The chapter discusses the role of the UK in supporting African Union (AU) peace and security structures, particularly the AU’s Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), since 2010. It argues that UK Governments – especially that led by Tony Blair (1997–2007) – gave Africa policy a high profile characterised inter alia by a desire to build the capacity of African states and institutions. Nevertheless, the chapter also notes that since the year 2010, when the Labour Party lost power, tensions, contradictions and ambiguities in the UK–AU/APSA relationship have emerged, partly exacerbated by the continued illegal immigration of Africans to Europe, and the UK intervention in Libya in 2011 in total disregard of African views on the matter.
This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this volume, which is about the connection between the United Nations' (UN) evolving approach to intra-state conflicts and the value system of the international community. This study takes issue with the relatively reductionist explanations of what the UN is and how it relates to peace and security. It explores the interest-norm complexes within which the cases in the Congo, Cyprus, Angola, and Cambodia were handled by the UN. This volume shows how relevant actors' normative preferences were resolved in specific peacekeeping environments where the UN was especially active in addressing intra-state conflicts.