The importance and significance of peace studies with special reference to South Africa’s political-security role in Africa


Causes Of Armed Conflict
Conflict In Africa
Conflict Resolution
Peace Studies


The origins of peace studies as an academic field of inquiry could be traced to the late 1940s and the field has been developing considerably since then. Currently, scholars at various tertiary institutions over the world are involved in using their academic skills to educate students about the causes of wars and violent conflict while pointing out various alternatives to these phenomena. Peace studies in the South African and broader African context are certainly of great significance and importance. After all, the gripping and devastating violence that manifested in African countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, the DRC, Somalia, Angola, the Comoros and many other conflict-stricken areas warrant scholarly attention with a view to better understanding the causes, dynamics and effects of such conflict. By means of this understanding the conflict could be addressed through mechanisms of conflict resolution and peace building could be promoted. Furthermore, the South African Government’s progressive military involvement in international peace missions in recent years is far more than an issue of mere military concern. It is a matter of great political interest and significance. Being supportive of the need for peace studies in the curricula of South African universities (and African universities in general), this article argues that South African students should be exposed to a rich and comprehensive literature on the search for international peace and security; of how to understand and deal with the causes of large-scale conflict and violence; and how these could be curtailed and resolved − literature which informs scholarly discussions and research in many centres and places of education, training and peace building.

Copyright information

  • Ownership of copyright in terms of the Work remains with the authors.
  • The authors retain the non-exclusive right to do anything they wish with the Work, provided attribution is given to the place and detail of original publication, as set out in the official citation of the Work published in the journal. The retained right specifically includes the right to post the Work on the authors’ or their institutions’ websites or institutional repository.

Publication and user license

  • The authors grant the title owner and the publisher an irrevocable license and first right and perpetual subsequent right to (a) publish, reproduce, distribute, display and store the Work in  any form/medium, (b) to translate the Work into other languages, create adaptations, summaries or extracts of the Work or other derivative works based on the Work and exercise all of the rights set forth in (a) above in such translations, adaptations, summaries, extracts and derivative works, (c) to license others to do any or all of the above, and (d) to register the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for the Definitive Work.
  • The authors acknowledge and accept the user licence under which the Work will  be published as set out in (Creative Commons Attribution License South Africa)
  • The undersigned warrant that they have the authority to license these publication rights and that no portion of the copyright to the Work has been assigned or licensed previously to any other party.

Disclaimer: The publisher, editors and title owner accept no responsibility for any statement made or opinion expressed by any other person in this Work. Consequently, they will not be liable for any loss or damage sustained by any reader as a result of his or her action upon any statement or opinion in this Work. 
In cases where a manuscript is NOT accepted for publication by the editorial board, the portions of this agreement regarding the publishing licensing shall be null and void and the authors will be free to submit this manuscript to any other publication for first publication.

Our copyright policies are author-friendly and protect the rights of our authors and publishing partners.