Regional Responses to Terrorism - A Comparative Study: The Arab League and the African Union

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UNU Insitute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies
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UNU-CRIS Working Papers
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This research paper explores reactions by regional organisations to terrorist threats that have transgressed national borders and have gained regional magnitude. The study is shaped as a comparative analysis of two regional organisations that encompass territories currently affected by some of the most violent and resourceful terrorist groups on the globe. The first case study focuses on the League of Arab States and its response to the threat posed by the Islamic State, while the second case study assesses the African Union’s response to Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab. The scope of the research is to identify specific responses generated by the two organisations – as reflected by the discourse of their representatives, their legal framework and the actual measures they implemented – and to assess their effectiveness in eliminating the terrorist threat. The results of the analysis indicate that, although both organisations are intent on combatting terrorism, the AU has developed stronger legal and operational tools than the LAS to achieve this. In view of these findings, the paper provides several recommendations to strengthen the efforts undertaken by the two organisations and proposes further relevant avenues of research.