Pan-Africanism and East African integration

Pan-Africanism and East African integration

Pan-Africanism and East African integration

Pan-Africanism and East African integration

Excerpt

One of the most interesting developments in international politics since the end of the Second World War has been the attempt to integrate the sovereign states of Europe into some form of larger unity. It is not surprising that both scholars and statesmen from other areas of the world have begun to make generalizations about regional integration based largely on the European experience.

Thus far we have too few cases of regional integration to develop a satisfactory comparative study. We are not sure how the process of becoming more interdependent in social and economic affairs relates to unification, the process of forming a larger political union. We do not know whether there is enough similarity between regional integration among industrial states and among developing countries to allow us to explain the process in both contexts with the same theory. For example, current theory regarding European integration assigns ideology a minimal role. Yet most Africans who are interested in regional integration of their continent are committed to Pan-Africanism, an ideology of unity.

This book is not about Pan-Africanism in the sense that it is concerned with its lengthy history or varying content in different parts of Africa. It is rather an attempt to evaluate the impact of a system of ideas that East Africans call PanAfricanism upon a particular case of integration and attempted unification. Can we understand regional integration in Africa on the basis of our "European theories," or must we adapt those theories to take ideological rhetoric into account?

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