Nicolas Desgrais

Policy and Research Papers

The Challenges of Building the African Peace and Security Architecture

The 2013 French White Paper on Defence and National Security states that “support for establishment of a collective security architecture in Africa is a priority of France’s cooperation and development policy”. The nonAfrican stakeholders’ support mechanisms for the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) are a strategically important topic of study, given the extent to which they tend to modify power relationships between the various actors – African and non-African, institutions and states.

This paper does not aim to analyse the international support practices for the APSA, but rather the reasons that push African states to accept a dependency relationship on exogenous actors in terms of crisis management. This analysis is essential to understand the current structure of the collective defence system that is emerging in Africa. The aim of this paper is to analyse this relationship by referring to the concept of extraversion, defined by Jean-François Bayart as “the fabrication and capture of a true dependence income” or the “mobilisation of resources derived from their (possibly unequal) relationship with the external environment”.