African Security Politics Redefined by Karin Dokken (auth.)

By Karin Dokken (auth.)

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Interdependence liberalists see welfare, not security, as the dominant goal of states. Generally, they foresee a world of more cooperative international relations (Keohane and Nye 1971; Jackson and Sørensen 2003). According to adherents of institutional liberalism, international institutions promote cooperation between states. Institutions also alleviate problems concerning lack of trust between states, and they reduce states’ fear of one another. Earlier institutional liberalists were far more optimistic than are present-day ones.

While they do believe that international organizations can make cooperation easier and far more likely, they do not claim that such organizations alone can secure qualitative reform of international relations. Institutional liberalists acknowledge that powerful states are not easily constrained (Jackson and Sørensen 2003, 117), but unlike realists, they believe that international organizations are more than mere handmaidens of strong states. ). Realism, liberalism, and the African reality As mentioned above, IR theories are primarily based on the political experiences and ideational traditions of Europe and North America.

In our time, the idea of social contract has been fused with the ideas of nationalism and democracy. The nation-state has become the institutional and political ideal. In the West, nationalism and democracy are intertwined narratives of the same concept. THE STATE IN AFRICA 29 Also, in other parts of the world, the idea of democracy, as it has developed in the twentieth century, is largely uncontested. However, we must recognize that there is a wide variety of institutional forms that a representative democracy can take on, that is, consociational, republican, federalist, parliamentary, and corporatist.

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