The Legacy of Armed Conflicts: Southern African and Comparative Perspectives

German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), in cooperation with the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) at the University of Pretoria
28.07.2019 - 29.07.2019
Giulia Piccolino

The GIGA (German Institute of Global and Area Studies), in cooperation with the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) at the University of Pretoria invites submissions for a two-day workshop on The Legacy of Armed Conflicts: Southern African and comparative perspectives.

Achieving stable peace, building accountable state institutions and (re)establishing trust are core challenges in the aftermath of an armed conflict. While violent conflicts are disruptive, they also offer opportunities for political and social change. However, the passage from conflict to sustainable peace is a complicated process. Formal and informal processes taking place during the war and in its immediate aftermath can have profound long-term implications. Even in Southern Africa, which has been heralded as a ‘success story’ of peacebuilding, past wars continue to shape politics and societies in many ways.
This event will bring together scholars based in Southern Africa and GIGA researchers in order to reflect on the legacy of conflicts for sustainable peace. We are particularly interested in contributions that focus on one of the three following topics and that are either based on intra-regional (between African cases) or cross regional (between Africa and other regions) comparison or that apply broader theories or concepts to South African or other African cases.

- Peace processes and long-term peacebuilding
- Former armed actors in post-conflict societies
- Violence and trust in the aftermath of conflict

Workshop format

The Workshop will feature lectures from two distinguished keynote speakers as well as a roundtable on the legacy of armed conflicts and apartheid in Southern Africa. Participants are invited to present their research in thematic parallel sessions.


The first keynote lecture will be delivered by Prof. Timothy Sisk from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Prof. Sisk is a leading peace and conflict scholar. He has authored numerous books and articles on conflict resolution and peacebuilding in South Africa and in many other parts of the world, including Democratization in South Africa: The Elusive Social Contract (1995, Princeton University Press), From War to Democracy: Dilemmas of Peacebuilding (co-edited with Anna Jarstad , Cambridge University Press, 2008) and The Dilemmas of Statebuilding: Confronting the Contradictions of Postwar Peace Operations (co-edited with Roland Paris, Routledge, 2009).

Other confirmed speakers and panelists include Dr Sabine Kurtenbach, Senior Research Fellow at GIGA and an expert of the comparative study of violence in post conflict societies and Prof. Tim Murithi, Head of the Justice and Reconciliation in Africa Programme at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation and Extraordinary Professor of African Studies at the University of the Free State.

Paper submission

We invite paper proposals that address one or several of the above mentioned themes. Paper proposals should consist of an abstract of up to 250 words to and indicate “Workshop 2016” in the subject heading. The submission deadline is 30 April 2016. Notification of acceptance will be sent out by 15 May. The deadline for full paper submission is 15 July.


The organizers will produce a synthesized report/publication, which will contain the insights gained, as well as papers presented at the event, and will be published in the GIGA journal Africa Spectrum, one of the leading area studies outlets of its kind. We, moreover, aim to establish a research network that will allow for an exchange amongst peers, and potentially open up the opportunity for more formal collaborative work between GIGA and the institutions represented by the workshop participants.

Reimbursement and travel grants

All participants are invited for a joint dinner on the first day of the Workshop. There is no participation fee, but note that travel and accommodation costs will not be covered. However, limited funding is available to provide five lump sum travel grants of 300 Euro each, which will be awarded competitively to scholars not based in the Gauteng area that will not receive support from their Institution. Please indicate your application for a travel grant in your submission email and application form.


Giulia Piccolino
German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA)

John Kotsopoulos
University of Pretoria

The Legacy of Armed Conflicts: Southern African and Comparative Perspectives, 28.07.2019 – 29.07.2019 Pretoria, in: Connections. A Journal for Historians and Area Specialists, 30.03.2019, <>.
Editors Information
Published on
Temporal Classification
Regional Classification
Additional Informations
Language Contribution
Country Event