Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

West Africa's Security Challenges: Building Peace in a Troubled Region

Adekeye Adebajo and Ismail Rashid, editors
West Africa's Security Challenges: Building Peace in a Troubled Region
ISBN: 978-1-58826-259-2
ISBN: 978-1-58826-284-4
2004/449 pages/LC: 2003025704

"Excellent and informative."—Edouard Bustin, International Journal of African Historical Studies

"Important and provoking essays.... This is a very good book.... Each author provides a thoughtful analysis, within a historical context, of what must be realised if West Africa is to attain reconciliation, democracy, social normality, economic growth and development, regional and individual confidence."—Peter Schwab, Journal of Modern African Studies

"A comprehensive overview of the complex security environment in this volatile region."—Choice


Among the world's most unstable regions, West Africa in the last decade has experienced a web of conflicts with profound and wide-ranging effects. West Africa's Security Challenges is the first comprehensive assessment of the resulting mix of setbacks and progress.

The authors provide a context for understanding the region's security dilemmas, highlighting the link between failures of economic development, governance, and democratization on the one hand and military insecurity and violent conflicts on the other. The role of key regional and external actors in foiling—and sometimes fueling—conflicts is also examined. The result is an analysis that is not only academically rigorous, but relevant to current policy debates.


Adekeye Adebajo is professor and senior research fellow at the University of Pretoria's Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship. He is author of Building Peace in West Africa and Liberia's Civil War and coeditor of Managing Armed Conflicts in the Twenty-first Century. Ismail Rashid is associate professor of history and Africana studies at Vassar College. His research focus includes Pan-Africanism and social conflicts in contemporary Africa.


  • Foreword—David M. Malone.
  • Foreword—Mohamed Ibn Chambas..
  • Introduction—A. Adebajo.
  • ECOWAS: A Retrospective Journey—A. Adedeji.
  • The Travails of Integration—S.K.B. Asante.
  • The Dilemmas of Regionalization—D.C. Bach.
  • Governance and Democratization—A. Sawyer.
  • The Fifth Wave of Pan-Africanism—C. Landsberg.
  • Civil-Military Relations—J.D. Kandeh.
  • Rebel Movements—I. Abdullah and I. Rashid.
  • The Political Economy of Conflict—E. Hutchful and K. Aning.
  • Small Arms, Light Weapons—C. Ero and A. Ndinga-Muvumba.
  • Children and Armed Conflict—'F. Olonisakin.
  • Civil Socity—Y. Jusu-Sheriff.
  • Pax West Africana? Regional Security Mechanisms—A. Adebajo.
  • The United Nations—J.O.C. Jonah.
  • France, Britain, and the United States—K. Whiteman and D. Yates.
  • Conclusion: West Africa's Post-Cold War Security Challenges—I. Rashid.