Defining peace, security and democratization: the African Union and multi-layered arenas
Antonia Witt (Goethe University Frankfurt)
Ulf Engel (University of Leipzig)
Prof. Ulf Engel
Dr. João Gomes Porto; Prof. John W. Harbeson
Start time:
28 June, 2013 at 10:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The panel looks into the political struggles and the state of implementation in relation to the two most important fields of the African Union's political agenda: peace and security as well as democracy promotion.

Long abstract:

During the last decade the most important development in African inter-state relations has been the creation of an African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). While APSA remained the focus of both academic attention and political prioritization in the first decade after the establishment of the AU, the continental organization has more recently broadened its agenda towards the promotion of democracy and good governance. In parallel to this change in focus, one can also observe that the African continental project has become an increasingly 'crowded arena' in which a multitude of African and international actors engage over the definition of the most fundamental terms of continental integration. The panel scrutinizes the state of the art of the AU's double agenda on peace/security and democratization. It focuses on the multiple actors involved and arenas in which the content, form and future of competing approaches to peace, security and democratization become negotiated. This means identifying key stakeholders to these processes, taking account of their changing interests and diverse strategies, as well as analyzing the driving forces of and impediments to implementing and matching the AU's double agenda. In particular the panel invites contributions which have an empirical and/or theoretical interest in: intra-AU Commission dynamics with regard to peace, security and democratization; policy approaches to the AU by its member states; the impact of the Arab Spring on the AU; emerging African mediation practices and divisions of labor therein; or the AU and international partners (for instance, in international contact groups).