The Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) of Addis Ababa University is a prominent institute for higher education, research and policy dialogues on peace and security in Africa. Established in 2007, it ranks among the top 50 think tanks in Sub-Saharan Africa according to the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Global Go-To Think Tank Index Reports. IPSS was also selected as the Centre of Excellence for Post Conflict Societies by the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) in 2017. Moreover, the Institute runs the Africa Peace and Security Programme (APSP), a joint initiative with the African Union, which is mandated by the African Union’s Executive Council to take up the intellectual challenge of finding African-led solutions to peace and security in Africa.
It is in this frame that the Journal on African-Centred Solutions in peace and security (AfSol) was launched by the Institute in 2016. The Journal is an inter-disciplinary African studies Journal focusing broadly on the fields of peace and security in Africa. It covers the interface between ‘academia and practice’ and ‘theory and policy’ in African societal and governance issues that have implications on the management of peace and security in the continent such as the resurgence of unconstitutional changes of governments (UCGs) in Africa.
Since the 1950s, African states have experienced a series of unlawful government changes (UCGs). Continental and regional entities, led by the African Union, enacted measures aimed at mitigating the threat to the African continent’s democratic process. These policies were primarily motivated by the need to foster the continent’s political transformation in the early 1990s, when several States transitioned from one-party and/or military control to a multi-party democratic election-based style of governance. Thus, the then-OAU declared the first continental norm against UCGs in 1997 through its Council of Ministers in response to Sierra Leone’s coup d’état. A sequence of rules followed in 1999 (Algiers Summit), 2000 (Lomé Statement), the African Union (AU) Constitutive Act (article 4(p), the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) protocol (article 7(g), and lastly, the African charter on democracy, elections, and governance (article 3 (10). The continental normative framework has been supplemented by standards such as the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, which is an addendum to the ECOWAS Protocol on Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping, and Security.
Both continental and regional frameworks agreed on the following facts as constituting illegitimate government changes:
- military coup d’état against a democratically elected Government;
- intervention by mercenaries to replace a democratically elected Government;
- replacement of democratically elected Governments by armed dissident groups and rebel movements;
- the refusal by an incumbent government to relinquish power to the winning party after free, fair and regular elections.
Yet, the decade 2010s-2020s witnessed a revival of UCGs, as evidenced by military coups against democratically elected governments (Mali-2012 and 2020- Burkina Faso 2022, Republic of Guinea-2021- Central African Republic-2013, etc.), incumbent governments’ refusal to cede power to the winning party following free, fair, and regular elections (the Gambia and Côte d’Ivoire); and manipulations of constitutional term limits (an emerging form of UCGs). This resurgence, combined with the AU’s and RECs’ misalignment in enforcing penalties, puts into doubt the effectiveness of continental and regional normative frameworks against UCGs in Africa.
This Special Edition of the AfSol Journal aims at bringing an interdisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners interested in producing academic papers on peace, security, democracy and development in Africa. The editorial team welcomes submission along but not limited to these topical areas:
- Resurgence of military coup d’états in Africa, root causes and social effects.
- The African Union and RECs coping with UCGs (e.g. manipulation of terms limit and incumbent governments refusals to relinquish power to the winning parties after free, fair and regular elections in their member States): the principle of subsidiarity at play.
- Assessing the effectiveness of sanctions against UCGs perpetrators.
- UCGs and State construction in Africa.
- Managing security threats and UCGs in Africa.
- Call issued on April 12, 2022 (via IPSS website, recognised platforms and emails).
- Submission of Abstracts-April 30, 2022.
- Review and selection of 8 outstanding abstracts-May 16, 2022.
- Submission of 1st drafts-June 30, 2022.
- Completion of the blinded peer-review process-July 21, 2022.
- Author to submit final revision-August 5, 2022.
- Completion of copy-editing (Communication Unit)-August 19, 2022.
- Authors to submit copy-edited articles (final drafts) – August 31, 2022.
- Layout and design-September 23, 2022.
- Publication and dissemination-from September 27, 2022.
Interested applicants are expected to send an abstract up to 500 words.
The draft article (if abstract accepted by the committee) shall be between 7,000 and 9,000 words including references and annexures (if any) with a clear subject line [Submission: Title of article] to the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, copying email@example.com. Papers for this special edition should be submitted not later than April 30, 2022 for expected date of publication in September 2022.