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Comparing Regional Conflict Prevention in the Global South: Bridging Functional and Diffusion Approaches to Regionalism through Identity

English title Comparing Regional Conflict Prevention in the Global South: Bridging Functional and Diffusion Approaches to Regionalism through Identity
Applicant Pring Jamie
Number 188146
Funding scheme Early Postdoc.Mobility
Research institution Fachb. Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften Freie Universität Berlin
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.06.2020 - 30.11.2021
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Keywords (5)

regionalization; comparative regionalism; regional organizations; identity; international relations

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Theorien im Feld der komparativen Regionalstudien bieten diverse Erklärungen zur Variabilität im institutionellen Design. Einerseits schlagen gängige Theorien regionaler Integration und Kooperation, welche von neoliberalen Paradigmen dominiert werden, einen funktionellen Ansatz vor. Demzufolge hängt die Form regionaler Strukturen von praktischen Bedürfnissen ab. Andererseits sehen konstruktivistische Theorien regionale Strukturen als Ergebnis von Diffusionsprozessen in denen regionale und internationale Normen, Ideen und Strategien (Policies) miteinander interagieren und zu regional unterschiedlichen institutionellen Strukturen führen. Nichtsdestotrotz bleiben beide Ansätze unzulänglich in ihrer Erklärungskraft bezüglich institutioneller Variabilität, insbesondere in Bezug auf Konfliktpräventionsmechanismen. Dieses Forschungsprojekt widmet sich dieser Forschungslücke und der potenziellen Rolle der regionalen Identität, um diese zu überbrücken.
Lay summary

Das Verhältnis zwischen funktionellen und Diffusions-Theorien regionaler institutioneller Strukturbildung ist nach wie vor untererforscht. Dieses Forschungsprojekt zielt darauf ab die Bedinungen zu verstehen unter welchen funktionelle Verständnisse regionaler Identität relevant werden und in welchen diffusionale Ansätze verstärkt zum Tragen kommen, sowie das mögliche Verhältnis zwischen diesen beiden Erklärungsansätzen. Mithilfe qualitativer komparativer Analyse (Qualitative Comparative Analysis – QCA) vergleicht dieses Project die Komfliktpräventionsstragien verschiedener Regionalorganisationen und analysiert Variationen in deren institutionellen Design. Weiterhin wird das Projekt eine Konzeptionalisierung der Kombination von funktionalen und Diffusionsansätzen, welche die Variabilität von Konfliktpräventionsinstitutionen under verschiedenen Regionalorganisationen erklärt, hervorbringen. Nach einer Ausformulierung der Kombination der Bedingungen welche die Variationen zwischen verschiedenen Fällen erklären und einem Mapping der verschiedenen Fälle mit Hilfe von QCA, werden ausgewählte Fälle durch Process Tracing vertieft erforscht um. Diese können deviant-typischer oder ideal-typischer Natur sein. Das Process Tracing dient der Gewinnung vertiefter Erkenntnise in die kausalen Effekte der konzeptionalisierten Bedingungen auf die Variabilität der institutionellen Designs von Konfliktpräventionsmechanismen. Die Forschungsergebnisse zielen insgesamt darauf ab, Erkenntnisse für aktuelle Strategiedebatten im Bereich der Konfliktprävention beizutragen. Weiterhin werden sie die Integration von funktionalen und Diffusionsansätzen in der breiteren Theorisierung regionaler Institutionalisierung voranbringen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 06.12.2019

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
Review of the book “Human Rights under the African Charter” by Allwell Uwazuruike
Pring Jamie (2021), Review of the book “Human Rights under the African Charter” by Allwell Uwazuruike, in Engel Ulf (ed.), Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden, 248-251.
The Buzz about Inclusion in Peace Research, Policy, and Practice in IGAD and SADC
PringJamie, AebyMichael (2021), The Buzz about Inclusion in Peace Research, Policy, and Practice in IGAD and SADC, in Engel Ulf, Herpolsheimer Jens, Gelot Linnea, Döring Katarina (ed.), Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden, 186-208.
Review of the book, “Making and Breaking Peace in Sudan and South Sudan: The Comprehensive Peace Agreement and Beyond,” Sarah M. H. Nouwen, Laura M. James, and Sharath Srinivasan (eds)
PringJamie (2021), Review of the book, “Making and Breaking Peace in Sudan and South Sudan: The Comprehensive Peace Agreement and Beyond,” Sarah M. H. Nouwen, Laura M. James, and Sharath Srinivasan (eds), in Sudan Studies for Sudan and South Sudan, (64), 92-95.
Towards a More Integrated Approach? Cooperation Among the UN, AU, and IGAD in Mediation Support
Pring Jamie (2021), Towards a More Integrated Approach? Cooperation Among the UN, AU, and IGAD in Mediation Support, in Wählisch Martin, Turner Catherine (ed.), Bristol University Press, Bristol, 261-283.
The Institutionalisation of Mediation Support Structures in the AU, ECOWAS, IGAD, and SADC compared
Pring Jamie, AebyMichael, The Institutionalisation of Mediation Support Structures in the AU, ECOWAS, IGAD, and SADC compared, in African Security.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Dr. Michael Aeby, University of Edinburgh Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Dr. Julian Bergmann, Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik gGmbH Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Dr. David Nii Addy, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Germany (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Julio Amador III, Amador Research and Ateneo Policy Center Philippines (Asia)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Alexandre Raffoul, Uppsala University Sweden (Europe)
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Conflict Research Society Workshop Talk given at a conference Theoretical Approaches to Decolonization: Intersections With IR Theory and Peace/Conflict Studies 08.09.2021 virtual, Canada Pring Jamie;
International Political Science Association World Conference Talk given at a conference Varieties of Regional Ownership and Regional-Global Peace and Security Cooperation in the Global South 11.07.2021 virtual, Portugal Pring Jamie;
Swiss Political Science Association Annual Conference Talk given at a conference The Effectiveness of Third-Party Support to Power-sharing 09.04.2021 virtual, Switzerland Pring Jamie;
International Studies Association Annual Convention Talk given at a conference Promoting regional ownership in International Peace Mediation: the IGAD-Plus in South Sudan 08.04.2021 virtual, United States of America Pring Jamie;
German Political Science Association Conference Talk given at a conference Geopolitics and Norm Diffusion in International Peace Mediation 08.10.2020 virtual, Germany Pring Jamie;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Swiss Resesarching Africa Days Panel: “Under Construction: The Evolving African Peace and Security Architecture” 24.10.2020 virtual, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
German Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)online event, “Enhancing effective partnerships for peace mediation: lessons learnt from research and practice” Talk 11.06.2021 virtual, Ethiopia Pring Jamie;
Berghof Foundation Dies Academicus Talk 11.11.2020 Berlin, Germany Pring Jamie;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Hiroshima University Peace and Coexistence Course International 2020

Abstract

The last decade witnessed the proliferation of conflict prevention mechanisms among regional organizations (ROs), each having their distinct institutional design. Approaches in comparative regionalism have provided their take on why ROs form and their institutional designs vary. On one end of the spectrum, mainstream theories of regional integration and cooperation, dominated by the neoliberal paradigm, emphasize a functional approach, where regional structures are designed to address practical needs. On the other end of the spectrum, constructivist theories see regional design as a product of diffusion where regional and international norms, ideas, and policies interact to form regions with distinct institutional designs. While the latest research from these different approaches has gradually edged closer to the middle, each approach, by itself, remains insufficient to capture institutional variation fully, particularly in conflict prevention institutions. Linkages and relationships between these functional and diffusion approaches remain under-explored.This project’s main research question is, “What is the role of identity in shaping ROs’ conflict prevention institutions?” This research engages both functional and diffusion approaches to explain variation in regional conflict prevention institutional design by (1) synthesizing the current conceptual use of regional identity by both functional and diffusion approaches, and (2) applying the framework of securitization in examining the interaction between the two approaches in creating regional conflict prevention mechanisms. The project’s overarching goal is to examine the link between this two-sided conceptualization of regional identity and regional institutional design in conflict prevention. The research aims to unpack the conditions when functional notions of identity are relevant, where diffusion notions of identity are more at play, and possible relationships between the two. Within the framework of securitization, the research looks at the use of identity in the security discourses defining a threat and developing mechanisms to address the threat, particularly one meriting prevention. Using process-tracing, the first main task is to conduct case studies tracing the causal mechanism from regional identity to regional conflict prevention institutional design within each case. Using Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), the second main task of the project is to compare these case studies, analyze relationships among them, and contribute in conceptualizing the interaction between functional and diffusion approaches that influence the variation in conflict prevention institutions across ROs. Through this analysis of this particular phenomenon, conflict prevention, the findings of this study aim to enrich the larger bridge-building efforts to integrate functional and diffusion approaches in explaining regional variation as a whole.
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