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College of Law Distinguished Professor of International Law Publishes Book on the Legality of Peace Agreements in Africa
March 26, 2012

Orlando, Fla. – Jeremy Levitt, associate dean and distinguished professor for international law, at Florida A&M University's (FAMU) College of Law, has published "Illegal Peace in Africa: An Inquiry into the Legality of Power Sharing with Warlords, Rebels and Junta."

Published by Cambridge University Press, the 314-page book examines the legal and political efficacy of transitional political power sharing between democratically constituted governments and the African warlords, rebels or junta that seek to violently unseat them.

"This is a groundbreaking study that will change peace craft in Africa and beyond, and in international law’s voice in the scholarly literature," said LeRoy Pernell, College of Law Dean.  "Associate Dean Levitt is an internationally recognized scholar whose voice carries significant weight in legal academia in the U.S. and abroad.”

Among other questions, Levitt addresses the role that law plays in informing, shaping, and regulating peace agreements through the prism of three West African case studies: Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea-Bissau.  This book represents the first substantiative legal critique of the law, practice, and politics of power sharing.

“Professor Levitt presents a crisply written cri de Coeur that refreshingly up-ends traditional bromides and verities proclaimed by international lawyers who criticize amnesties for war criminals or political scientists who aspire only to ‘free and fair’ elections supervised by the UN,” said José Alvarez, Herbert and Rose Rubin Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law, and the executive director of the Center on Global Legal Problems at the Columbia Law School.  “He provocatively argues that transitional power-sharing arrangements that empower and amnesty ‘bandits of the law’ fail precisely because they elevate short term political concerns over
respect for the law.  This book is a must read for peace and war scholars, policy-makers and other analysts.”

Levitt holds a Ph.D. in politics and international studies from the University of Cambridge-St. Johns College, and a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He is a public international lawyer and political scientist with expertise in the law of the use of force, human rights law, African politics, democratization, state dynamics and regional collective security. He is the former International Technical Advisor of the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and formerly served as a World Bank official and consultant to the United Nations.  He is a member of the American Law Institute and fellow of the American Bar Association.

The book is available now through www.amazon.com.  To interview Dean Levitt, contact him at (407) 254-3267.

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