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Francis, David J. 1965- (David John Francis)

Francis, David J. 1965- (David John Francis)

PERSONAL:

Born October 5, 1965. Education: Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, B.A. (with honors), 1993; University of Southampton, Ph.D., 1998.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Africa Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Department of Peace Studies, Pemberton Bldg., University of Bradford, Bradford BD7 1DP, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

University of Bradford, Bradford, England, Department of Peace Studies, director of the Africa Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, professor of African peace and conflict studies, and Personal Research Chair.

WRITINGS:

The Politics of Economic Regionalism: Sierra Leone in ECOWAS, Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2001.

(Editor) Civil Militia: Africa's Intractable Security Menace?, Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2005.

(With others) Dangers of Co-Deployment: UN Co-Operative Peacekeeping in Africa, Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2005.

Uniting Africa: Building Regional Peace and Security Systems, Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

David J. Francis was born on October 5, 1965. He was educated at Fourah Bay College, at the University of Sierra Leone, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree with honors in 1993. From there, he attended the University of Southampton, earning a doctoral degree in 1998. A writer and educator, he serves on the faculty of the University of Bradford Africa Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in Bradford, England, where he is the director of the Africa Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. His particular areas of academic and research study focus on Africa and West Africa, specifically pertaining to the social reintegration of child soldiers in Africa, regional economic and security regionalisms in Africa, peace and conflict analysis pertaining to sub-Saharan Africa, the development of peace and postconflict transition societies in sub-Saharan Africa, privatization of security and African security studies, and the policing that takes place in African transition societies. Francis is also the author of several books, including The Politics of Economic Regionalism: Sierra Leone in ECOWAS, Dangers of Co-Deployment: UN Co-Operative Peacekeeping in Africa, which he cowrote, and Uniting Africa: Building Regional Peace and Security Systems. He also served as the editor for Civil Militia: Africa's Intractable Security Menace?

Uniting Africa is an argument against the idea of unifying Africa in the traditional way for the sole purpose of improving economic and social services. Francis argues that such attempts at unifying Africa have ultimately led to poorer conditions; more political unrest; and failure in a number of vital programs, including efforts to control and reduce the spread of AIDS and HIV, and getting medication to those in need. Francis emphasizes the need for a regional approach that would allow Africans to adopt the necessary behaviors and concepts within smaller, more manageable segments of the population, thereby resulting in a greater percentage of attendees to mandatory meetings and other functions. While Francis remains in favor of unity overall as a principle, he stresses the need to apply programs toward its achievement with a measure of logic and flexibility that will encourage solving underlying issues. Over the course of the book, he supplies readers with an overview of many theories and much of the literature that addresses these concerns and potential solutions. Kevin C. Dunn, in a review for the Political Science Quarterly, commented that "Francis does not shy away from pointing out the mistakes, problems, and failures in these attempts at regional conflict management. Nor does he attempt to glorify the limited successes." He concluded that Francis's effort is "an important and provocative book."

Civil Militia, which Francis edited, is a collection of scholarly works on Africa. The book addresses issues of force and public safety maintenance when weighed against each other, focusing in particular on the militia of different African countries and each militia's processes and intentions. Civil Militia focuses, especially, on African nations that have suffered for an extended period of time under military rule or dictatorship, with little or no outlet for their frustrations under such circumstances. For example, Cameroon, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Uganda have suffered from such circumstances. The work includes discussions about how wider regions have also been affected by military influences. The contributors are also careful to be very specific regarding the types of militia referred to, as some are still merely bodies maintained for occasional use, while others have become a constant military power used to maintain a political situation or leadership. John W. Harbeson, in a review for Africa Today, remarked that "as the book acknowledges, civil society is a contested concept. In the course of this contestation, it has occasionally been conceptually shrunk to near impotence and ethnocentric irrelevance." He also stated that "Francis … has done the study of state-rending conflict in Africa an important service in bringing this perspective to bear on a fundamentally important topic."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Africa Today, June 22, 2007, John W. Harbeson, review of Civil Militia: Africa's Intractable Security Menace?, p. 114.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, September 1, 2006, C.E. Welch, review of Uniting Africa: Building Regional Peace and Security Systems, p. 195.

International Affairs, January 1, 2006, Ian Taylor, review of Civil Militia, p. 235; July 1, 2006, Paul-Henri Bischoff, review of Dangers of Co-Deployment: UN Co-Operative Peacekeeping in Africa, p. 821.

Political Science Quarterly, March 22, 2007, Kevin C. Dunn, review of Uniting Africa, p. 171.

Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2002, review of The Politics of Economic Regionalism: Sierra Leone in ECOWAS, p. 75; May 1, 2005, review of Dangers of Co-Deployment, p. 58; May 1, 2006, review of Uniting Africa.

ONLINE

University of Bradford Africa Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies Web site,http://www.bradford.ac.uk/acad/africacentre/ (August 13, 2008), faculty profile.

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