The hands-on management of the admixture of increasingly complex contemporary global problems and concerns, some of which reach back into different periods in time, requires proper and systematic consultation and understanding of their gradual evolution over time.
It with a deep appreciation of the fact that we cannot comprehend the present without a thorough understanding of that past that I approach some of the intractable problems of contemporary society, among them, armed conflict and postcolonial state-building in Africa and beyond.
This, then, calls for the deployment of the critical human science of applied history. This means tapping the goals and methods of the empirical approaches of the study of the past to tackle and mitigate, if not resolve, contemporary global challenges that face us. As historians Jo Guldi and David Armitage urge in their forthcoming book (The History Manifesto, November 2014) history ought to regain, and sit firmly on the saddle of, its role, and classical spirit of inspiring the longer view, and thence, the habit of informing the public sphere. As they have so eloquently stated, this “was the classical spirit in which Machiavelli and his contemporaries wrote their histories, whether of ancient Rome or of their own city-states such as Florence, taking lessons from Rome’s arming of the plebeians or its strategies for territorial expansion when considering the destinies of their communities. It was also the aim of historians in the Enlightenment, among them David Hume, Voltaire, and even Adam Smith, whose Wealth of Nations was at its heart a history of Europe and its overseas empires written to inform debate about the commercial future of Europe and its colonies and published in the fateful year of 1776.”
After all, history is not a mass or an amassment of “yawn-enforcing” facts. Rather, it is the sum of all lived human experience and existence that’s alive all around us. Indeed, history is an organic movement of socio-economic and political processes. This approach and critical analysis is “applied history” that sees all human history as a process of change and development. This is the expertise that I bring to various consultancies; projects; and research to better inform policy and choices in middle- and high-level decision-making process to chart the future.
100 to 5,000 Years Existence Perspectives: Research-based Planning & Strategy
Through masterful application of longue durée history, it is possible to put into perspective human imprints of existence of between 1,000 and 5,000 years or more, centuries and millenia, thus deeply understanding the past to chart out long futures be they public, corporate or institutional.
In stepping up to, and in confronting, global problems and challenges, the lessons of history are instructive and imperative. I deploy applied history to analyze archival data empirically to produce actionable knowledge. The subsequent result are ideas that can be turned into action: that is tangible and actionable deliverables that can be used to better understand the present and help policy makers to map out the future with regard to the following areas of service:
- Military history or history of specific armed conflicts
- Legal/Constitutional history and reforms
- Expert long-term election monitoring (political and media situations; election administration; and campaign environment)
- Strengthening social cohesion, management of ethnic diversity and inculcating harmonious coexistence
- Agricultural policy and (international) development
- Historical research and interpretation
- Memory, memorialization, conflict resolution, truth, justice & reconciliation and peace-building processes
- Security sector reforms
- Program/project monitoring and evaluation
If you have a project, please contact me via email at email@example.com with a detailed description for a quote.