This book studies relevant actors and practices of conflict intervention by African regional organizations and their intimate connection to space-making, addressing a major gap regarding what actually happens within and around these organizations.
Based on extensive empirical research, it argues that those intervention practices are essentially spatializing practices, based on particular spatial imaginations, contributing to the continuous construction and formatting of regional spaces as well as to ordering relations between different regional spaces. Analyzing the field of developing practices of conflict intervention by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU), the book contributes a new theory-oriented analytical approach to study African regional organizations (ROs) and the complex dynamics of African peace and security, based on insights from Critical Geography. As such, it helps to close an empirical gap with regard to the ‘internal’ modes of operation of African ROs as well as the lack of their theorization. It demonstrates that, contrary to most accounts, intervention practices of African ROs have been diverse and complexly interrelated, involving different actors within and around these organizations, and are essentially tied to the space-making.
This book will be of key interest to students and scholars of African Politics, Governance, Peace and Security Studies, International or Regional Organizations and more broadly to Comparative Regionalism, International Relations and International Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Spatializing Practices in AU and ECOWAS Interventions
2. A Spatial Approach to African Peace and Security
3. Establishing ‘Reach’: ECOWAS and AU Intervention Practices ‘From Afar’
4. Establishing ‘Presence’: ECOWAS and AU Intervention Practices ‘On the Ground’
5. Regional Security Policies: Spatial Imaginations and Spatial Formatting
6. Contested Relations: Spatial Ordering during Conflict Interventions
7. Conclusion: Spatializing the Study of African Peace and Security
Jens Herpolsheimer is a post-doctoral researcher at the Research Centre Global Dynamics, Leipzig University, Germany.