CSRC Working Paper 57

The African Union as Security Actor: African Solutions to African Problems?
Working Paper No : 57 (series 2)
Author(s) : Bjorn Moller
Date : August 2009

This paper focuses on the problem-solving capacity of the African Union (AU) and its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). It forms a companion paper to WP56.2 which looks specifically at the ability of African sub-regional organisations to play their part in dealing with Africa's conflicts and security issues. Both papers examine the hypothesis that a regional hegemon, and a measure of shared values and norms, are necessary requirements for an effective regional security organisation.

The paper commences with a brief account of the concept of hegemony, followed by an analysis of the empirical question as to whether there are any potential hegemons in Africa. The author goes on to analyse the OAU's record in dealing with conflict and traces the genesis of the AU, its ambitions, organisational structure and actual accomplishments in the realm of peace and security.