New information technologies (ICTs) such as mobile phones hold great potential to affect peacebuilding, statebuilding, governance, transparency, and accountability in Africa. ICTs ubiquity and ability to interact with older media enables citizens to experiment with innovative ways of influencing politics. Despite strong assertions in the existing research regarding the usefulness of ICTs (and media more generally) in political and post-conflict transition, governance, and development, there is very little understanding of how people and communities in Africa actually use these ICTs, and how these uses contribute to governance and peacebuilding.
The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at the University of Oxford are currently seeking papers for a forthcoming workshop and an edited volume. Authors are asked to provide critical analyses of how the public uses, makes sense of, and engages with ICTs, and the relationship between ICTs, the public, and governance or peacebuilding. Strong preference will be given to chapters that provide empirical evidence for the arguments put forth. Analyses should be applicable to Africa, and chapters focused on Eastern Africa are especially welcome. Academics from African universities are particularly encouraged to apply.
Funding will be provided for successful authors to attend the workshop, which will be held either in New York, USA or Oxford, UK in June or July 2014.
For chapters incorporating empirical research, we are particularly interested in qualitative methodologies (case studies, ethnography, interviews, etc.) but all approaches are acceptable.
Contributions may focus on, but are not limited to:
- The use of crowd-sourcing in conflict-affected regions
- The role of ICTs in accountability or transparency initiatives
- Local perspectives on citizen ‘voice’ and the use of ICTs
- The use of ICTs in transitional justice processes
- The intersection or merging of old and new technologies to impact peacebuilding or governance
- ICT innovation at the grassroots level
Abstracts (max. 2000 words) and author biography (max. 100 words) are due by March 6, 2014.
Please send abstracts, as well as any questions, to Libby Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notification of selected authors: March 20, 2014
Deadline for submission of rough papers in APA format: June 15, 2014
Deadline for submission of final papers in APA format (6,000-8,000 words): August 15, 2014
This book is being funded by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and is part of a multi-year research project on ICTs, Statebuilding and Peacebuilding in Eastern Africa.