From theoretical models to empirical and practical approaches

theoretical models

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Despite technical and logistical challenges, theoretical approaches are very important to the framework of under-standing peace and security matters. 

In this context, AFPREA Abuja 2015 conference was an excellent opportunity to understand the theoretical perspectives of researchers from various parts of the world in researching both intra and inter-state conflicts in the African sub-continent.

The conference enabled the reciprocation of experiences with others experts in the field and to promote peace as studies, ideals and goals in the continent.

The active participation of the representative of African Union Commissioner for peace and security shows the importance of promoting peace research and education, and strengthening the peace movements to resolve the conflicts in African countries in a win-win manner.

However, unfortunately in many instances, conflict resolu-tion approaches tend to lack considerations on how practical and empirical aspects can be used to complement peace processes.

At this point, I suggest introducing an agenda item in our forthcoming IPRA conference for exploring contemporary practical examples of peace building and peace learning.

To give an example, presently, Algeria is actively engaged in mediating North Mali peace process. The second round of a UN-sponsored Libyan dialogue had also taken place in the Algerian capital of Algiers recently in a bid to settle the crisis . It is also worth mentioning the Algiers Agreement signed between the governments of Eritrea and Ethiopia in Decem-ber 2000, at Algiers, to end the War.

Therefore, practical approaches grounded in conceptual conflict resolution models are very much important in dealing with peace and security issues, and we, as scholars, experts, members of civil society community and media practitioners, should to promote and strengthen such ap-proaches through research and education, by creating an opportunity for diplomats and politicians to share their knowledge and experience.

On this premise, conceptualising a collective and holistic model based on practical experience to explain and address the peace and security issues, is what's needed at this time.

By Dr Laeed Zaghlami (Professor, University of Algiers)

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