Cultural diversity in conflict and peace making in Africa: enhancing mediators and facilitators' contribution to conflict resolution, peace-making and peace-building in Africa

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- client
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2006
TITLE AUTHOR(S): G.Hagg
KEYWORDS: AFRICA, CONFLICT RESOLUTION, CULTURAL DIVERSITY, PEACEKEEPING
Intranet: HSRC Library: shelf number 4194

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Abstract

The relationship between cultural diversity, conflict and peace is complex and dynamic. This is evident from the reality that some conflicts in the world are between groups that are culturally quite similar, while many different groups and countries have developed ways to cooperate peacefully. Although international interventions have resolved conflict in some countries, similar interventions have failed in others. There are obviously more factors in conflict and peace making than culture, and some of these are more dominant (e.g. the nature of the African state, power struggles or unequal access to resources). In addition, culture itself is a complex concept, and there is no single explanation of how it is transferred and works, and there are within-culture variance problems. An understanding of the relationship between cultural diversity and conflict and peace therefore requires clarity on historical and structural aspects of culture, conflict and the state, within specific geo-political situations and regional contexts and beyond, and the relationship between these aspects.