Recent Books: Africa: Integrating Africa: Decolonization's Legacies, Sovereignty, and the African Union/Region-Building in Southern Africa: Progress, Problems, and Prospects

By van de Walle, Nicolas | Foreign Affairs, January/February 2014 | Go to article overview

Recent Books: Africa: Integrating Africa: Decolonization's Legacies, Sovereignty, and the African Union/Region-Building in Southern Africa: Progress, Problems, and Prospects


van de Walle, Nicolas, Foreign Affairs


Integrating Africa: Decolonizations Legacies, Sovereignty, and the African Union BY MARTIN WELZ. Routledge, 2012, 243 pp. $135.00 (paper, $44.95).

Region-Building in Southern Africa: Progress, Problems, and Prospects EDITED BY CHRIS SAUNDERS, G WIN YAYI A. DZINESA, AND DAWN NAGAR. Zed Books, 2012, 368 pp. $39.95.

Analysts frequently note the lack of economic integration and political cooperation among the 54 states of Africa-an ironic state of affairs, perhaps, given the large number of intergovern- mental organizations that exist on the continent. Welz examines the foreign policy of eight countries in the region to understand why the member states of the Africa Union, the region's primary institution of regional integration, have not devoted more energy to realizing the organization's lofty aims. He mostly blames domestic politics, especially the personalization of power by heads of state, which tends to undermine com- mitments that countries make to greater international cooperation. The book also makes an interesting observation: countries still governed by parties that participated in anticolonial struggles are more reticent to give up sovereignty. Welz concludes that the passage of time and the continued democratization of the region are prerequisites for more meaningful regional cooperation. …

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Recent Books: Africa: Integrating Africa: Decolonization's Legacies, Sovereignty, and the African Union/Region-Building in Southern Africa: Progress, Problems, and Prospects
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