Sovereignty as Responsibility: Conflict Management in Africa

By Francis M. Deng; Sadikiel Kimaro et al. | Go to book overview

5
Regional Dynamics

AFRICAN conflicts have their roots in the contentious processes of state and nation building, the complex challenges of dignity and justice, governance, identity, and the competition for scarce resources, as analyzed in the previous chapters. Nearly all of the conflicts that have ravaged Africa have their sources in such domestic issues and actors. As noted, responsible sovereignty most fundamentally applies to this level of management.

Each conflict, however, also takes place in a regional context that significantly shapes the dynamics of the struggles, the resources that competing parties bring to bear in pursuit of their objectives, and, therefore, the prospects for managing, transforming, or resolving specific conflicts. Furthermore, conflicts have significant regional repercussions, as instability in one state generates spillover and demonstration effects in neighboring states. Sovereignty as responsibility also implies a regional obligation to "pool sovereignty" and take actions to better manage conflicts, and thereby accept accountability for conditions in the neighborhood.

In some cases the regional environment has assisted in managing a conflict, demonstrating responsible sovereignty on a wider level. Neighbors can help to create a balance of power among parties that encourages negotiations and can mediate or offer guarantees for peace agreements. Responsible regional organizations can facilitate cooperation, regularize relations, build confidence, and develop norms that help to manage conflict. In other regions, however, the setting has amplified or complicated conflict, making management more difficult. Neighboring states often impose a complicating layer of interstate rivalry by providing support to insurgents, regional organizations are weak, the security dilemma leads to conflict escalation, and estab-

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Sovereignty as Responsibility: Conflict Management in Africa
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Publications of the Brookings Institution's Conflict Resolution in Africa Project ii
  • Title Page iii
  • The Brookings Institution v
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Normative Framework of Sovereignty 1
  • 2 - Governance 34
  • 3 - Identity 61
  • 4 - Economics 93
  • 5 - Regional Dynamics 131
  • 6 - International Actors 168
  • 7 - Conclusion 211
  • Index 255
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