Imagining a community : the African Union as an emerging security community

22 Feb 2022

This article presents an evaluation of the African Union which is to be formally established in July 2002. The concept of a security community as originally developed by Karl Deutsch and his associates during the 1950s is utilised, focusing on more recent developments in the scholarship on this topic. The concept was not used much during the Cold War era, but has gained renewed attention since the early 1990s as a process though which regions can build peace and security. It is concluded that the African Union can be defined as an emerging security community under the leadership of a group of revisionist states, but that these states are facing a number of internal threats that might inhibit their participation in the community building process. Furthermore, the counter-revisionist group led by Libya might also thwart the realisation of the key objectives of the new organisation in the absence of strong leadership by democratic states of the continent.