school and education




CMR Conference Call



Department of History


DATE: 3-4 MAY 2018 



The University of Zimbabwe’s Department of History, War and Strategic Studies Unit, is delighted to announce a Call for Papers for an International Conference on “Civil-Military Relations in the 21st Century: An African perspective.” A dominant feature of the African socio-political and economic experience since the second half of the 20th century has been an increased role of the military in governance, generally characterised by unitary states that were largely deemed undemocratic, despotic and authoritarian. These experiences unfolded within the context of the Cold War when the world was basically bi-polar as it was divided between the Communist/Marxist-oriented Eastern bloc and the Capitalist-oriented West. The collapse of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics-(USSR) led former, and the subsequent thawing of Cold War animosities triggered a general quest for democratic governance and an end to militarism, unitarianism and authoritarianism. Over the years, there has therefore emerged a vibrant discourse agitating for a review of the role and place of the military in society, that is, civil-military relations.

Civil-military relations generally entails the nature of the relationship that obtains between the civilian authority of a given society and its military authority. It is, however, a complex domain which encompasses a huge corpus of issues, ranging from the dealings between ordinary people and the military, institutions and the military, legislation pertaining to funding for the military, its tasks and deployment, and crafting and implementation of national policy to legislative provisions for oversight of the military/security sector, gender mainstreaming in the security sector and even composition and size of armies. As Burk (2002) has observed, these relationships also differ depending on several other variables, notably, whether it is a powerful democracy or weak authoritarian regime; a poverty-stricken state or an economic giant, or a state in a state of war or peace. This state of affairs is further compounded by the paucity of theories of civil-military relations that adequately explain these divergent issues found within the broad domain of civil military relations. Current theories tend to be limited and more focused on explaining government relations with the military.

It is within this context that this International Conference brings together academics, scholars, policy-makers, students, practitioners, civic society organisations representatives, individuals and all other stakeholders from diverse disciplines engaged in issues to do with civil-military relations, providing them with a platform to collectively examine and interrogate these issues and suggest viable options to the establishment of sound civil military relations that promote peace and security in Africa, simultaneously helping improve the welfare of the continent’s inhabitants and achieving their sustainable development


The conference welcomes papers and poster presentations on, but not limited to, the following sub-themes:

    • Civil-Military Relations in Africa: Theory, Practice and Challenges
    • The Constitution and Parliamentary Roles in Society
    • The Role and Functions of Militaries in Society
    • The Management of Defence Forces and Security Resources (e.g defence budgeting and procurement)
    • International Relations Theory and Practice
    • The Global Security Environment and Impact on African Civil-Military Relations
    • The United Nations Collective Security system
    • The African Union Security Framework
    • National Security Policies in Africa
    • Regional Security Cooperation
    • Civic Society and Oversight Roles
    • The Security Sector and Economic Development
    • The Security Sector and Socio-Political Development
    • Civil-Military Relations in the Era of ICTs
    • Civil-Military Relations and Inter-Party or Intra-Party Dynamics
    • Civil-Military Relations and the Media
    • Civil-Military Relations in the Pre-Colonial Era
    • Civil-Military Relations in the Era of Anti-Colonial Struggles
    • Civil-Military Relations in Literature
    • Gender and Civil-Military Relations
    • ‘Operation Restore Legacy’ and the Civil-Military Relations Dialectic


Submission of Abstracts

Abstracts of not more than 350 words should be submitted to the Conference Planning Committee by 15 February 2018. These should include your name, title, area of investigation, objectives, justification, methodology, as well as the institution/organisation with which you are affiliated. Please also include your full contact details.

Submissions must be in MS Word; font style- Times New Roman; font size- 12 with double spacing

NB: Papers will be delivered in English and it is envisaged that good papers will be published as part of a peer reviewed book project. The prospective publisher is the University of Zimbabwe Publications.

Please submit your abstract via email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Guidelines for Submissions

Only online submissions will be accepted. Please endeavour to use the same email address for all correspondence. Early submission is strongly encouraged.


Papers should employ the in-text referencing style. Where direct quotations are made, then the page numbers must be given. Similarly, journal articles must also include the article’s page numbers in the Reference section.


Ethical Considerations

Authorship: Authors must give credit through references or notes to the original author of any idea or concept presented in the paper and proposal. This includes direct quotations and paraphrases.

Publication or Presentation History: If material in your presentation has been published, presented, or accepted for publication or presentation, this must be disclosed in your paper and proposal. Please note that depending on the decision of the reviewers, this may render your material ineligible.


Submission of Papers, Rights, and Agreement

By submitting papers, abstracts, author names, diagrams, and other data (the “submission”) to the conference organisers for inclusion in the 2018 conference, authors should understand that they become part of an agreement with the organisers of the conference, which stipulates the following:

  • This submission may be included and/or made available in an online conference website, printed conference documents, or other online or electronic media.
  • Authors grant to the University of Zimbabwe a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable license to reproduce, distribute, create derivative works from, publicly perform, and publicly display the submission in all languages, in whole or in part, to end users through a direct online or relicense or sale of information products, including but not limited to all formats of magnetic digital, CD-ROM, tape, online hosts, Internet services, and other electronic, laser, or optical media or other formats now known or hereafter discovered.

The University of Zimbabwe shall have the right to register copyright to the submission and the accompanying abstract in their name as claimant as part of the conference proceedings or another medium in which such submission is included. An author submitting a paper to this conference retains the right to publish this work in a journal or other publication without limitation by the University of Zimbabwe or other affiliates.

Presentations are invited from all areas of experience and case studies of peace and security education and peace studies at/by governmental agencies and nongovernmental organisations, educational institutions, Chambers of Commerce and Election Commissions, among several others.

Conference Attendance: If your paper is accepted for this conference, you have a commitment to register for and attend the conference and perform your assigned role. All chairs and respondents also make this commitment.


Annotated Time-Frame

Annotation Deadline


Deadline for abstract submission

15 February 2018

Notification of acceptance of abstracts

28 February 2018

Conference Programme

25 April 2018

Submission of revised chapters for publication

24 November 2018

Publication of manuscript

October 2019



Early bird registration

Late registration










The conference fees cover meals, stationary, conference bag and the conference excursion (tentative).

The fee caters for space, refreshments, conference materials, and logistics/arrangements.

Transport and Accommodation

Participants will cater for their own transport and accommodation costs.

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