n African Security Review - Human security and the state in Africa : feature

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The most recent major document on human security tells us more about the ideal of human security than how this worthy objective can best be achieved. This is a problem because most African states were created to serve as a bulwark against further colonial rule rather than provide domestic order and protection for their citizens. Many African states have since become battlegrounds for ethnic or economics truggles. Neither a new and committed African leadership, nor intervention by the international community, is likely to transcend this problem and effectively advance the human security agenda. A reformed African state - one which induces leaders to be more concerned with advancing the interests of their people more broadly - remains the only viable alternative. The problem is that any reform of African states will also involve difficult trade-offs and dilemmas.


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