Regional Organizations and African Security: Moving the Debate Forward

African Security, Vol 2: No 2-3: 206-217, 2009

18 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2014 Last revised: 24 Feb 2014

See all articles by James Hentz

James Hentz

Virginia Military Institute

Fredrik Söderbaum

University of Gothenburg, School of Global Studies; United Nations University, Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS)

Rodrigo Tavares

United Nations - Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

This special volume addressed four issues concerning African Security (1) what are the advantages and disadvantages of African regional and sub-regional organizations vis-à-vis other security mechanisms, in particular UN peace operations?; (2) what are the official and unofficial reasons to intervene?; and (3) whose security is actually protected by the peace activities carried out by the regional organizations? The authors share some common conclusions. The relationship between regional agencies and multilateral agencies (including that between international and African organizations) is in flux, however in Africa the former are growing in importance. The reasons for intervening are often ambiguous, although likely to have both narrow national self interests and humanitarian catalysts. Less ambiguous, is the conclusion that Africa's regional and sub-regional security organizations have been more about “sovereign boosting” than about the “responsibility to protect.” Finally, by addressing the three questions above, we contribute to the larger debate in international relations and security studies on what we mean by security and how we define security Africa.

Keywords: regionalism, peace, security, Africa, regional peacekeeping, regional organization

Suggested Citation

Hentz, James and Söderbaum, Fredrik and Tavares, Rodrigo, Regional Organizations and African Security: Moving the Debate Forward (2009). African Security, Vol 2: No 2-3: 206-217, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2399872

James Hentz

Virginia Military Institute ( email )

Department of Economics and Business
Scott Shipp Hall
Lexington, VA 24450
United States

Fredrik Söderbaum (Contact Author)

University of Gothenburg, School of Global Studies ( email )

POB 700
Gothenburg, SE 40530
Sweden
+46-317864340 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.globalstudies.gu.se/english/about-us/staff?languageId=100001&userId=xsodfr

United Nations University, Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) ( email )

Bruges
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.cris.unu.edu/Dr-Fredrik-Soederbaum.54.0.html

Rodrigo Tavares

United Nations - Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies ( email )

Brugge
Belgium

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