Conflict and Peace in Africa

20th April 2015.  
Zoe Marks, University of Edinburgh.

The seminar will take place in the College Lecture Theatre at 6.00 pm. The poster can be downloaded here.

The lecture will examine what we know – and challenge what we think we know – about the connections between conflict, violence, peace and migration in Africa. Today, in Europe, there is a growing backlash against immigration, with racism compounding the stigma and discrimination faced by African immigrants in particular. However, despite the challenges of Europe’s weakened economies and hostile immigration regimes, Africa’s international migrant population has grown more than 50% in the past decade, more than any other group. What factors are driving the continued outward migration from the continent? How do we understand the role of political violence and armed conflict in shaping human movements? Do these patterns represent labour migration, or refugee flows; voluntary choice, or force and duress? With climate change, resource scarcity, and weak states affecting daily life and survival choices for the majority of people in sub-Saharan Africa, these questions are becoming increasingly important – and increasingly difficult to answer. Using a combination of the latest data, humanitarian reports, fieldwork and interviews in West Africa, and the participant observation of being an international immigrant herself, Dr Zoe Marks will unpack our assumptions about migration within and from Africa, and provide a crash course in how conflict and violence are affecting the lives of millions across the African continent.

Zoe Marks has a BA in Government from Georgetown University, an MSc in African Studies from the University of Oxford and a DPhil from the University of Oxford with a dissertation on the Revolutionary United Front (Sierra Leone). She holds the position of Chancellor’s Fellow (Lecturer) at the School of Social and Political Science, Centre of African Studies of the University of Edinburgh, where she is Co-Director of the Global Development Academy and Director of the MSc in African Studies.










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