Mediating Solutions to Territorial Civil Wars in Africa: Norms, Interests, and Major Power Leverage


This article draws on the concept of “identity interests” to explain why commitment to the territorial integrity norm in the context of African peace processes has persisted over such a long period of time, even as continental and international contexts have changed. One major implication of this commitment to the territorial integrity norm is that third parties involved in peacemaking in Africa have consistently refrained from promoting a negotiated settlement that might pave the way for independence; they have only pushed for a territorial revision in a few instances. The role of major powers has been crucial with regard to the few successful territorial changes in Africa since 1960. An overview of all outcomes of mediation in territorial intrastate conflicts in Africa—as well as seven case studies—support this argument.

African Studies Review