Competing Architects: Applying Social Contextualist Analysis to Negotiations on the African Peace and Security Architecture

John J. Hogan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Social contextualist analysis, by contrast to much of the existing research on international negotiations, emphasizes the social and organizational environment in which negotiations take place and the effect that it can have on the decision-making of participants. This paper applies a social contextualist lens to negotiations held to decide upon the form and function of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). Certain elements of the Architecture, which is one of the central pillars of the African Union (AU), present something of a puzzle for theorists, given the cession of sovereignty they represent on a continent where leaders have traditionally been very protective of their authority. After illustrating the limited value of the most prominent approaches to negotiation analysis, the social contextualist framework is outlined. The analysis incorporates negotiations held to decide upon a number of features of APSA. Its findings rest upon interviews conducted with representatives from AU member states and AU officials, as well as examination of a broad range of primary and secondary documents. In highlighting the significance of factors that are generally overlooked by traditional approaches, a case is made for greater consideration of social contextual factors in analysis of international negotiations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-27
Number of pages25
JournalAfrican Security
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by funding from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Limerick, Ireland. An earlier draft of the paper was presented at the 2018 International Studies Association annual conference, for which funding was provided by the University of Groningen, Netherlands. I am grateful for the comments provided by my fellow conference attendees, colleagues and two anonymous reviewers on earlier versions of the paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, © 2020 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • African Peace and Security Architecture
  • African Union
  • International negotiation
  • international security


Dive into the research topics of 'Competing Architects: Applying Social Contextualist Analysis to Negotiations on the African Peace and Security Architecture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this