The Political Economy of Peacebuilding in Africa
This chapter argues that armed conflicts, conflict settlement, and peacebuilding in Africa are invariably associated with the underlying interests of those who drive these conflicts and of key stakeholders. The concept of peacebuilding is explored from both minimalist and maximalist approaches. The chapter analyses the underlying political economy interests in third-party interventions in conflict settlement and peacebuilding using empirical examples from a number of African countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sudan, and South Sudan. Based on the analysis of the various case studies, the chapter argues that one of the greatest challenges of post-war recovery in Africa is how to counteract those who have used peacebuilding to revive neo-patrimonial accumulation, foster nepotism, and promote the sharing of the perquisites of public office.