West African International Studies: Approaches to Regional Security

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Abstract


This article covers the most significant theoretical schools in West Africa in the framework of the international relations analysis, with special focus on the regional security. Major respective theoretical approaches to the given issues are assessed based on the writings of local experts that frequently reevaluate the major articles of faith connected with neo-Realist, neo-Liberal and Marxist views. Particular attention is drawn to the examination of various interpretations of the role that belongs to supranational regional structures in West African conflict resolution using the case of the Liberian civil war. The most crucial part of the research presented is an analysis of publications issued by Adekye Adebajo and Ismail Rashid, two leading West African specialists in the field of regional security. Their appraisal of collective security mechanisms’ perspectives in the most poverty-stricken and unstable regions of the world is elaborated upon. The aim of the article is to determine the extent of uniqueness present in Adebajo and Rashid’s approaches compared to their Western and African colleagues but also to figure how West African 1990-2000’s conflicts’ analysis did have an impact on the scholars’ theoretical views and more broadly what was its contribution to the regional understanding of international relations. The research is based upon comparative and historical-genetic methods as well as case studies. The major elements composing the scholars’ analysis of successes and failures in the path of West African integration are presented along with their appraisal of the ECOWAS security component. A comparison is made between their views and those of their regional colleagues belonging to other schools of thought as well as Western theories that had the greatest impact on these authors.


About the authors

Alexander Yurievich Shipilov

Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.
Email: alexmo1994@gmail.com
Moscow, Russian Federation

postgraduate student at the Institute of World History (Russian Academy of Sciences), junior fellow researcher at the Laboratory for the Institutional History of the 20th Century, Institute of World History (Russian Academy of Sciences)

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