About the Project


Who we are

Since 1 April 2022 a joint research project on African non-military conflict intervention practices (ANCIP) commences at the Research Centre Global Dynamics (ReCentGlobe), Leipzig University, the Leibniz Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (HSFK), and the Institute For Development and Peace (INEF), University of Duisburg-Essen. Financially, the project is generously supported under the Federal Ministry of Education’s funding line “Promotion of research groups in the field of peace and conflict research. Strengthening and further development of peace and conflict research”. The four year project is led by Prof. Dr. Ulf Engel (Institute for African Studies, Leipzig University), together with Dr. Antonia Witt who is a senior researcher at HSFK and Prof. Dr. Christof Hartmann who is the director of INEF. Institutionally the network is anchored at the Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics.

What we do

The competence network African non-military conflict intervention practices combines empirical basic research with theory building and strategic policy advice. The project focuses on the academically so far neglected non-military intervention practices of the African Union (AU) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs). The network aims to strengthen expertise on non-military actors relevant to peace and security policies on the African continent. The collaborative project will (1) establish an online database of non-military interventions by AUs and RECs (from 2004 onwards), (2) empirically reconstruct non-military intervention practices and routines by African actors, and (3) advance the theoretical debate on these issues. Based on sound empirical analysis and conceptual framings, the project also has a clear policy angle: The identification of best practices and lessons learned aims to provide strategic entry points for external interaction with and support for conflict prevention, management, and resolution in Africa.

The research programme

In detail the seven research fellows already contracted for this network will:

  1. detail the epistemological foundations for building a database on ANCIP at the disciplinary interface of global studies, new critical geography, and digital humanities
  2. build the ANCIP portal (website, database, visualizations) as well as a better understanding of academic debates around geographies of conflict
  3. reconstruct the experience of African Union mediation organs such as the Panel of the Wise (2007) as well as Pan-Wise (2013) and FemWise-Africa (2017)
  4. establish knowledge on the role of AU High Representatives Special Envoys and Special Representatives
  5. provide insights of the dynamics of selected regional and national infrastructures for peace (RI4P, NI4P), particularly in West Africa and the Horn of Africa
  6. discuss the place of civil society in these interventions
  7. and reflect on the political economy of ANCIP (i.e., the role of international donors, but also the contested knowledge orders behind
    these interventions).

The project is funded from April 2022 to March 2026 with a total of ca. €1.9 million.