Knowledge Lab Guest Lecture Summer Term 2019 Oshita O. Oshita: Hegemonic philosophies and the Future of Conflict Resolution in Africa
S 91 (GW I), Campus
Oshita O. Oshita (Society of Peace Studies and Practice (fspsp), Institute for Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ficmc), Nigeria)
Hegemonic philosophies and the Future of Conflict Resolution in Africa
Cognitive constructs often provide an epistemic basis for the control, manipulation and (dis)empowerment of people. Colonial experience and the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) debate are examples in Africa and the United States of America, respectively. The unity of science advocates present explanatory models that account for what people will normally do in given situations in all societies. The Deductive Nomological Model (DNM) of Carl Hempel and Paul Oppenheim generalizes based on this framing. We argue that this model fails to meet much of the requirements of social phenomena (human beings, values, emotions, evaluation). We also argue that the dominant philosophies upon which Conflict Resolution simulations are based require contextual epistemic conditioning to explain existential occurrences in African conflicts, without which violent conflicts will continue to escalate. We conclude that positive and impactful partnerships in Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution would therefore require mutually negotiated and pragmatic theory of inter-subjectivity that prioritizes context, local knowledge, expertise and symbolic representations.
Oshita is the Executive Director of Ubuntu Centre for Africa Peacebuilding and Development (UCAP), Abuja, Nigeria. He was the Director General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Ministry of Foreign Affairs Abuja, Nigeria, 2014 to 2018. He is a British Chevening Scholar with academic qualifications in Peace and Conflict Resolution, the Philosophy of Social Science and Environmental Education. Oshita was elected member of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, representing the Boki Federal Constituency in 1992. In 2002 Oshita coordinated Nigeria’s first Strategic Conflict Assessment (SCA) supported by the UNDP, World Bank, USAID and DfID. He studied at the Universities of Calabar and Ibadan (Nigeria) and Bradford (UK). In 2018 he was part of an African Union Commission (AUC), team that designed the Strategy for the Reconstruction, Stabilization and Resilience of the Lake Chad Basin. Oshita is a member of the British International Studies Association (BISA) and Ambassador, UN POLAC Peace Programme. He is a Professor of Peace and Development Studies and fellow of the Society of Peace Studies and Practice (fspsp), and Institute for Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ficmc), Nigeria.