Interested in getting an intensive immersion into the politics and history of the Great Lakes region of Africa? The Rift Valley Institute will be holding its annual Great Lakes course in Kenya this year, between the 27 June and 3 July. You can apply here. The Great Lakes Course covers the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Burundi. The state and its institutions will be cross-cutting themes this year. In the DRC, the Course will look into the debates around the electoral process and the ongoing violence in the Kivus. For Burundi, the shrinking political space ahead of the 2015 elections and its impact on democratic processes will be examined. For Rwanda, the course will focus on the renewed stifling of opposition voices and the role of the state in a post-genocide context. The course is in English and French with simultaneous translation.
Highlights of the syllabus
DAY 1: A history of land, violence and state-building in the region.
DAY 2: Rwanda: a state in a post-genocide context; memory and culture.
DAY 3: The DRC: what kind of state? Decentralization and institutional reform.
DAY 4: The DRC: land and violence in the Kivus; peacekeeping; pitfalls and solutions.
DAY 5: Burundi: the Arusha peace process; the current political landscape; justice and reconciliation.
DAY 6: Elections, foreign aid and institutional weakness.
Core teaching staff
Jason Stearns Director of Studies
Director, Congo Research Group, New York University Emily Paddon PhD
Research Fellow, International Relations, University of Oxford Judith Verweijen PhD
Senior Researcher, The Nordic Africa Institute Scott Straus PhD
Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison Jean Omasombo Professor, University of Kinshasa; Researcher, Royal Central Africa Museum, Tervuren; Willy Nindorera
Independent Political Analyst, Bujumbura Michael Kavanagh
Bloomberg News Koen Vlassenroot PhD
Professor and Director, Conflict Research Group, Ghent University Aidan Russell PhD
Assistant Professor, International History, Graduate Institute, Geneva Emmanuel de Mérode PhD
Director, Virunga National Park