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A Political Economy of African Regionalisms

An Overview of Asymmetrical Development

Wil Hout and M. A.M. Salih

This book analyses the main factors influencing the political economy of Africa’s asymmetrical regionalism, focusing on regional and sub-regional trade, investment, movement of people, goods and services. It pays particular attention to the way in which regional and sub-regional dynamics are impacted by extra-regional relations, such with the EU, US, China and India. Because African regionalism is influenced not only by economic processes, peace and security are also analysed as important factors shaping both regional and sub-regional relations and dynamics.
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Chapter 4: Conflict, democracy and regional integration

Wil Hout and M. A.M. Salih


Chapter 4 concentrates on political dimensions of African regionalisms. The chapter discusses the consequences of violent conflicts on the African continent, reflected in casualties and mass population displacement. Further, the chapter explains what consequences regional defence and security asymmetries have on conflict prevention and peace-keeping, particularly focusing on the activities of the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs). The chapter describes how conflicts have led to the strengthening of the position of certain African states, because they control the means to intervene in those conflicts. The chapter shows that there is no linear relationship between conflict incidence, peacefulness and democracy, on the one hand, and regional integration on the other.

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