n Conflict Trends - Towards continental transformation : understanding sustainable peace agreements in Africa

Volume 2007, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


There are social and political questions to be asked about the new continent-wide institutions in and around what is still a young African Union (AU). These include questions such as whether the AU and its institutions can be built in ways that will allow this body to transform Africa's international relations, and how this is to be done. What are the norms and values that will inform this change and the African renewal promoted by the AU? Is the multilateral architecture of the AU able to encourage democracy and people-centredness, for instance? Will it, in the end, be able to deliver on the hoped-for "pan-African transnational democratic revolution"?

The AU is the most ambitious example of African multilateralism. It has, as yet, to prove it can be transformative, and to show it can generate peaceful conditions that are sustainable. This is where people, ideas, capital and goods move freely both within and across borders, and accountable regional institutions complement state responsibilities to help address issues of uneven development and civil society concerns further.

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