Research Activities
The Reconstruction of Collapsed States and Visions of African States: Beyond Conflicts
2nd Meeting (Group 4)
■Speaker :Prof. Masahisa Kawabata (Ryukoku University)
■Place :Common Research Room No. 4, 2nd Floor, Shieikan Building, Ryukoku University Fukakusa campus
■Date :November 12, 2005
■Number :05040201
Discussant: Prof. Takehiko Ochiai (Ryukoku University)

Prof. Kawabata critically examined the theory of collapsed states in African studies, and explored visions for the rebuilding and reconstruction of African states. He introduced the main contents of a prescription formulated by Ali Mazrui, a leading African intellectual, and pointed out that the African Union, with its stated policy that African conflicts should be solved by Africans, will perform a crucial role. In this sense, whether the African Union’s initiative to resolve the Darfur Conflict proves successful or not will be a test case. As an overall conclusion, he stated that new ideas that transcend the existing frameworks of the international order and sovereign states should be introduced, while individual conflicts should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Prof. Ochiai, the discussant, pointed out that it is necessary to question the validity of the theory of collapsed states in African studies itself, which sees a certain state as “collapsed or failed.”

The topics raised during the discussion included the historical background of the emergence of the theory of collapsed states, the viability of alternatives to the system of sovereign states, the relationship between conflict resolution and economic development in Africa, and the formation of national identity.
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