relations from the University of St. Andrews where he has also taught International Relations of sub-Saharan Africa. He also taught Philosophy at the University of Zimbabwe and several theological colleges in Zimbabwe. Patrick has conducted research in Africa including Uganda, Sierra Leone and Liberia. He has published in the areas of Applied Ethics, and Peace and Conflict Studies. His forthcoming book is titled Liberal Peace and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding in Africa.

For further info, please visit University of Dundee's website;  
Kindly share this invitation with staff and students within the University and beyond.
We look forward to meeting you.
Best regards

 DARN Convenorship Team