Books on Africa from the Wilson Center Press
Issues in this Series
Rethinking the Economics of War: The Intersection of Need, Creed, and Greed questions the adequacy of explaining today's internal armed conflicts purely in terms of economic factors and reestablishes the importance of identity and grievances in creating and sustaining such wars. This collection of essays responds to current works asserting that the income from natural resources is the end and not just a means for warring rebel groups. The study puts greed in its place and restores the importance of deprivation and discrimination as the primary causes of armed conflict within states. Countries studied include Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Angola, the Republic of the Congo, Colombia, and Afghanistan. More about this title can be found on the Wilson Center Press website.
Final Acts is a guide to questions of law, politics, physical preservation, and access regarding materials generated by truth commissions. For example, how do the records relate to the law that created the commission? Who owns the evidence? Are there political constraints on the preservation of, or access to, some records? Does the country have an institution professionally capable of maintaining the records? Final Acts also describes the truth commissions that have completed their work so far and the disposition, or in some cases the loss, of their records. More about this title can be found on the Wilson Center Press website.
Beyond Free and Fair Elections: Monitoring Elections and Building Democracy draws on worldwide experience since the mid-1980s to evaluate international election monitoring and domestic monitoring, and their contributions to democracy promotion and democratic change. In this book, Eric Bjornlund provides an overview of what election monitoring is, where it comes from, and how it is currently conducted, and he educes general lessons for democracy promotion. Björnlund reports on actual practice, including case studies of particular election monitoring efforts and the author's own experience in the field, and on a few previous efforts to synthesize guidelines and lessons learned.More about this title can be found on the Wilson Center Press website.
Decentralization, Democratic Governance, and Civil Society in Comparative Perspective: Africa, Asia, and Latin America
Decentralization, Democratic Governance, and Civil Society in Comparative Perspective studies the relation of decentralization to democratization at both intermediate and local levels and analyzes how decentralization is transforming the relationship between the state and civil society. This book presents case studies from six countries in three continents in which decentralization of some parts of government has been attempted: Mexico, Chile, South Africa, Kenya, the Philippines, and Indonesia.More about this title can be found on the Wilson Center Press website.
Governance on the Ground shows people at a local level working through municipal institutions to take more responsibility for their own lives and environment. This study reports what social scientists in eight local networks found when they chose their own subjects for a worldwide comparative study of institutional reform at the local level. Governance on the Ground is the culminating product of the Global Urban Research Initiative, a major 1990s research effort that created a worldwide network of some 400 social scientistsMore about this title can be found on the Wilson Center Press website.
How can environmental cooperation be used to bolster regional peace? A large body of research suggests that environmental degradation may catalyze violent conflict. Environmental cooperation, in contrast, has gone almost unexplored as a means of peacemaking, even though it opens several effective channels: enhancing trust, establishing habits of cooperation, lengthening the time horizons of decisionmakers, forging cooperative trans-societal linkages, and creating shared regional norms and identities.More about this title can be found on the Wilson Center Press website.
Perspectives on Political Science writes that "Any scholar interested in comparative studies and international relations will find a wealth of substantive detail and theoretical discussion by expert observers of state effectiveness and breakdown" in this 2002 offering from Wilson Center Press and the Johns Hopkins University Press.More about this title can be found on the Johns Hopkins University Press website, along with ordering information.
This 1996 offering from the Wilson Center Press, in conjunction with the University of Cambridge Press, remains a seminal text on the tragic events that have shaped present-day Burundi.More about this title can be found on the Cambridge University Press website, along with ordering information.