Research Group African Intervention Politics
The Research Group "African Intervention Politics" studies interventions by African regional organizations such as the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). These organizations have become central actors in establishing and maintaining peace and security on the African continent, whether through diplomacy, mediation, sanctions, or the deployment of peacekeeping missions. Despite this empirical and practical relevance, there is still a lack of systematic knowledge about the practices and consequences of African interventions. In contrast to hitherto dominant institutionalist and top-down approaches to studying African regional interventions, the Research Group adopts a "bottom-up" perspective that focuses on the politics of the interventions in question.
In so doing, the Research Group concentrates on two thematic areas: On the one hand, we explore the knowledge orders and practices that underlie African interventions and with the help of which various actors in interventions try to establish peace and order. On the other hand, we investigate the effects of these interventions on the political and social order in affected countries and how different social groups experience and evaluate the interventions. In both cases, we focus on primarily non-military interventions, which remain the most important form of African intervention to date. Methodologically, we use focus group and interview research, survey research, and participant observation, among other methods. The various projects of the Research Group are carried out in close cooperation with African scholars based on the continent.
Current PhD Project
- Civil Society Inclusion in AU's and ECOWAS' Non-Military Conflict Intervention Practices
- Diverging perspectives: Legitimizing regional interventions and local perceptions
- Perceptions of Coercion: AU and ECOWAS Interventions in The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau