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SaVI Postgraduate Courses

SaVI has convened two postgraduate courses between 2015 and 2017 at UCT. These are POL5042F: Peace building: Issues and Problems and PBL5660S: Issues in Crime and Justice: Organised Non-State Violence in Africa. Both courses will be not offered in 2018.

POL5042F: Peace building: Issues and Problems

Convener: Guy Lamb

• To discuss and debate the key issues and problems in the area of peace building; and
• To critically assess the approaches, measures and policies about how to resolve these problems.

Johan Galtung, a Norwegian sociologist, coined the term ‘peace building in the 1970s, and described it as a process that would bring about a fundamental shift in the structural causes of violence. Galtung advocated the need for ‘positive peace’, a state of affairs that went beyond a mere absence of violence to include social justice for all. Peace building permeated out of academia and entered into the popular lexicon after the publication of the Agenda for Peace (1992), penned by Boutros Boutros Ghali, the United Nations Secretary General at the time. The rationale for this document was for it to be a new mission statement for UN operations in a post-Cold War era. The UN is now the most prominent actor in the area of international peace building. Over the past 20 years the field and industry of peace building has expanded dramatically. Throughout this time peace building has been used to describe a wide array of development, governance and norm-­setting activities undertaken by government, civil society and international organisations, especially in the aftermath of a prolonged period of armed conflict in order to promote sustainable peace. However, peace building has not been exclusively applied to post-­conflict environments, but its approaches and techniques have also been pursued in violence prone areas in countries that are not recovering from war. This course will consider the concepts and theories of peace building, as well as how it has been applied (mainly in post-­conflict settings). The specific focal areas of the course will be: the UN’s approach peace building; post-­conflict economy; armed violence; arms control and disarmament; the demobilisation and reintegration of combatants into civilian life; security sector reform; refugees and the diaspora; youth violence; policing; civil society and peace building; as well as information communication technology and peace building.

POL5042F - Full course outline

PBL5660S: Issues in Crime and Justice: Organised Non-State Violence in Africa

Convener: Guy Lamb


The vast majority of African countries frequently experience some form of organised violence, such as belligerent street protests, riots, vigilante action or militant labour strikes. In some African countries gangs, violent organised criminal groups, death squads, militias and rebels are active. Some recent examples include: Lethal protest in Egypt following a military coup d’état; the persistent subverting impact of militias and insurgent groups in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo; rhino horn poaching in Southern Africa; the significant destabilisation of areas in Mali, the Central African Republic, Somalia, Nigeria, Darfur and South Sudan due to the actions of insurgent groups; the use of private and armed security organisations in many Africa countries; frequent destructive community protest violence in South Africa; and terrorist actions in West Africa (Boko Haram) and Eastern Africa (Al-Shabaab). There are essentially four principal lenses that are adopted in the literature on non-­state organised violence in Africa, which are: organised crime; terrorism; armed conflict; and weak or failed states. This inter-­disciplinary course will provide you with an opportunity to familiarise yourself with, and critically reflect on this literature – the concepts, theories and published research and commentary on organised violence in Africa. The course will not promote a particular point of view in relation to organised violence, but will seek to understand the origins, trajectories and implications of a range of approaches.

PBL5660S - Full course outline