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The perils of regionalism: regional integration as a source of instability in the Horn of Africa?

El-Affendi, Abdelwahab A. (2009) The perils of regionalism: regional integration as a source of instability in the Horn of Africa? Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 3 (1). pp. 1-19. ISSN 1750-2977

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17502970802608118


The Horn of Africa, a region that has acquired notoriety as disaster and conflict-prone zone in the 1970s and 1980s, has become the site of a pioneering African experiment in regional cooperation in the early 1990s. In spite of a few successes, the experiment went disastrously wrong, creating more conflict than cooperation. This essay subjects the experiment to close analysis, concluding that the problem is a fundamental one, inherent in the process of regional cooperation itself. Comparing the experiments of the East African Community and the similar unravelling of the Eritrean-Ethiopian economic union, the essay points out that, under certain conditions, regional cooperation schemes could actually generate conflict. The region's experiment thus offers some sobering lessons with regards to the relatively optimistic post-Cold War thinking on the potential contribution of regionalism to world peace and stability, and calls for a fundamental re-evaluation of current thinking on regionalism and regional integration.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Regionalism, Horn of Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, African Union
Research Community:University of Westminster > Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, School of
ID Code:6604
Deposited On:27 Apr 2009 16:17
Last Modified:27 Apr 2009 16:17

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