Institute for Security Studies

The ISS was founded in 1991 as the Institute for Defence Policy by the current Executive Director, Dr Jakkie Cilliers, together with Mr PB Mertz. The Institute’s head office is in Pretoria, South Africa. Regional ISS offices are located in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Dakar (Senegal) and Nairobi (Kenya). http://www.issafrica.org

Library Articles

From Rhetoric to Action Delivering for Young Women in Africa

Young African women between the ages of 15 and 35 find themselves in a conundrum, in a world that is highly patriarchal and ageist - frequently facing a double burden brought about by their gender and age, and falling through the cracks of government programmes. While the need to empower young women is often couched in an argument of numbers, this policy brief argues that through enhanced action...

Reviving the AU’s Maritime Strategy

Published: 2017
The African Union (AU) is failing to implement several key maritime strategies which was drawn up, owing to lack of resources and expertise. The AU risks marginalizing maritime security work, therefore this inertia must change in 2017. This policy brief is based on the assumption that long-term, coordinated and sustainable development will lead to improvements in security, economic development...

Partnering for Sustainable Peace in Liberia

This paper first analyzes Liberia’s national frameworks relevant to peace building and then examines the engagements of multiple peace building actors in Liberia, with a particular focus on the roles of African regional, sub regional and bilateral organisations. It also unpacks principles as to why they may hold an advantage in certain peace building activities. Finally, the paper explores how...

Beyond Rhetoric Engaging Africa’s Youth in Democratic Governance

The overview presented in this brief, discusses the continental normative framework on youth engagement by the African Union (AU). It argues that there is a disconnect, both in theory and practice, between youth rights and freedoms on the African continent. The important roles of the AU, is highlighted in this brief, as well as the regional economic communities and member states in meaningfully...

Money Talks - A Key Reason Youths Join Boko Haram

The particular observation in this study, that people join Boko Haram because of financial rewards, challenges the popular scholarly proposition that poverty has no direct causal link with terrorism and violent extremism. Although, it is not the only cause, poverty or financial reward, does, however play an important role in people’s decision to join Boko Haram. The despicable poverty in...

Boko Haram and Violent Extremism - Perspectives from Peacebuilders

Since 2009, Boko Haram have unleashed atrocities which have affected millions of people in Nigeria and the region as a whole. The results of a field-based study on peace builders’ perspectives of the drivers of violent extremism; and the underlying socio-economic and political factors that influence individuals to join Boko Haram is presented in this policy brief. The study reveals that peace...

Preventing Violent Extremism: South Africa’s Place in the World

The prevention of violent extremism (PVE) has become a priority for the global community. This policy brief examines the global environment in terms of policy and implementation frameworks, and explores South Africa’s position in this prevention context. Recommendations are made as to how South Africa should take PVE forward, based on the risks in evidence at the moment.

Is South Africa a Norm Entrepreneur in Africa?

Published: 2016
This policy brief aimed to look at South Africa’s commitment to democracy and human rights in Africa, and to consider the drivers behind the often contradictory foreign-policy positions taken by the government. It questions whether South Africa has been a successful norm entrepreneur in Africa. The paper also reflects on the crisis of expectations that South Africa finds itself in, having to...

Unlocking Africa’s Potential The Relationship between Effective Governance and Poverty

Extreme Poverty is defined by the World Bank as a ‘condition of life so characterized by malnutrition, illiteracy and disease as to be beneath any reasonable definition of human decency’. This paper addresses this issue and uses US$1.90 per person per day as the level of income necessary to maintain this minimum level of human decency.This paper compares the effects of three interventions on...

African Urban Futures

This paper frames the future of Africa’s urban transition and looks at continental and regional long-term futures, the drivers of urbanization and the relationship between urbanization and economic development. The continent’s current and emerging megacities are identified and likely population numbers are forecasted for Cairo, Lagos, Kinshasa, Johannesburg, Luanda and Dar es Salaam over the...

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