The Uses (and Abuses) of the Economic Community of Central African States: The Hidden Functions of Regional Economic Community Membership for African Regimes

  • Graham Palmateer
  • John F. Clark
Part of the Contemporary African Political Economy book series (CONTAPE)


This paper examines the “hidden” functions of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) for its member regimes. While the economic benefits of membership in ECCAS remain marginal, we argue that the organization ECCAS still serves important functions for its member states. Firstly, membership in ECCAS has provided savvy regimes with another avenue through which they can access donor funding. Secondly, membership in ECCAS has allowed some regimes to utilize the organization as a vehicle for exerting power in neighboring states. Thirdly, membership in ECCAS aids regimes in their continual efforts to build domestic and international legitimacy. “Overall, we argue that ECCAS’s promotion of collective security” tends not to be so much a genuine expression of communal efforts at peacebuilding, but more of a reflection of its members’ domestic insecurity and their narrow regime interests.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham Palmateer
    • 1
  • John F. Clark
    • 1
  1. 1.Florida International UniversityMiamiUSA

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