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Nordiska Afrikainstitutet | Uppsala

This book is the outcome of a conference on Common Security and Civil Society in Africa, held in 1997, and organised jointly by the Nordic Africa Institute and the Common Security Forum, based at the Centre for History and Economics, King's College and the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. The idea that security is to be achieved by cooperation more than by confrontation, and that it is an economic and social as well as a military condition, has been a commonplace of international politics for some 20 years. The geometry of common or extended security is complex. But it usually involves an extension of the domain of security, of the sources of security, and of the characteristics of security. Among these diverse kinds of security, it is political security which has come into particular prominence at the end of the 1990s, most strikingly in Africa. Political security, in the sense of legal and political institutions such that individuals feel secure both in their individual rights and in the development of political culture, has come to be seen as the foundation of all other kinds of security. The papers presented in this volume seek to go 'beyond the war of images', to imagine a different and more secure future, and they are concerned with five major themes: economic and social change; the prevention of violent conflict; the causes of conflict; political security; the international politics of development partnership.


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