The Conflict Research Network West Africa (CORN-West Africa) is a scientific platform for scholars and policy analysts conducting research on the overarching theme of armed conflict and political violence in West Africa. CORN-West Africa is an outcome of three interconnected considerations:
- CORN-West Africa emerged from the debate on the decolonisation of social sciences in Africa. This debate recognises that scholars based in institutions in the global south and their epistemological positions are underrepresented in global knowledge production and communities. The CORN-Network therefore strongly addresses itself to real processes to close the gaps in the field of conflict research by providing opportunities for scholars based in West Africa to network, critically engage with their own societies, develop new theoretical insights, generate evidence to support their theoretical postulations, discuss emerging ideas, and ultimately provide policy pathways to deal with the multidimensional challenges and manifestations of armed conflict and political violence in West Africa.
- The Network is born out of the recognition of the limited opportunities available for researchers based in West Africa to develop inter-institutional and transdisciplinary collaborations in the field of conflict and political violence. To address the current situation, the Network will strongly encourage cross-country collaborations within West Africa, provide real opportunities for mentorship, and periodically organise workshops and conferences that bring together researchers of different generations in West Africa to pioneer new research projects
- Third, founders of the Network appreciate the need for West African scholars to be involved at the highest levels and arenas of knowledge production on armed conflicts and political violence. It is in this context that CORN-West Africa will also enter into collaboration and partnership with institutions and organisations that share our goals of generating important research outputs, supporting the next generation of researchers on the subject, and deepening scientific collaborations among other things.
The membership of CORN-West Africa cuts across academic institutions and policy organisations in 16 West African countries and Cameroon. While it is envisioned that the Network will be membership based, institutional partnerships will be entered into with relevant stakeholders in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, and North America.