Integrating Africa: Decolonization's Legacies, Sovereignty and the African Union (Hardback) book cover

Integrating Africa

Decolonization's Legacies, Sovereignty and the African Union

By Martin Welz

© 2013 – Routledge

258 pages

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Paperback: 9780415723343
pub: 2013-10-16
Hardback: 9780415522014
pub: 2012-08-14
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203101452
pub: 2012-10-02
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The African Union (AU) is a continental organization that comprises every African state except for Morocco, is indeed a pioneering undertaking. Its ambitious aim is to integrate all member states, with the ultimate goal of forming the United States of Africa. Despite several attempts to build a union, the AU has remained an intergovernmental organization, one reason being a perceived unwillingness of the AU states to pool their national sovereignties.


This study seeks to comprehend why Africa’s integration process has not moved towards a supranational organization, using a novel approach. It shifts the usual perspective away from the organization level and provides the first comprehensive and systematic analysis of the AU from the perspective of the states themselves. It includes 8 comprehensive case studies: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Mauritius, South African, Swaziland, Uganda and Zimbabwe to help understand their foreign policy and provide key insights into why they are (un)willing to yield sovereignty.


This work will be of great interest to students and scholars of African politics, international relations and international organizations.


'The books innovative general perspective and its well-structured and accessible empirical material make it an important contribution to the academic debate on the African Union as well as an insightful read for everyone-academics, students and practitioners alike-seeking to understand African continental integration dynamics.' - Antonia Witt, University of Bremen

'Integrating Africa is a meticulously researched and accessible study into the AU. It serves as a useful contribution to the literature on the AU and provides a number of fascinating perspectives into some of the main issues from the perspective of its member states. Moving away from traditional academic interpretations, this book will help readers to develop a deeper understanding of the organisation and the on-going debates about its future and purpose.' - Matthew Graham, University of Dundee

'This book's timely, compelling findings are a valuable contribution to our understanding of AU member states' politics of sovereignty and the consequences for continental integration. Integrating Africa is an authoritative work by a promising young scholar that deserves a spot on university reading lists for courses on African politics, foreign policy analysis, and international organisations.' - Michael Olender, Politikon

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. System, State, Statesman 3. Cases 4. Zimbabwe 5. Swaziland 6. Algeria 7. Ethiopia 8. Burkina Faso 9. South Africa 10. Uganda 11. Mauritius 12. Conclusion: Shaping the Future of the African Union

About the Author

Martin Welz is a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Konstanz, Germany. His current research interests are African politics and African integration processes in particular.

About the Series

Global Institutions

The "Global Institutions Series" is edited by Thomas G. Weiss (The CUNY Graduate Center, New York, USA) and Rorden Wilkinson (University of Sussex, UK).

The Series has three "streams" identified by one of three cover colors:

  • Blue covers offer comprehensive, accessible, and informative guides to the history, structure, and activities of key international organizations, and introductions to topics of key importance in contemporary global governance. Recognized experts use a similar structure to address the general purpose and rationale for specific organizations along with historical developments, membership, structure, decision-making procedures, key functions, and an annotated bibliography and guide to electronic sources.
  • Red covers consist of research monographs and edited collections that advance knowledge about one aspect of global governance; they reflect a wide variety of intellectual orientations, theoretical persuasions, and methodological approaches.
  • Green covers will soon offer one-stop accounts for the major theoretical approaches to global governance and international organization.

Together these streams provide a coherent and complementary portrait of the problems, prospects, and possibilities confronting global institutions today.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Treaties
POLITICAL SCIENCE / NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations)