CfP: Problems, Progress and Prospects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC 2015)
The socio-economic situation in the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo seems paradoxical. Considering the size of the country, its geostrategic location and the abundance of commodities such as wood, water, rare earth, copper, gold and diamonds, the country should be in a leading position in Africa and the world – both politically and economically. Reality, however, paints a different picture: Colonialism and its economic and psychological consequences, years of mismanagement under Joseph-Désiré Mobutu as well as civil wars, corruption and brain drain have let the Congo and its people sink into abject poverty after independence in 1960. In the Human Development Index, the DRC is ranked 186th out of 187 countries. In order to grasp and comprehensively assess these complex problems and to put the country on track towards stable and sustainable development, a holistic approach and cooperation of all social forces, economic actors and academic disciplines is necessary.
The University of Würzburg Young Africa Centre wants to initiate a joint effort by young scholars from all over the world working on Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest country. Our goal is to compile an interdisciplinary volume on contemporary DRC, bringing together contributions from various disciplines that would add to a comprehensive picture of the country’s current state of affairs. Thus, we want to analyze problems, progress and prospects from different perspectives – political, economic, legal, cultural, sociological, geographical, anthropological, medical, scientific, etc.
The papers could focus on the following questions: What progress has been made in the country’s political and legal system? How has the Congo’s foreign policy changed vis-à-vis emerging powers like China or India, and how have EU-DRC relations evolved? Has there been progress regarding human development? Which perspectives can sociology offer? What are the biggest impediments to economic development – and where do the greatest opportunities lie? Are there cultural mechanisms concerning the colonial history or the recent past? Which concepts could be used to enhance the health care system? How can the DRC’s mineral wealth be used better? Could the Congolese state employ better and more transparent control systems regarding conflict minerals?
We welcome proposals for papers in English and French from all disciplines that tackle questions regarding contemporary Congolese affairs. We invite potential contributors to submit an abstract of 300 words via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Please include title of paper, your full name and contact address including e-mail as well as your current position and institutional affiliation and a brief CV and list of publications. The proposal submission deadline is December 23, 2014. Notifications of acceptance will be made within five weeks after submission and will include deadlines and paper submission requirements.