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By Karin Dokken (auth.)

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However, looking at what research has been done based on moderate constructivism, we find that most scholars of international politics use the state as the central unit for analysis. In this way, constructivism ends up with the same kinds of problems as realism and liberalism. It is not possible to consider the African state as a rational, unitary actor. Rather, there is a large variety of state and nonstate actors with different interests who interact in the national and international arenas of the African continent.

The first section of Chapter 4 will be an introduction to ECOWAS as a security-political actor. In the Horn of Africa, regional solutions to violent conflicts have become more and more common during the recent years. The Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) was formed in 1986. Originally IGADD was thought to be a forum to deal with problems related to drought and development. Over the years, its focus has widened to encompass environmental questions in general, food security, economic cooperation, and humanitarian issues.

In a much-cited article, Clapham explores the relationship between statehood and the international system, with particular reference to subSaharan states. He argues that statehood should be regarded as a relative concept, “and that rather than distinguish sharply between entities that THE STATE IN AFRICA 33 are, and are not, states, we should regard different entities as meeting the criteria for international statehood to a greater or lesser degree” (1998, 143). ). In Jackson’s terms, “quasi-states” are states that are recognized as sovereign and independent units by other states but that cannot meet the demands of empirical statehood, which requires the capacity to exercise effective power within their own territories and the ability to defend themselves against external attack.

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