Militarization, sustainable growth and peace in Uganda


Start date: 1 May, 2019 End date: 31 August, 2023 Project type: Research collaboration projects in Danida priority countries (Window 1) Project code: 18-04-KU Countries: Uganda Thematic areas: Conflict, peace and security, State building, governance and civil society, Lead institution: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Partner institutions: Makerere University (MAK), Uganda Project website: go to website (the site might be inactive) Project coordinator: Ole Wæver Total grant: 11,995,339 DKK

Project summary

This project on militarisation, sustainable growth and peace in Uganda will examine the concept of militarisation in Uganda and its implications for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions. The rationale behind this project is to explore the current trend of militarisation in Uganda with a threefold aim: First, to better understand the militarisation phenomenon in Uganda and to analyse its scope and consequences; second, to contribute to theoretical conceptualisations of militarisation and militarism; and third, to increase the dialogue and awareness among private and public stakeholders in Uganda about how democratic accountability, protection of rights and state-building can be strengthened in an era of militarisation. The project comprises four themes as described in Appendix A, which are organised into the four work packages detailed below: Theme 1 on militarisation and development, Theme 2 on militarisation, institutions and human rights, underlying Theme A on the Ugandan military, its identity and practices, and overarching Theme B on regionalism. The project is a collaboration between the Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC) and the Centre for Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC) at the University of Copenhagen and will run for four years. It will be conducted through an innovative multidisciplinary combination of methodologies, drawing on law, political science and sociology, and will be approached from a militarisation-versus-militarism perspective. The project aims to work closely with key public-sector institutions and encourage a participatory and collaborative approach with major stakeholders, including the military, police, parliament and judiciary. It will be implemented through field activities, multi-stakeholder seminars and research seminars, academic publications and disseminations, among other activities.


First-year report:

Preliminary findings indicate enlarged military roles in large scale land acquisitions, forest resource and fisheries governance, and agriculture accompanied by a phasing out or domination of civilian structures with minimal to no collaboration with community structures. Militarisation is influencing conservation discourses on forest and wildlife resources, while in the Agricultural sector it’s being shaped by development and accountability discourses. Some positive developments under OWC, forest and fisheries conservation are attributed to the discipline of the army. However, networks emerging from some of the new military engagements enable and shield criminal and corrupt activity by military and civilian actors, including illegal logging, illegal fishing, charcoal burning and land grabbing. With courts compromised and afraid, there are no accessible accountability pathways for civilians. In certain marginalised regions emerging from conflict, such as northern Uganda, these dynamics are fomenting ethnic based grievances, with dire implications for state and nation building.

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