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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



Governance Research Programme: Comparative Research Network: Africa’s changing security sector institutional landscape

Deadline: May 31, 2014

Within the framework of its strategy for building comparative knowledge on Africa produced from within the African continent, the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) invites proposals from researchers based in African universities and centres of research for the constitution of a special Comparative Research Network (CRN) on Africa’s changing security sector institutional landscape. The primary purpose of CRNs is to encourage the development and consolidation of a comparative analytic perspective in the work of African social researchers to help establish a strong corpus of comparative studies produced by African scholars that can advance knowledge.

The call for a CRN on Africa’s changing security sector institutional landscape is done within the context of the launch of CODESRIA’s Governance Research Programme and is motivated by a lacuna in the study of governance on the continent. Research on governance in Africa swings between the micro-level focus on ‘big men,’ ‘warlords’ and ‘leaders’ and the macro focus on big structures like ‘ethnic groups’ and ‘tribes’ with insufficient attention to middle level institutions that are supposed to connect these two levels of analysis. Through its CRN on Africa’s changing security sector institutional landscape, the Council seeks to produce knowledge on the important question of security through the exploration of institutions in ways that go beyond treating them as ‘facades,’ ‘shadows’ and ‘instruments.’ It is the hope of CODESRIA that this effort will place institutions in their proper historical context, mould rigorous empirical research into broader theoretical arguments and employ explicitly comparative approaches with special privilege given to intra-African comparisons.

Priority sub-themes for the constitution of the CRN on Africa’s changing security sector institutional landscape include:

• Towards fuller conceptualizations: ‘security’ and the ‘security sector’ institutional landscape in Africa
• Historical antecedents and legacies: the origins and institutional logics of security institutions in Africa
• Innovative and fractured articulations: syncretism, hybridity, pluralism, ambiguity, instrumentalism and incompleteness in the creation, destruction, reinforcement, subversion and change of institutions
• Understanding the impacts of African security sector institutions
• Gendered institutions: reading the security sector institutional landscape through gender lenses
• Prioritization challenges: preventive vs. curative institutions and institutional outlooks.
• Vertical and horizontal interactions: relations between African institutions and between African and non-African institutions
• (Dis) embeddedness: the African security institution in wider society

Applicants are advised to clearly highlight the comparative character of their work in all sections of their proposals with particular emphasis on how their study designs, research methods and research activities enable them address the comparative questions posed. The independent selection committee will eliminate proposals that do not do so sufficiently.

CRNs should have between three (3) and five (5) members. It is advantageous to ensure that proposed networks are multidisciplinary in composition, sensitive to gender issues, and accommodative of younger scholars.

Interested researchers should submit application packages containing the following required materials. Please note that applications that lack any of these required materials will be discarded.

• A proposal with the following sections: an introduction; statement and contextualization of question; brief review of literature and/or competing hypotheses; study design and research methodology; significance of study; brief summary of budget and research plan. Proposals must be submitted as Word documents and should not exceed 10 pages (font type: Times New Roman; font size: 11; line spacing: double). Brief budgets, which should be incorporated into proposals, should take into consideration the fact that CRNs have a strict eighteen-month lifespan. Although grants awarded for CRNs vary from group to group, applicants should note for indicative purposes that recent grants ranged between USD 10,000 and USD 35,000. No specific format is required for the presentation of budgets but the Council covers the following costs:
o Field work undertaken by the members of the network
o Books purchased for the work of the CRN
o Honorariums paid to members of the CRN for work undertaken
o A review workshop to evaluate progress made by members
o Final workshop
• A cover letter listing network members and coordinator(s) and their email addresses and phone numbers
• CVs of all network members that contain full contact details including email and phone numbers
• Identification sheet: A completed version of the identification sheet attached to this call

The deadline for submission of applications is May 31, 2014. Notification of the result of the selection process will be made by July 31, 2014. CODESRIA will organize a methodology workshop for selected CRNs members in September 2014. All documents should be sent by email to Governance Research Programme, CODESRIA at grp@codesria.sn. Kindly use the subject line CRN-Governance Research Programme in your email.

Governance Research Programme
Comparative Research Network CODESRIA
Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop X Canal IV
B.P. 3304, CP 18524, Dakar, Sénégal
Tel. (221) 33 825 98 21/22/23
Fax : (221) 33 824 12 89
E-mail: grp@codesria.sn
Site web: https://codesria.org/
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