National Cohesion in Insecure States: Experiences from Africa

Kassa Poster


Michel Noureddine Kassa, Country Team Leader for the Initiative for a Cohesive Leadership in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Distinguished Visiting Practitioner Residency

October 15-19, 2012

Mistrust, rivalries, and manipulation of the legacies of the past are among the hurdles societies face after conflict on the way to national cohesion and peace. How can we pursue sustainable and ecologically responsible development in a globalized and exposed puzzle of nations, networks and interests?

Michel Noureddine Kassa will be in residence at Brandeis from October 15 – 19 as the sixth Distinguished Visiting Practitioner of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, hosted by Alain Lempereur, Director of the Master’s Program in Coexistence and Conflict, Heller School).

Read a short bio of Michel Noureddine Kassa, in English and in French. [PDF]

For more information, contact ethics@brandeis.edu.

Schedule of Public Events

Monday, October 15

Women and Insecurity in the Democratic Republic of Congo
6:30 pm
Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex (ASAC) Atrium, across from the Heller School

Kassa kicks off the residency with a discussion of women's inequality in the Eastern Congo. Sponsored by the Heller Gender Working Group and the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance.


Tuesday, October 16

New Generations Waging Peace
11:00 am - 12:20 pm
Pearlman Lounge (NOTE change in location from Shiffman 219)

New generations of post-independence elites play a crucial role in peacemaking in Africa and the Middle East.


A Look at Development in the Democratic Republic of Congo
12:30 - 1:50 pm
Brown 218

Sustainable development faces tremendous challenges in polarized societies, where urban elites are pitted against those working to improve the Human Development Index (HDI) across the society.


Theories of Development and Underdevelopment
6:30 pm
Mandel Center for the Humanities G10

Sustainable development and the challenge of polarized societies.


Wednesday, October 17

Film Screening: Katanga Business
12:30 - 2:00 pm
Heller G4

A political and economic thriller about globalization in one of the world's richest regions in mining resources -- but precious little of the profit trickles down to the ordinary folk who live and work there. Pizza will be served. See "related readings" below to download articles about Africa's extractive industry.


New Models and Old Constraints for Responsible Partnerships
2:00 - 4:00 pm
Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex (ASAC) 204, across from the Heller School

A panel addressing the challenges of responsible business, especially for foreign companies working in Africa's mining industry. Michel Noureddine Kassa joins Prof. Joseph Assan (MA SID), Aaron Chassy (Catholic Relief Services), Germain Indjassa (MA Coex), Prof. Catherine Mann (IBS), and Josep Maria (ESADE University, Spain). See "related readings" below to download articles about Africa's extractive industry.


Thursday, October 18

Ethics and Negotiation
9:00 - 11:50 am
Heller G2

Being a peace professional in volatile contexts requires ethical guidelines for ongoing negotiation.


Career Path of a Peacebuilder
12:00 - 1:30 pm
Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex (ASAC) Atrium, across from the Heller School

Heading for a career in coexistence or peacebuilding? Are you an activist committed to making a difference? Kassa shares stories about the choices he made, the people who influenced him, and his day-to-day life as a peacebuilder. Dessert and drinks provided. Cosponsored by the the Hiatt Career Center and the Heller Career Development Center.


Keynote Address: National Cohesion in Insecure States: Experiences from Africa

5:00 - 6:30 pm
Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library

Mistrust, rivalries, and manipulation of past legacies...How can we pursue sustainable and ecologically responsible development in a globalized and exposed puzzle of nations, networks, and interests? Updates and RSVP (optional) on Facebook.


Friday, October 19

Conflict Analysis and Intervention
11:00 am - 12:20 pm
Olin-Sang 116

Negotiation and mediation have the power to avoid court interventions and decisions; they might also avoid the resort to force and violence in the international arena or in regional conflicts. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, there are many examples of what negotiation and mediation accomplished: opening the Congo River back to navigation, letting national exams cross enemy lines, reducing the risks of revenge after elections, and permitting changes in top positions.


The French Influence in Africa: Keeping the Good, Amending the Bad

12:30 - 1:50 pm
Shiffman 202

How can Africa preserve the best of the French spirit, while cleaning up the refuse of paternalism and dubious postcolonial brotherhoods? Discussion will be in French.


Related Readings

-"Rebuilding Peace and State Capacity in War-torn Burundi," Howard Wolpe.
-"Towards Leaders' Reconciliation: Success Factors for Effective Post-Conflict Facilitation," Alain Pekar Lempereur.
-"A Bridge to Lasting Peace: Post-Conflict Reconciliation in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo," Aurelien Colson and Alain Pekar Lempereur.
-"Conflict-Sensitive Development Assistance: The Case of Burundi," Juana Brachet and Howard Wolpe.

Readings about Africa's extractive industries

-"Transparency and Accountability in Africa's Extractive Industries: The Role of the Legislature," Ed. Shari Bryan and Barrie Hofmann.
-"Extractive Industries - Their Contribution to the Congo's Development," Patricia Feeney.
-"Digging in corruption: Fraud, abuse and exploitation in Katanga's copper and cobalt mines," a report by Global Witness.

The Distinguished Visiting Practitioner program brings respected practitioners in any field to campus for several days to examine the ethical challenges and dilemmas of that field.

Distinguished Visiting Practitioners are in residence at Brandeis from three to five days, to offer public events, visit classes, and engage students interested in pursuing a career in their field. Faculty members from any department on campus are invited to propose future Distinguished Visiting Practitioners.