Territoriality, Citizenship and Peacebuilding: Perspectives on Challenges to Sustainable Peace in Africa special inaugural issue, UBUNTU, (Vol. 1 Nos 1-2, 2012)
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ISSN : 2078-760X (print), : 2050-4950 (online)
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For generations going back to ancient times, scholars and other interested parties have debated the causes of conflict and war.
Conflicts and wars have become a major preoccupation of humans – from individuals to leaders, communities, and whole countries.
Not surprisingly, scholarly explanations and theories now abound. For some scholars, conflicts and wars can be attributed to psychological factors, particularly the roles played by leaders and other key players. For many social psychologists and sociologists, the answer may be found by looking at the sorts of roles people play within social groups in society.
Many anthropologists blame conflicts and wars on the cultural factors which condition human beings to particular behaviour patterns. Many scientists attribute conflicts and wars to human nature, suggesting that human beings – particularly males – are effectively coded genetically to engage in aggression as a survival mechanism in a world full of dangers (initially from wild beasts and subsequently from other humans). For many political scientists, historians and economists, the causes of conflicts and wars could be deduced by looking at human frailties such as weak, inflexible, greedy, manipulative or power-hungry leadership, nationalism, elite exploitation and injustice, and communal and national competition over ethnicity, religion or for scarce resources. Many peace researchers point more towards global and national economic or institutional arrangements and structures that create and embed forms of dependencies and exploitative systems that impose economic and structural violence on large groups of people whose human security needs are fundamentally ignored