African Reckoning: A Quest for Good Governance

African Reckoning: A Quest for Good Governance

African Reckoning: A Quest for Good Governance

African Reckoning: A Quest for Good Governance

Synopsis

This book investigates how changing norms of sovereignty may promote better governance in Africa. It traces the evolution of the concept of sovereignty and assesses how state actors in Africa measure up to the norms inherent in the notion of sovereignty as responsibility. It also examines the question of accountability at regional and international levels.

Excerpt

This book represents the latest in a series of studies that the Brookings Institution's Conflict Resolution in Africa project has conducted since 1989. The project began with a research conference that aimed at viewing regional and internal conflicts in the context of the prevailing international climate and, in particular, how the ending of the cold war would affect perceptions of conflicts and the implications for conflict resolution. The papers presented at this conference were published as Conflict Resolution in Africa, edited by Francis M. Deng andI. William Zartman (1991). The research conference was followed by several regional case studies: The New Is Not Yet Born: Conflict Resolution in Southern Africa by Thomas Ohlson and Stephen John Stedman withRobert Davies (1994), and Governance as Conflict Management: Politics and Violence in West Africa, edited by I. William Zartman (1997). In addition, several country-specific studies were published: South Africa: The Struggle for a New Order by Marina Ottaway (1993), Somalia: State Collapse, Multilateral Intervention, and Strategies for Political Reconstruction by Terfence Lyons and Ahmed I. Samatar (1995), and War of Visions: Conflict of Identities in the Sudan by Francis M. Deng (1995).

The main conclusion of these studies is that conflict management is principally a function of governance, which is the responsibility of the state. This responsibility is further accentuated by the post--cold war reluctance of the major powers to intervene, ameliorated in part by global concern with human rights and humanitarian issues. This line of argument was developed further in Sovereignty as Responsibility: Conflict Management in Africa . . .

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