A "culture of conservatism" : How and why African Union member states obstruct the deepening of integration (21 pages)

abstract • introduction

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A 'CULTURE OF CONSERVATISM':

HOW AND WHY AFRICAN UNION

MEMBER STATES OBSTRUCT THE

DEEPENING OF THE INTEGRATION

Martin Welz

University of Konstanz, Germany

Abstract

This article explores the relations between the African Union and its
member states. While there are improvements on the AU level with
regard to the implementation of the African Peace and Security Archi-
tecture and the building of other institutions such as the Pan-African
Parliament, it becomes apparent at the same time that on the state
level governments are reluctant to engage in a deepening of the con-
tinental integration. Some countries even topple the integration process
or undermine their own initiatives such as the African Peer Review
Mechanism. This article examines this phenomenon, and labels the
identified unwillingness to change the status quo a 'culture of conser-
vatism'. Four explanations are offered for such a 'culture of conservat-
ism': lack of capacity, unwillingness to surrender sovereignty, national
leaders' reluctance to cede power, and the greater importance of
regional economic communities as compared to the AU.

1. Introduction

Officially launched in 2002, the African Union (AU) is still a young organ-
isation. While it has made some progress, for example, with regard to
the implementation of the African Peace and Security Architecture
(APSA), the organisation lags behind its ambitions of political, eco-
nomic and social integration. The establishment of the African Economic
Community, for instance, originally envisaged for 2023 by the Abuja
Treaty of 1991, is far behind schedule. Similarly, the establishment of

Strategic Review for Southern Africa, Vol 36, No 1 Martin Welz

Zuerst ersch. in: Strategic Review for Southern Africa ; 36 (2014), 1. - S. 4-24

Konstanzer Online-Publikations-System (KOPS)

URL: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:352-287843

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