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Research Activities

Research Projects

FY 2010/2011 Research Topic: 4-03
Conflict and State Formation in Africa and the Middle East

Outline

This research project examines conflicts in an attempt to identify and conceptualize aspects of conflicts other than destruction, intending to be a middle range cross-aerial project focusing particularly on Africa and the Middle East. The key notion is state formation, which implies, provisionally for the initial stage of the project, broad processes including the institutionalization of state, nation-building and national integration, and consolidation of particular structures of power and political economy. Past studies include investigations of six countries: Iraq, South Africa, Kenya, Lebanon, Somalia and Côte d’Ivoire. This selection looks at the different cases of conflict in terms of background, nature, scale and intensity, so that we can examine the analytical validity of the notion of state formation in order to deepen the understanding of conflict. The case study topics are as follows: non-formal security organizations known in post-war Iraq as the “Awakening councils” (Yamao); police sector reform in post-apartheid South Africa (Abe); revision of the Constitution after the post-election violence in Kenya (Tsuda); destabilizing Lebanon under sectarianism (Aoyama); reexamination of the notion of “collapsed state” through the example of Somalia (Endo); voter registration as the central task in the Ivorian peace process (Sato).

Period

April 2009 - December 2011

Members of the Research Project

[ Organizer ] SATO Akira
[ Co-researchers ] TSUDA Miwa
ENDO Mitsugi (Professor, Tokyo University)
AOYAMA Hiroyuki (Associate Professor, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
ABE Toshihiro (Associate Professor, Otani University)
YAMAO Dai (Research Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science)

Publications

  • Interim Report (published in March 2010)
  • Final Report (to be published in FY2011)