Afrasian Center for Peace and Development Studies

In Search of Societal Mechanisms and Institutions for Conflict Resolution:
Perspectives of Asian and African Studies and Beyond-

As globalisation proceeds, the countries of Asia and Africa have tended to diverge into polarized sectors. While some Asian countries continue to achieve economic development, many countries in Africa, as well as some in Asia, remain poor and suffer frequently from myriad conflicts, including violent conflict and war. Although the economic globalisation and polarisation of the world into rich and poor are closely interconnected, existing disciplines including economics, politics, international relations, and even area studies have so far failed to analyse the complex causes of conflicts. Consequently, without an understanding of the complex character of conflicts it is difficult to propose guidelines and solutions that may lead to the mediation of conflicts. A new comprehensive approach is needed to find mechanisms and institutions inherent to each society that can be useful and effective in managing and resolving conflicts.

The Afrasian Project is a five-year joint research project at Ryukoku University in Kyoto and Shiga, Japan that attempts to provide new perspectives on the study of conflict and conflict resolution in Asia and Africa. Our project is identified as an Academic Frontier Centre (AFC) research project, initiated and funded by both the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and Ryukoku University. Ryukoku University established the Afrasian Centre for Peace and Development Studies as a central academic institute to engage in this joint research project.

The strength and uniqueness of our research project includes the following features.

  • A "re-centering" approach to conflict resolution, which discusses conflict and resolution from a non-Western approach
  • An examination of the role of culture in both the creation and resolution of conflict
  • An examination, specifically, of water and energy resources in developing countries through an approach which pursues ways of making these resources sustainable through a dialogue that includes local knowledge and know-how
  • Asian and African Specialists and interdisciplinary research
  • The inclusion of Japan in the discussion of conflict and resolution
  • Networking with both research institutions, in and Japan and overseas, and with professionals and groups dealing with conflict and conflict resolution