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The buzzword ‘inclusion’ has taken peace research by storm and seeped into studies on the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and peace processes facilitated by African regional organisations. Apparently resonating with the normative preferences of donors and researchers, inclusion has taken root in policies on peace and security. However, the understandings of inclusion in peace processes remain diffuse in research and policy, and the research discourse seems far removed from the praxis of ‘peace deal-making’ in Africa. Therefore, this chapter turns the focus from APSA’s pillars to its peace processes and (self-)critically reflects on the concepts, methods and merits of researching inclusive peace-making. Focusing on policy discourses, actor groups and mechanisms for inclusion in peace processes, the chapter discusses the practice of civil society inclusion in peace-making in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and Southern African Development Community (SADC), focusing on the peace processes facilitated by the two organizations in South Sudan and Zimbabwe, respectively.

In: Researching the Inner Life of the African Peace and Security Architecture