[Originally published by Royal Danish Defence College]

The director of World Peace Foundation will talk on the political dynamics and the political marketplace that characterizes the Horn of Africa, and how that helps explain the state fragility found in many states in that region. 
In his latest book  - The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa (Polity Press, September 2015) - Alex de Waal draws on his thirty-year career in Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, including experience as a participant in high-level peace talks, to provide a unique and compelling account of how these countries’ leaders run their governments, conduct their business, fight their wars and, occasionally, make peace.

De Waal shows how leaders operate on a business model, securing funds for their political budgets which they use to procure the provisional allegiances of army officers, militia commanders, tribal chiefs and party officials at the going rate. This political marketplace is eroding the institutions of government and reversing statebuilding.It is fueled in large part by oil exports, aid funds and western military assistance for counter-terrorism and peacekeeping.

Alex de Waal is the Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation. Considered one of the foremost experts on Sudan and the Horn of Africa, his scholarly work and practice has also probed humanitarian crisis and response, human rights, HIV/AIDS and governance in Africa, and conflict and peace-building. He has a PhD in social anthropology from Nuffield College, Oxford for his thesis on the 1984-5 Darfur famine in Sudan. During 2005-06, de Waal was seconded to the African Union mediation team for Darfur and from 2009-11 served as senior adviser to the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan. He was on the list of Foreign Policy’s 100 most influential public intellectuals in 2008 and Atlantic Monthly’s 27 “brave thinkers” in 2009.

Thomas Mandrup, Associate Professor at the Royal Danish Defence College, Institute of Military History and War Studies, and Extraordinary Associate Professor, Faculty of Military Science, Stellenbosch University, will act as facilitator for this event.

The seminar will take place on Thursday June 16th, 14.00-16.00 at "Kornloftet", Defence Libary, Kastellet 46, 2100 Copenhagen East.