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Regional norms from the Organization of African Unity to the African Union
Author: Kathryn Nash

African regional organizations have played leading roles in constructing collective conflict management rules for the continent, but these rules or norms have not been static. Currently, the African Union (AU) deploys monitors, authorizes peace support operations, and actively engages in internal conflicts in member states. Just a few decades ago these actions would have been deeply controversial under the Organization of African Unity (OAU). What changed to allow for this transformation in the way the African regional organization approaches peace and security? Drawing extensively on primary source documents from the AU Commission archives, this book examines why the OAU chose norms that prioritized state security in 1963 leading to a policy of strict non-interference and why the AU chose very different norms leading to a disparate conflict management policy of non-indifference in the early 2000s. Even if the AU’s capacity to respond to conflict is still developing, this new policy has made the region more willing and capable of responding to violent conflict. The author argues that norm creation largely happened within the African context, and international pressure was not a determinant factor. The role of regional organizations in the international order, particularly those in the African region, has been under-theorized and under-acknowledged, and this book adds to an emerging literature that explores the role of regional organizations in the Global South in creating and promoting norms based on their own experiences and for their own purposes.

Abstract only
Kathryn Nash

Findings This book proposes an argument to augment our understanding of how regional organizations contribute to international society by analyzing the process of norm creation and evolution and the subsequent institutional and policy manifestations at the regional level in Africa. It has examined why the OAU chose specific norms in 1963 that manifested in a non-interference conflict management policy and what led the AU to codify different norms in the early 2000s that led to a non-indifference conflict management policy. In 1963, the regional organization

in African peace
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Kathryn Nash

Who contributes to the ideas or norms that govern the international system? The literature has explored the role of norm entrepreneurs, international institutions, courts, transnational networks, and states to create and promote norms that set expectations for how global society should work. 1 However, there is often a piece of the puzzle that is missing. Regional organizations have defined regional priorities, created norms and policies, and contributed to international norms. Yet, despite their impact at both the regional and international levels, the

in African peace
Kathryn Nash

of non-interference ideas and the rise of alternative ideas happened largely within the African region. While African leaders working within the regional organization were hugely influential, the debate was also influenced by other actors. One of the most prominent examples of civil society engagement that influenced regional politics is the African Leadership Forum (ALF), which was founded in 1988 by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. It was and continues to be influential because of the patronage of a powerful statesman, but it is also a body that

in African peace
Kathryn Nash

The end of World War II heralded in a new international era. However, most states in Africa entered this era as colonies of the major powers without a voice or equal rights in the international system, and the next twenty years would be a struggle for independence. The independence of the Gold Coast in 1957 kicked off a wave of decolonization in sub-Saharan Africa, with most states achieving independence by the mid-1960s. The OAU was created in May 1963 soon after many African states gained independence. The choice to construct a regional organization was

in African peace
Kathryn Nash

The starting point for understanding norm creation within African regional institutions must be the norms created by the OAU in 1963. However, to analyze the decisions made by independence era leaders when choosing norms for the African regional organization, it is crucial to understand the impact of pan-Africanist ideas that developed throughout the twentieth century as well as the impact of key events that took place in the lead-up to independence. Pan-Africanism did not begin as an African-led movement. It began to emerge as a solidified concept in 1900, and

in African peace
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Patrick Thornberry

This chapter presents raw statistics which claim to account for an indigenous world. It begins with a discussion of the identities and names of indigenous peoples. It then considers debates over the question of how many indigenous populations exist on the planet, followed by a discussion of the rights abuses and other assaults upon the dignity experienced by indigenous peoples. It describes the Working Group on Indigenous Populations, a Permanent Forum for Indigenous People, the draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, summits, and regional organizations.

in Indigenous peoples and human rights
From model to symbol

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the European Union (EU) stands out as an important regional organization. This book focuses on the influence of the World Bank on the EU development cooperation policy, with special emphasis on the Lomé Convention. It explains the influence of trade liberalisation on EU trade preferences and provides a comparative analysis of the content and direction of the policies developed towards the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP), the Mediterranean, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. It looks at the trade-related directorates and their contribution to the phenomenon referred as 'trade liberalisation'. This includes trends towards the removal or elimination of trade preferences and the ideology underlying this reflected in and created by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organisation (GATT/WTO). The book examines the role of the mass media because the media are supposed to play a unique role in encouraging political reactions to humanitarian emergencies. The bolting on to development 'policy' of other continents, and the separate existence of a badly run Humanitarian Office (ECHO), brought the lie to the Maastricht Treaty telling us that the EU really had a coherent development policy. The Third World in general, and Africa in particular, are becoming important components in the EU's efforts to develop into a significant international player. The Cotonou Agreement proposes to end the preferential trade margins accorded to non-least developed ACP states in favour of more liberal free trade agreements strongly shaped by the WTO agenda.

Kathryn Nash

norms, institutions, and policies have of course continued to evolve just as OAU norms did, but the focus of this volume is to explain the normative shift from the OAU to the AU and in doing so set out a theory of norm creation that illuminates how African regional organizations have shaped regional governance and influenced global governance. OAU norms and institutions The change from non-interference under the OAU to non-indifference under the AU is seen most clearly in the primary goals of these organizations as indicated by their respective charters and

in African peace
Challenges and opportunities

This book explores the evolving African security paradigm in light of the multitude of diverse threats facing the continent and the international community today and in the decades ahead. It challenges current thinking and traditional security constructs as woefully inadequate to meet the real security concerns and needs of African governments in a globalized world. The continent has becoming increasingly integrated into an international security architecture, whereby Africans are just as vulnerable to threats emanating from outside the continent as they are from home-grown ones. Thus, Africa and what happens there, matters more than ever. Through an in-depth examination and analysis of the continent’s most pressing traditional and non-traditional security challenges—from failing states and identity and resource conflict to terrorism, health, and the environment—it provides a solid intellectual foundation, as well as practical examples of the complexities of the modern African security environment. Not only does it assess current progress at the local, regional, and international level in meeting these challenges, it also explores new strategies and tools for more effectively engaging Africans and the global community through the human security approach.