Reconceptualizing History, Identity, and Conflict

  • Amir H. Idris


Although many studies have sought to identify the underlying causes of the conflict in Africa, scholars have devoted less attention to analyzing the notion of citizenship in contested social and political settings.1 Very few have grappled with the following theoretical and historical questions. How do competing visions of histories and identities shape the processes of conflict and the meaning of peace? Are current approaches to peace and democracy well suited to the task of consolidating peace in war-torn states? Does political competition according to rules of democratic pluralism in racialized states secure the democratic citizenship of the marginalized groups who were subjected to slavery and colonialism in the past? By addressing these questions, this chapter attempts to reconceptualize the relationship between history, identity, and peace in contested social and political settings.


National Identity Political Violence Political Identity Colonial State Democratic Citizenship 
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  1. 1.
    See, for instance, Deng, War of Visions; Lesch, Contested National Identities; El-Affendi, “Discovering the South,” pp. 371–389; Markakis, National and Class Conflict; Douglas Johnson (2003) The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars, Oxford: James Currey; Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    See, for instance, Ruth McCreery (1946) “Moslems and Pagans of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan,” The Moslem World, vol. xxxvi, pp. 252–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Amir H. Idris 2005

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  • Amir H. Idris

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