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African Foreign Policies

John James Quinn


Comment on this article   Compared to other aspects of African studies, much less has been written directly on African foreign policy formation or the comparative foreign policy of Africa ( Wright 1999 :1). Where the foreign policies of Africa are examined, the focus tends to be more on the outcomes and the limits constraining it, rather than on the decision making process itself ( Aluko 1977 ; Shaw and Aluko 1984 ; Wright 1992; 1999 ; Clapham 1996 ; Khadiagala and Lyons 2001a ). Some exceptions did exist that emphasized process within particular countries ( Aluko 1987 ; Bischoff and Southall 1999 ; Venter 2001 ). However, given the nearly region-wide personalization of power, and given the inability to peek behind authoritarian curtains ( Jackson and Rosberg 1982 ; Clapham 1996 ), the leaders and elites tend to be the logical loci of study ( Wright 1992 ). Excluding studies written from the perspective of external actors, most studies of African foreign policies have been deep case studies illustrating how foreign policy decisions were limited, shaped, and constrained by international, regional, and domestic constraints. Most studies have taken one of several forms: single case studies, a collection of single case studies within an edited volume, a comparative study of few regional countries, a study of a subregion, and discussions of the whole region of Africa – selecting ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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