ICTs as Enablers of Resilient Social Capital for Ethnic Peace

Author: Festus Mukoya (University of Oslo)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3378393.3402266

Session: 2.3. Technology adoption and politics

Abstract: Violent conflict affects the lives, livelihoods and health of almost 1.5 billion people in the world. Efforts of intervention in violent conflicts through liberal peacebuilding strategies have not yielded fruits. This has paved way for resilience to be the new risk management strategy par excellence in peacebuilding in the Global South. Despite this growing enthusiasm for the focus on resilience, there remain significant debates and gaps in understanding about what actually constitutes resilience in conflict settings and particularly resilient conditions necessary for sustaining processes of preventing violent conflicts. The understanding become even more blurred when seeking to introduce Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) as a factor of resilience in violent conflict settings. This paper therefore, argues that resilience for peace need to be understood in the context of both horizontal (bridging) and vertical (linking) social relationships that are influenced by the mushrooming and ubiquitous Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). The study found that ICTs play an important role in building resilient bridging and linking social relationships that are part of the process of preventing violent conflicts. The paper makes significant contribution to the theory of resilience as applied in ICT4D.