Hybrid Regionalism in Africa Towards a Theory of African Union Interventions

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


  • Niklas Krösche

Since its establishment, the African Union (AU) takes on an active role in regional security matters through different types of interventions. These interventions, however, remain undertheorized. This paper argues that African hybrid regionalism, which combines problem-solving and regime-serving logics of cooperation, shapes the AU's intervention practice in specific ways. To this end, I first theorize how the parallel presence of these logics shapes AU interventions before probing the empirical validity by studying coercive interventions undertaken by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) between 2005 and 2021. For this purpose, I employ methods of content analysis to systematically code all publicly available meeting documents issued by the PSC. The results demonstrate that the AU strives to prevent and manage crises through interventions but does so in ways that protect or promote incumbent regimes, either by producing direct benefits for them or, when their actions contribute to the crisis, by avoiding head-on confrontations. This suggests careful balancing of the two main impetuses in African security regionalism, namely solving transnational problems and serving the interests of incumbents.

ZeitschriftAfrican and Asian Studies
Seiten (von - bis)39-62
Anzahl der Seiten24
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 2023

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
I am indebted to everyone who commented during the research and writing process, including colleagues at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) and the participants of two earlier workshops for this Special Issue. I especially wish to express my gratitude to Lynda Iroulo, Fredrik Söderbaum and Tobias Lenz for their excellent feedback on earlier versions of this paper. Finally, I thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments. Any remaining errors are solely mine.

Publisher Copyright:
© Niklas Krösche, 2023 |