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Research Grant Proposal Assignment
Armed violence, insecurity and wars continue to plague the African continent. The human suffering brought about by such conflicts has exponentially increased as these lead to the obstruction of poverty alleviation programs and initiatives. Reducing and by extension preventing the prevalence of violent conflict has become the primary authority of African organizations like the AU and ECOWAS, African governments, organizations as well as its people. European, Asian and American governments have also sought to play a hand towards such objectives both independently and under the auspices of powerful international organizations like the UN and EU. As such, the rest of the world is taking a hands on approach towards conflict resolution in Africa as a significant step towards stronger international relations.
Unfortunately, the nature of the contemporary international system is transforming to exhibit new types of conflicts, new threats as well as specialized intervention policies and strategies towards promoting peace. It is argued that the diverse ethnic composition in Africa is a primary source of conflict that in most cases take long periods of time to subside. This paper presents a research grant proposal with a core emphasis on identifying obstacles to conflict resolution and propose alternative strategies to overcome such barriers to conflict in the Central African Republic.
The Central African Republic is a unique case which presents an ongoing and perpetuating conflict which not only involves violence along ethnic lines but religious inclinations as well. The CAR experienced a coup instigated by the Seleka, which translates to alliance. Indeed, this coup was spearheaded by a coalition of predominantly Muslim mutineers, heavily armed with crude as well as modern weaponry. The outcome was a deterioration of CAR infrastructure, security apparatus as well as greater ethnic divergences. This ultimately created fertile grounds for greater risks of wanton mass atrocities.
The core objective of this research will be to identify obstacles to conflict resolution and propose alternative strategies to overcome such barriers to conflict in the Central African Republic.
Given that Africa is an expansive continent consisting of vast and varied natural environments as well as human societies, it is critical to understand that the barriers to conflict resolution result from diverse factors. However, Africa is home to many successful outcomes from positive initiatives, programs and achievements that should be appreciated. To begin with, the last ten years have culminated with progressive outcomes towards improved governance, adherence to human rights ideals and democratization.
Three decades ago, Africa was internationally known as the home of authoritarian leaders and more often than not, military dictatorships. At present most countries are ruled by democratically elected governments. However, barriers to conflict resolution in war torn nations like CAR include societies retrogressively evolving presumably conflict inclined cultures. An unfortunate ethos of conflict, societal beliefs founded on collective memories and a mutual emotional conflict present some of the barriers that make conflict resolution difficult to achieve. Narratives projected are thus biased, selective and more so, distorted as the core function is basically to satisfy presumed societal needs as opposed to presenting an objective of truth or reality.
Overcoming such barriers requires frameworks and institutions to be set up to present a novel repertoire to be distributed to societal members. Such a repertoire should offer the basis for the formulation of new ideas concerning the dire need to engage in peaceful resolutions to conflict; other possible solutions towards conflict resolution that can be acceptable to opposing groups; trust among rivals; strong beliefs that an agreement can be achieved and ultimately, recognizing the need for such reconciliation and the motivation to ensure total conflict resolution.
The research methodology to be utilized in my work will basically utilize grid years as the primary units of analysis. The entire dataset will encompass countries in Sub Saharan Africa from 1997 to 2012 where populations exceed 100,000. Each country will subsequently be split into 100 square kilometers units which will be repeated year on year. I approximate to acquire over 3.8 million units in grid years uniquely identified and clustered as administrative zones, countries and ethnic communities. Data on conflict points is to be grafted on the grid structure. Analysis on a sub-national level will highlight causes of violence relative to geographical concentrations. The dependent variables will be dominant forms of conflict, transformations in dominant conflict and event count on each type of conflict.
The academic rigors of this academic institution, its environment for academic study and the opportune chance for self-motivated specialization generate a highly conducive conditions for academic pursuits. I aim to integrate my great understanding conflict resolution, alternative strategies, barriers to conflict resolution and means to overcome this barriers into this international affairs research study. I have met with two senior professors on a personal level and they has positively encouraged me on this particular project. Other faculty members have also agreed to accord the desire assistance towards the successful completion of this research study.
For this particular project, I seek to hire the services of three graduate assistants to work on the massive data collection and analysis procedures that this project will encompass.
$675 weekly pay for the three research assistants after training by the principle investigators (PI) to engage in the data collection and analysis procedures ($15 per hour x 15 hours x 3 RAs). It is expected that their work will be completed in 4 weeks, working 15 hours per week. Thus the total hours used by the 3 RAs for four weeks will translate to ($15 per hour x 15 hours x 3 RAs x 4 weeks), thus the total budget for the project is $ 2700.
Martin, Philip. “Insurgency, Political Order, and SNC Wars: ‘Elite-Proximity’ in the Central African Republic.” the Central African Republic (August 4, 2014). MIT Political Science Department Research Paper 2014-9 (2014).
Norelius, Hanna. “The Responsibility to Protect-A Critical Case Study of the Central African Republic.” (2014).
Raleigh, Clionadh. “Political hierarchies and landscapes of conflict across Africa.” Political Geography 42 (2014): 92-103.
Wood, Reed M. “From Loss to Looting? Battlefield Costs and Rebel Incentives for Violence.” International Organization 68, no. 04 (2014): 979-999.
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