The Impact of Inequality on Peacebuilding and State-Building in Africa
Inequality has historically caused conflict, and has thus been mitigated by the state and the international community to avoid further conflict. Superficially, one might think that the post-colonial state system and international institutions were established for exactly this reason. Decolonised states were accepted into the existing hierarchy with the colonial and industrial powers at the top, but they were given legal equality without the support of material equality. The available historical data tend to show that inequality between African countries and the so-called advanced economies (former colonial powers and Northern states) remains relatively unchanged, and that internal inequality is actually increasing worldwide. This chapter begins by surveying the general theoretical insights into inequality and its relationship with peace and development specifically in the post-colonial African context, and then turns to the implications of these insights for “neo-trusteeship” forms of peacebuilding, state-building, and development.