mardi 15 mars 2016
ISA : Learning from the South? The Horn of Africa as a Litmus Test for IR Theories and Frameworks
L’International Studies Association (ISA) organise chaque année une convention réunissant plus de 5000 internationalistes. L'édition 2016 se déroule du 16 au 19 mars à Atlanta (Géorgie/Etats-Unis). Un panel est organisé samedi 19 sur la Corne de l'Afrique : "Learning from the South? The Horn of Africa as a Litmus Test for IR Theories and Frameworks". Vous trouverez la présentation de ce panel ci-dessous. Nous vous invitons à consulter le programme de cette convention dont la thématique cette année est : "Exploring Peace".
The Lone State: Eritrea's Foreign Policy: Jean-Baptiste Jeangene Vilmer (Sciences Po Paris)
Abstract : Eritrea is a totalitarian garrison state. As Hannah Arendt described it, totalitarianism is a quasi-scientific experiment that requires a controlled environment: the country is a laboratory. The first step is therefore to isolate the nation, hermetically sealing it off from the outside world. Controlling the environment allows the production of controllable subjects. Through this process, which prevents those outside the country form entering and those within the country from leaving, an important step to pursue a bellicose foreign policy, waging war to justify the closure of borders and curtailments of liberties. Based on a fieldwork and various primary sources, the purpose of this article is twofold: on the one hand to consolidate and update comprehension of Eritrea’s foreign policy, given the relative scarcity of existing secondary literature; and on the other hand, to present Eritrea’s foreign policy as a means to the totalitarian end of closing off the country.
Djibouti as a Small State: Challenges and Limits of an Extraversion Strategy : Sonia Le Gouriellec (IRSEM Institute For Strategic research Ecole militaire
Abstract :R. Patman describes the states in the Horn of Africa, and their building, as a "political metaphor". This is especially true for Djibouti. This small state – indeed a microstate even if there is no broad consensus on both definitions – survives in a region where the numbers of states and borders has largely increased. The demarcation of their borders is therefore a very sensitive issue. Since Djibouti’s independence in 1977, its sovereignty has been a subject of discussion. As a consequence, Djibouti has developed strategies to survive and exist in the region. Based on fieldwork (several research trips), this paper aims to explore the dimensions of this strategy and its evolution between independence and today. How does this small state make use of the resources offered by the international system to survive and become a regional actor? What are the threats that jeopardize this strategy? How can Djibouti contribute to the small states studies?
The Little Big Man of Eastern Africa: Explaining the Politics of Personalities in Uganda’s Relations with the Two Sudans: Øystein Rolandsen (Peace Research Institute Oslo)
Abstract :Uganda relations with its neighbouring countries and its role in regional co-operation has under Museveni (1986- ) undergone a remarkable transformation. When the rebel movement NRM/A sized power Uganda was a weak country riven by civil war, but it soon changed into a regional bully and has now become a major power within the eastern Africa/Horn of Africa security complex. Friends and foes of the Government of Uganda attribute this change to the personality of the President and his foreign policy ambitions. This runs counter to theories emphasising structural factors when explaining the actions of states in IR. Using Uganda and its relations with the two Sudans as a case this paper argues that the personal power vested in leaders within informal neo-patrimonial nettworks give heads of state considerable room to manoeuvre when handling foreign affairs. But the checks and balances of patron-client relationships constrains the actions of the leader.
Security Threats and Alliance Tradeoffs in the Horn of Africa: Ethiopia Vis a Vis Somaliland and Somalia: Andualem Belaineh (PhD student at Institute for Peace & Security Studies, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia)
Abstract : Some argue that International Relations (IR) are about the politics of powerful states and that, as a consequence, there is an African exceptionalism which explains IR’s inability to accurately address African experiences. Indeed, Africa has often been neglected by the different theoretical approaches to IR and more generally by the discipline. This is surprising. In contrast, this panel shows that Africa is a productive laboratory for researchers in IR and security studies. While recent events have shifted global attention toward the Sahara, we invite scholars and practitioners to turn their gaze to the Horn of Africa. This region gathers some of the most enduring interlinked political rivalries within the International System. Importantly, it challenges and sometimes clarifies powerful concepts developed by the field (e.g. hegemonic stability, regional security complex, security dilemma, failed states, small state, sovereignty, etc). Thus, the contributors to the panel seek to show that the Horn of Africa is pertinent not only for area specialists but also constitutes a remarkable ground for fieldwork and theory-testing of both old and new approaches. Overall, the panel aims to initiate a new research agenda, which combines deductive and inductive approaches.