Book Launch for Kris Berwout’s ‘Congo’s Violent Peace’
On Monday night, Integrity was delighted to welcome consultant and leading DRC expert Kris Berwouts for the launch of his most recent book Congo’s Violent Peace. Kris has been working with Integrity as a Lead Researcher on DFID’s Evidence Analysis and Coordination Programme in the DRC and has over 25 years’ experience in peacebuilding, reconciliation, security, and democratic processes, working for both Belgian and international NGOs. The book launch was well attended by over forty journalists, academics and development professionals.
Kris opened the event by talking about his experience of writing Congo’s Violent Peace. He explained how he has sought to unravel the conflict through an analysis of different narratives and perspectives in order to enable his readers to understand what is occurring today in the DRC. Kris also spoke about the book’s aim to achieve a critical awareness of how a number of poorly designed international interventions have failed to contribute to building the necessary conditions for the Congolese state to rise
In addition, reflecting on his fieldwork in the region, Kris highlighted that the DRC is undergoing a process whereby complex peace processes are crystallising. He emphasised the importance of a bottom up approach which empowers local voices to ensure interventions effect positive change. He argued that analysing and engaging with all stakeholders, not just decision makers, is key to achieving this objective.
Kris’ speech was followed by a review of the book by Integrity’s DRC Services Manager Alex Martins. Alex praised Kris’s book, calling it an essential tool for being able to transfer policy ideas from paper to practice.
Alex commended the work for its honesty, authenticity and strong historical contextualisation, noting the futility of simplifying the complexity of the situation in the DRC. She pointed to Kris’ commitment to the country and the weight of importance he places on consulting the Congolese population.
The animated discussion which followed these two talks was a testament to the thought provoking nature of Congo’s Violent Peace. Integrity would like to thank Kris, Zed Publishing, and African Arguments for their support and participation.
The DRC remains a core geography for Integrity’s work. Our Evidence, Analysis and Coordination Program provides Political Economy Analysis to DFID DRC to help understand the underlying causes, features and dynamics of fragility and conflict. You can see further examples of our work here.
Kris’s book Congo’s Violent Peace can be bought online at Zed Books.