P 31

Africa’s Influence and Authority Building Beyond the Continent

Panel abstract
Despite the African rise narrative in academia and beyond and the implied increasing role of that continent in global affairs, research on Africa’s role in international relations remains in its infancy. Research conducted thus far primarily explores African states and their engagement in global governance issues. From this perspective, states act either individually or collectively through such organizations as the African Union. Debates concerned with Africa’s global role, seem to assume that African influence is linked to the betterment of global governance or to the correction of a global misbalance. The proposed panel seeks to delve deeper into these topics and discusses contributions that analyse how African actors (states, groups of states, non-state, and informal actors) act globally, under what conditions they can exert influence, and how they can affect global governance processes and with what intensions and effects. The following questions will be addressed: which African actors can exert influence beyond Africa? What strategies and channels can African actors use? What fruits do their actions bear? What internal support or opposition do African actors face when they try to influence global governance?

Time: Thursday, 28/06/2018, 4.30 - 6.30 pm
Venue: Seminargebäude, S 202

Convenors
Linnéa Gelot (Folke Bernadotte Academy, Stockholm, Sweden)
Martin Welz (University of Konstanz)

Panellists
Anna Konieczna (Sciences Po Paris / University Paris-Est Créteil, France)
Theresa Reinold (University of Duisburg-Essen)
Anna Geis, Louise Wiuff Moe, and Lena Schumacher (Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg)
Frank Mattheis (University of Pretoria, South Africa)
Yonas Adaye Adeto (Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia)

 

Paper abstracts

Anna Konieczna
Africa and Nuclear Disarmament During the Cold War

Since 1955 and the Bandung Conference, nuclear disarmament had become an important element in Third World and African countries international agenda. Strictly connected with the evaluation of risks involved in the nuclear military technology, but also with the pursuit of the continent’s liberation from external influences (military bases and nuclear tests), disarmament of Africa in the nuclear field was not only reaffirmed by the Organization of African Unity or the Cairo conference in 1964. It had also been endorsed by the UN General Assembly resolutions. Following the resolution 1651(XVI), the Declaration on the denuclearization of Africa adopted in December 1965 ‘reaffirmed its call upon states to respect the continent of Africa as a nuclear free-zone’. Despite their clear commitment to the non-proliferation and global disarmament, African countries became – surprisingly – the most outspoken opponents of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) opened for signature in 1968. A number of them, especially the Front line states became party of the treaty only in 1991 when the independence of Namibia became effective, the negotiation process started in South Africa and Pretoria signed the NPT as a Non-Nuclear Weapon State to be. The aim of this presentation will be to analyse this opposition as a strategy used by the African actors to achieve two important goals: to obtain support from superpowers for the peace process in Southern Africa, but also to broaden the scope of the treaty itself as the dismantlement of the South African programme provided security guarantees in the region and paved the way for the full denuclearization of Africa (Pelindaba treaty).

Theresa Reinold
Africa as an Actor in Global Judicial Governance

Africa’s relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC) is currently at a crossroads. Earlier this year the African Union (AU) made headlines when adopting a resolution recommending a mass withdrawal of African states from the ICC. At the same time, however, African governments have been highly active in developing regional approaches to criminal justice – take for example the Malabo Protocol adopted in 2014, which seeks to establish a ‘continental ICC for Africa’ and which is as politically controversial as it is legally innovative. The Malabo Protocol and related initiatives – such as the proposed expansion of the jurisdiction of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) to include criminal matters – have important repercussions for global governance as well as the progressive development of international law. The proposed paper will examine the origins and effects of these initiatives, in order to derive broader theoretical propositions about Africa as a player in global (judicial) governance – what are the driving factors behind Africa’s rising global engagement in judicial governance, how are African reform initiatives received by other important diplomatic players, and how do they affect the operation of international criminal justice? The paper will be based on field research at the upcoming International Criminal Court Assembly of States Parties (ICC ASP) in New York in December 2017. Observing the dynamics at the ICC ASP will provide first-hand insights into the workings of international criminal justice and Africa’s role therein.

Anna Geis, Louise Wiuff Moe, and Lena Schumacher
Normative Turbulences: African Agency in the Re-Shaping of International Human Rights and Security Norms

This paper looks at the role of African agency in the ‘re-negotiation’ of the norms and practices of liberal interventionism and international criminal justice. In the past era of Liberal Peace interventions, much work has gone into analysing global north liberal actors and institutions promoting the diffusion of norms (particularly human rights) in global south contexts. This outlook is challenged as actors/institutions that were previously on the ’receiving end’ offer increasingly influential alternative organizing principles, while the interventionist will and resources of established liberal powers are waning. The paper analyses the roles of African actors and institutions in re-shaping international interventionism and criminal justice, through processes of negotiations, exchange and conflict with established international institutions. It does so through a focus on two issue areas. First, the use of force in peace operations, in which the African Union (AU) and the Regional Economic Communities are playing increasingly significant roles, sometimes in conflict and sometimes in a negotiated division of labor with the United Nations, within an issue area that harbours significant dilemmas (especially tensions between human rights, protection and counterterrorism norms). Second, the staunch contestation over the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC): The AU has developed into one of its strongest critics but has also submitted reform proposals for the ICC and seeks to establish a regional African Court of Justice and Human Rights. Pursuing these lines of analysis, the paper aims to contribute to debates on how the AU not only subdues to global norms, but reshapes them.

Frank Mattheis
Enhancing Africa’s Position? Navigating the Overlaps of Interregional Partnerships with Europe

The European Union (EU) is a unique actor in Africa due to the scale of its presence, flows and networks. The original framework for these interactions is the agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP), which was signed in 1975. Its current re-iteration, the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA), is due to expire in 2020, which has prompted debates about the future of the EU-Africa relations in a changing global order. Different scenarios are being explored within Europe and Africa and the strategic relations are currently characterized by an overlap of interregional initiatives. The Joint Africa EU Strategy (JAES) from 2007 provides the framework between the EU and the African Union (AU). It has partial overlaps in membership and priorities with the CPA but is anchored in a different institutional and legal structure. In addition, sub-continental groups in Africa, both in the shape of regional organizations and of functional ad-hoc groups in the realm of trade negotiations, have pursued individual agreements with the EU. This paper addresses the question whether the multiplication of interregional partnerships is enhancing or undermining Africa’s capacity as a global actor, and which African actors (AU, regional organizations, national governments or else) gain from this process. It examines how the incongruence of the interregionalism with the EU affects the framing, negotiation and management of its relations. The paper also deals with the resonance of interregionalism, i.e. how African actors perceive and react to the multiplication of interregional scales with the EU.

Yonas Adaye Adeto
Africa in the Global Security Governance: A Critical Analysis of Ethiopia’s Role in the UN Peacekeeping Missions

Global security governance refers, in this study, to practice and process of managing as well as preventing global security threats which endanger global peace and security. Africa’s role in global security governance has usually been studied by focusing on what external or global actors have done to Africa’s peace and security rather than what Africa has done or can do to peace and security of external or global actors. As one of the UN, OAU and AU founding member states, Ethiopia’s role in the UN Peacekeeping mission is a case study to demonstrate Africa’s role in the global security governance. The study critically analyses what, as an African state, Ethiopia has done and can do to the global actors within and beyond Africa in peace support operations to maintain global peace and security, albeit internal oppositions and supports. Internal oppositions argue that the incumbent is an authoritarian and undemocratic state whose political philosophy – ethnic federalism – excludes the majority of its population and has currently induced more instability and turmoil to the country; hence, its involvement in the UN Peacekeeping missions is to gain external legitimacy in order to suppress individuals or groups opposing it. Internal supporters, on the other hand, maintain that Ethiopia’s participation in the global security governance reasserts Africa’s role in the international relations and makes Africa’s voice heard paving the way for Africa to claim permanent membership status in the UN Security Council. To critically examine the arguments, the study raises three questions: Why does Ethiopia need to engage in the global security governance? How do the UN Peacekeeping missions serve as the channel and strategy for its engagement in the global security governance? What lessons can be learned by other African countries to make Africa’s role more visible in the global security governance and international relations? In-depth interviews, archives and various relevant documents including online materials are used as data collection tools. Thematic and critical analysis as well as conclusion of the study sheds some light on Africa’s position in international relations.