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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Structural Stability: Meaning, Scope and Use in an African Context
Author:Mehler, AndreasISNI
Periodical:Afrika Spectrum
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:political stability
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Politics and Government
Abstract:This article inquires into the potential meaning of 'structural stability', a technical term originally used in the natural sciences and introduced by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and the European Commission into the rhetoric of development cooperation in the face of growing violent conflicts in Africa. The need to clarify the scope of structural stability as leitmotif leads to a balanced interpretation of slightly differing official definitions. This exercise shows that there are political, economic, ecological and social ingredients of 'structural stability' that, in the end, all serve the capacity of individuals, groups and institutions to manage change without resorting to violent conflict. What matters most here is the assumption that all these elements are explicitly interlinked and mutually reinforcing. The article confronts this new leitmotif with prior reflections on a complex 'peace system' in the framework of the 'civilizational hexagon' (Senghaas). It indicates how the concept could be operationalized and addresses a number of open questions. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English, French and German.