Whose Regionalism in Africa?
The majority of academics and policy analysts are overly idealistic about the potential of state-led regional cooperation. This line of thought is particularly strong in the debate about African regional organizations. Indeed, African regionalism is often seen as beneficial and an instrument for achieving socio-economic development and more recently also for security provision and good governance. Integral part of such idealism is the belief that the rather modest results achieved during the last five decades of regionalism in Africa can first and foremost be explained by unfavourable external conditions or a lack of institutional capacity to implement agreed policies (either within African organizations or at the national level).