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Picky Regional Security Integration in the Southern African Development Community (SADC): The Long Shadows of the Table Mountain and the Alps

Johannes Muntschick

Since the end of the Cold War, a wave of New Regionalism can be observed in various parts of the globe. Surprisingly, many regional integration schemes emerged inthe southern hemisphere among developing countries although the preconditions for successful integration are allegedly less favourable compared to the developed'North'. While regionalism in the 'South' has nevertheless come into existence, the dynamics of establishing, maintaining and deepening institutionalised regionalcooperation seem to be unstable in some regions despite an unchanged regional environment. Against the structural background of relatively weak intraregional andstrong, asymmetric extra-regional (economic) interdependence of most southern countries, interregional relations and related (cooperation) policies of extra-regionalactors are likely to wield influence on regional integration projects in the 'South' by affecting their member states' preferences and institutions' effectiveness. Referring tocooperation theory, this paper explains in a theory-driven manner the dynamics and (non)success of institutionalised regional cooperation in the 'South' by takingadditionally the potential positive/negative impact of extra-regional actors into account. In Africa, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is a promisingexample of South-South regionalism that focuses beside the economic realm also on regional security cooperation. SADC not only undertakes confidence-buildingmeasures on regional level but has also become involved in regional conflict mediation in Lesotho, the DR Congo, Zimbabwe and Madagascar. Referring to theempirical examples, the paper argues that the various degree of success of institutionalised regional security cooperation in SADC depends not only on the willingness of South Africa as the regional hegemon but also on the support of major extra-regional actors such as particularly the European Union as chief donor.

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