The African Centre for Digital Diplomacy (ACDD) purses the transformative potential of new technologies in seeking emergent interventions on African conflict and security issues targeting the next generation while addressing major global challenges, practically all of which require multi-lateral and cross-cultural cooperation.
The ACDD is run by the Research and Publications department of the Common Ground Centre focusing on comparative research and knowledge management through a series of technology-based, sustained, peer-to-peer engagement programs targeting multi-lateral participants from Africa and from select regions around the world in a bid to gain a deeper understanding of diverse contexts and experiences with conflict and security issues in the 21st Century.
The comparative research focus by the ACDD pays much attention to the choice and compilation of aggregate-level contextual variables, as much as to individual level dependent and independent variables, with awareness of their limitations and any existing explanatory powers.
Comparative research or analysis is a broad term that includes both quantitative and qualitative comparison of social entities. Social entities in Africa, for this matter, may be based on many lines, such as geographical or political ones in the form of cross-national or regional comparisons. The underlying goal of comparative analysis is to search for similarity and variance.
The enduring importance and utility of comparative research in conflict and security issues are as important as the intervention strategies themselves, offering insights on persistent problems and promising solutions. The main goal of the African Centre for Digital Diplomacy is to situate the value of comparative research on African conflicts and security issues, outline common and central problems and introduce promising solutions.
The relevance of the African Centre for Digital Diplomacy is evident on two main reasons:
- The topic of comparative research on African conflicts and security issues transcends subject matter, time, space and methodological affiliation. It relates to the international audience of sociologists across all regions of the world studying a wide range of the subject matter (African conflicts and security) and operating from diverse methodological standpoints.
- There is the need to delve further into the debate and growing conflict on the identification and acknowledgement of problems in comparative analysis on African conflicts and security issues. Some researchers are challenging fundamental, taken-for-granted ‘rules’ relating to the way that research on African conflicts and security is conducted, study causality, select cases or samples, generalize and undertake key aspects of comparative analysis, characterized as the debate between radical positivism and radical relativism with the former searching for identifiable ‘social facts’ and the latter arguing that nothing can essentially be compared.
The African Center for Digital Diplomacy takes on the enduring problem of generalization of case studies and introduces a new pragmatist strategy of comparative analysis on African conflicts and security issues.