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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Power, peace, and space in Africa: revisiting territorial power sharing
Authors:Zanker, Franzisca
Simons, Claudia
Mehler, AndreasISNI
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society (ISSN 1468-2621)
Geographic terms:Africa
Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:conflict resolution
External link:http://afraf.oxfordjournals.org/content/114/454/72.abstract
Abstract:Power-sharing agreements have become a blueprint for efforts to end violent conflicts in many parts of the world, particularly in Africa. Such agreements, however, rarely include territorial power sharing - at least, not according to the formal, rather unhelpful narrow definition that includes federalism and decentralization. This article argues that the concept of territorial power sharing needs to be broadened in order to account for the manifold informal or indirect manifestations of such arrangements. Drawing on extensive fieldwork data from the DRC, Liberia, and Kenya, the article analyses the history of spatiality and power in Africa in order to explain why formal mechanisms of territorial power sharing are rare and why more subtle types of informal territorial power sharing are much more common. Based on this analysis, the authors conclude that territorial power sharing is present in many African states, but that it is typically overlooked because of its informal nature. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]