States, Security and State-Building in Africa

Lecture Theatre G33 Mechanical and Civil Engineering Building
International, Social Sciences, Vice Chancellor
Tuesday 22nd November 2011 (17:15-18:15)
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Karen Wright 0121 414 5937

An Inaugural Lecture by Professor Paul Jackson on Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Security has become one of the buzzwords of our times. In many poor countries that have experienced prolonged conflict, security and development have become almost synonymous to be remedied by constructing states that can both make their way in the international community of states but can also provide security, and by implication opportunities for development, for individual citizens and communities. Most of these models are based on an extension of liberal models of state building that contain many assumptions about the nature of states and how they should be constructed. However, the largely technical approaches adopted largely ignore much of the politics of state building and lead to an emphasis on harder aspects of state building constructing formal institutions backed up by security services. At the heart of the current dilemma is a series of questions around what the term state actually means in the context of post-war Sub-Saharan Africa and where local people actually go to seek security and justice.