Shame, Exasperation and the Establishment of the African Peace and Security Architecture

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaperAcademic

Abstract

The establishment of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) marked a fundamental reassessment of the African Union’s (AU) approach to security management. Many studies, however, view APSA through the lens of Eurocentric theories that neglect the agency of African actors. In contrast, this article examines how APSA’s design was influenced by collectively-held emotions - defined as moral judgements, based on present expectations and past experiences - amongst African policymakers. Emotions are argued to stabilise security communities when their content reflects amity between insiders (e.g. pride, gratitude) and enmity towards outsiders (e.g. anger, fear). However, this article highlights the lesser-emphasised role of inward-facing emotions of enmity, which can transform a community, as occurred with the shift from a security policy of non-interference to one of non-indifference when the AU replaced the Organisation of African Unity. It highlights the influence of inward-directed shame amongst African leaders over their limited reactions to an increasing number of humanitarian catastrophes in the 1990s, and outward-directed exasperation at the apathy of the non-African international community. Adopting this lens facilitates understanding of APSA’s establishment and design, re-centres the Agency of African policymakers and contributes towards the growing field on emotions in international politics.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022
EventEuropean International Studies Association Pan-European Conference on International Relations - Athens, Greece
Duration: 1 Sept 20224 Sept 2022

Conference

ConferenceEuropean International Studies Association Pan-European Conference on International Relations
Country/TerritoryGreece
CityAthens
Period1/09/224/09/22

Keywords

  • International Relations
  • International Security
  • African Union
  • Emotions in international relations
  • African Peace and Security Architecture

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