Identity conflict
in African security in the twenty-first century
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A basic feature of the universal human condition is the need to find commonality with others and form larger associations at the individual, group, and community level. This is at the heart of the concept of identity. A variety of factors ranging from physical attributes, language, and culture to societal norms and structures work to promote a self-awareness and self-consciousness of sameness with a larger collective. Probably nowhere else in the world is group identity—be it ethnic, racial, religious, sectarian or communal—so closely associated with persistent, and even genocidal, violence than in Africa. This makes identity conflict a primary threat to peace and security on the continent.

African security in the twenty-first century

Challenges and opportunities


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