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About us

The Centre for Engagement on African Peace and Security (CEAPS) was established in 2014 through a partnership between the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP, Osaka University, Japan) and the Faculty of the Humanities at the University of the Free State (South Africa). It aims to explore the issue of conflict resolution on the African continent, with a particular focus on external engagement – what the 'outside world' can and cannot do, what it should and should not do, in contributing in a positive manner to the realization, consolidation and maintenance of peace.


CEAPS engages in policy-oriented, collaborative research on conflict and conflict resolution. It uses its research findings to raise awareness about the issues to policymakers, academia and the general public in a user-friendly manner, but also to provide timely policy recommendations to those in a position to support conflict resolution. Apart from its own research agenda, CEAPS also gathers and presents insights on specific issues associated with conflict, peace and security from researchers, policymakers and other practitioners within and beyond the continent.


The project activities can also be followed on Twitter and Facebook (now in preparation).

Malians Vote in 2013 Presidential Election

UN Photo/Marco Dormino

MONUSCO Uruguayan Peacekeepers intensify Patrol in PingaUN Photo/Sylvain Liechti












About the issue

The slogan 'African solutions for African problems' was popularized in the 1990s, and while it appears at a glance to be a practical and desirable approach to conflict resolution on the continent, it leaves many questions unanswered. What exactly are 'African solutions'? Even within Africa, attempts to resolve conflicts include grassroots-level engagement that is geographically and contextually specific at a very local level, but they also include mediation, sanctions and other measures taken at an international or by the African Union, for example, at a continental level. Conflict itself rarely (if ever) fits neatly into either an 'intrastate' or an 'interstate' category. Conflicts can, and often do, simultaneously involve a combination of several dimensions, ranging from local and subnational, to transnational, international and global. Furthermore, measures are often not either 'African' or 'external', but involve a combination of measures taken by both.


SPLA and Forces of Defected General Sign Ceasefire in South SudanUN Photo/Tim McKulka

How can solutions be tailored to the particular circumstances? What roles can the various 'internal' and 'external' actors play in this regard? When should they decide not to act and 'do no harm'? If they are complicit (whether inadvertently or not) in some way in the conflict or its root causes, how can they bring a stop to this negative engagement and make amends? If active engagement is pursued, what can and should they do that will have a positive impact on the situation? And with so many tools potentially available in the conflict resolution toolbox; from mediation and diplomatic pressure, to curbs on trade in illicit arms and natural resources that sustain conflict, to peacekeeping and other forms of military intervention; which should they employ? CEAPS attempts to answer such questions.
















  • 紛争解決手段はどのように特定の状況に応じて適合させることができるのか。

  • 紛争解決手段の適合に関して、アフリカ内外の主体はどのような役割を担うことができるのか。

  • それらの主体が問題の悪化を招く恐れがある場合、不関与をどの段階で決めるのか。

  • もし、紛争解決に関わる主体が(意図的だったかどうかは関係なく)紛争そのものや紛争の根本的な原因に関係していたならば、 それらの主体はどのように関与をやめ、償うことができるのか。

  • 積極的な関与を進めた場合、これらの主体は現状に対して肯定的な影響を与えるために、何をすることができるのか。

  • これらの主体は、数ある紛争解決手法(紛争仲裁・外交的圧力・平和維持・紛争の継続に寄与する不法な武器や自然資源の貿易抑制・その他の手段を用いた軍事的介入など)の中からどれを選ぶべきなのか。

Research team

Osaka University (Japan):
  • Michiya Kawamura, associate professor, OSIPP

  • Toshiya Hoshino, professor, OSIPP

  • Virgil Hawkins, associate professor, OSIPP

  • Rui Faro Saraiva, PhD program, OSIPP

  • Carla Bringas Moreno, PhD program, OSIPP

  • Marina Magalhaes Barreto Leite Silva, PhD programOSIPP





  • Virgil Hawkins (准教授 国際公共政策研究科)

  • 星野俊也 (教授 国際公共政策研究科)

  • 河村倫哉 (准教授 国際公共政策研究科)

  • Rui Faro Saraiva (博士後期課程 国際公共政策研究科)

  • Carla Bringas Moreno (博士後期課程 国際公共政策研究科)

  • Marina Magalhaes Barreto Leite Silva (博士後期課程 国際公共政策研究科)


University of the Free State (South Africa):
  • Theo Neethling, professor, Faculty of the Humanities

  • Hussein Solomon, professor, Faculty of the Humanities

  • Ambrose du Plessis, researcher, Faculty of the Humanities


  • Hussein Solomon (教授 人文学研究科・政治学とガバナンス研究科)

  • Theo Neethling (教授 人文学研究科・政治学とガバナンス研究科)

  • Ambrose du Plessis (博士後期課程 人文学研究科・政治学とガバナンス研究科)


Project Coordinators

Virgil Hawkins, Osaka University

Dr. Virgil Hawkins holds a Ph.D. in International Public Policy from the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), Osaka University, where he currently serves as associate professor. He is also a research associate with the University of the Free State, South Africa. Before joining OSIPP, he was an assistant professor at the Global Collaboration Center, Osaka University (2007-2010), and has also served with the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) in Cambodia (technical advisor, 2002-2004), and in Zambia (country director, 2004-2007). He is also a co-founder of the Southern African Centre for Collaboration on Peace and Security (SACCPS). His prime research interest is in the media coverage of conflict (and the lack thereof), most notably in Africa. His most recent book is Communication and Peace: Mapping an Emerging Field, edited with Julia Hoffmann (Routledge, 2015). 

Hussein Solomon, University of the Free State

Dr. Hussein Solomon holds a D.Litt et Phil (Political Science) from the University of South Africa. Currently he is Senior Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Free State. His previous appointments include being Executive Director of the International Institute of Islamic Studies (2009-2010); Professor and Director of the Centre for International Political Studies, University of Pretoria (2000-2010), Research Manager at the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (1998-2000), Senior Researcher: Institute for Security Studies (1996-1998) and Research Fellow: Centre for Southern African Studies, University of the Western Cape (1993-1995). His research interests include conflict and conflict resolution in Africa; South African Foreign Policy; international relations theory; religious fundamentalism and population movements within the developing world. His most recent book is entitled Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Africa: Fighting Insurgency from Al Shabaab, Ansar Dine and Boko Haram (Palgrave Macmillan 2015).


The activities of CEAPS are currently funded through a project-based grant from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). The project, entitled for official purposes as 'Towards the ideal combination of policies aimed at conflict resolution in Africa through the sharing of wisdom and academic collaboration', is supported under a JSPS scheme known as 'Strategic Young Researcher Overseas Visits Program for Accelerating Brain Circulation'.




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