Beyond the Collective: The Comparative Strategic Utility of the African Union and RECs in Individual National Security Pursuits

  • Jason Warner
Part of the Contemporary African Political Economy book series (CONTAPE)


African states hold memberships in two sets of intra-African collective security institutions: those at the Pan-African level of analysis (the African Union) and those at the subregional (Regional Economic Community [REC]) level of analysis. When observers typically view the benefits, or strategic utility, that these institutions provide to member states, they do so in terms of collective security, not individual national security. Given their embeddedness in two sets of institutions aimed at enhancing security, how do African states interpret the strategic utility of pursuing specific individual national security pursuits in either the African Union or the RECs? Based on interviews with personnel working in and in proximity to the African Union between 2014 and 2015, this chapter argues that in general, states view the RECs to have more strategic utility than the AU, even though the latter has some strategic benefits that the former does not.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason Warner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social Sciences and Combating Terrorism CenterUnited States Military AcademyWest PointUSA

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