The SADC as a Security Community

Collaboration within the area of security was from the outset one of the cornerstones of integration in Africa at both the regional and continental levels. This fitted in well with the regional power in southern Africa, namely South Africa, and its overall foreign-policy ambitions to create the necessary peace and stability for economic growth and development. It was also important in the sense that the institutionalisation of relations is always a means of stabilising and disseminating a particular order. Such institutions depict the power relations prevailing at the time of their establishment, which, however, can change over time.[1]

Through the Cairo decision of 1993, the members of the continental Organisation of African Unity (OAU) expressed the ambition that the organisation, and therefore also from 2002 the AU, should be able to deal effectively with the mounting challenge of conflict and destabilisation that afflicted and still afflicts the continent. At the regional level, in the 1992 SADC treaty the fourteen members[2] of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) had also stipulated that the organisation should include co-operation on security. In the Treaty it was stated that:

The objectives of SADC shall be to: a. promote sustainable and equitable economic growth and socioeconomic development that will ensure poverty alleviation with the ultimate objective of its eradication, enhance the standard and quality of life of the people of Southern Africa and support the socially disadvantaged through regional integration; b. promote common political values, systems and other shared values which are transmitted through institutions which are democratic, legitimate and effective; c. consolidate, defend and maintain democracy, peace, security and stability;[3]

In 1996 it decided to establish the Organ for Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation (OPDSC), taking over from the old Front Line State (FLS) system, which had lost its rationale with the end of apartheid.[4] However, the Organ did not become operational until after the Windhoek Summit in 2001. The five years in between showed the SADC that ambitions stated in the Treaty were difficult to institutionalise effectively, because, among other things, of differences in opinion on the direction and ambitions for the SADC community’s future development. Several SADC member states have been plagued by insecurity, underdevelopment, political tension and conflict, and there seems to have been a split in the organisation concerning its direction for future development. The objectives stated in the Treaty and the creation of the OPDSC points towards the creation of a security community, while the signing of the Mutual Defence Pact (MDP), the continued conflict in the DRC and the political crisis in Swaziland and Zimbabwe indicate that SADC is not going to transform itself into a security community, but will remain an association.

This article scrutinises the security cooperation and integration in SADC and asks whether the apparent lack of common values between the SADC member states are blocking the integration process and the creation of a security community.

The dilemma between values and integration: the academic debate

The history of SADC shows that cooperation on security between different states, with different perception of human rights, democracy etc., raises a number of potential problems for the members, despite the intentions stated in the SADC Treaty. South Africa recognised these pressing dilemmas early on, when Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad stated at a Department of Foreign Affairs workshop at Randburg in 1996:

We start from the premise that South Africa is committed to human rights. The problem we face in this regard is the issue of possibilities and limitations on South Africa in the real world. How do we get human rights enforced and implemented in the international environment? There must be a possible [sic] contradiction between South-South co-operation and the values which we may want to protect. There has to be interaction between theory and practice.[5]

One of the areas in which this dilemma has been most visible is in the academic debate over SADC cooperation and integration, and – of relevance to the topic of this article – cooperation on security in particular. The very notion that SADC is a community must, according to Nathan, be questioned.[6] The SADC region has never been characterised by close social relations and contacts between its member states. To be a community, there needs to be a common sense of belonging, that is, common values, goals, objectives etc.[7] SADC co-operation is still understood as an association, with disagreements still being solved by the use of force or by threats, where, according to Vale, co-operation is directed by formal agreements, as exemplified by the MDP, and where the individual members prioritise national interests over collective ones.[8] SADC is, according to Vale, not a community but merely a Westphalian system structured around ‘South Africa - the first in a community of unequals’.[9] He also argues that

The failure to recognize that the SADC was less than it pretended to be eventually corroded the media hype and propaganda that were frantically being used to build its image – and South Africa’s averred pivotal role in it.[10]

Swatuk supports this claim by stating: The region’s state-makers interact with each other on the basis of realist frameworks. They clearly divide national and regional concerns into ‘high’ and ‘low’ politics. High politics continues to be the province of military power, diplomacy and statecraft.[11]

As Laurie Nathan rightly points out, Deutsch’s idea about security communities has never been confined to the governmental level. Nathan argues furthermore that the sense of community encompasses a “we feeling”, generally being characterized by mutual sympathy, consideration, loyalties, trust and responsiveness in decision-making,[12] a trust that, according to Vale and Swatuk, cannot be found in the SADC.[13] Nathan goes further and argues that domestic instability might be an obstacle for the creation of these communities because it leaves states and individuals insecure and makes the creation of a security community impossible. His basic argument is that SADC cannot be defined as an emerging security community because of the domestic instability that characterizes a number of its member states. Nathan attempts to argue that a security community cannot simply be understood as the absence of war, nor even of the likelihood of war between states, but must also be seen as instability within states.[14] Nathan furthermore argues that ‘it defies common sense’ to claim, as several authors have done, that SADC is an emerging security community when several states are affected by civil strife and/or threatened by intrastate conflict. Nathan does not accept the distinction made by Söderbaum between the intergovernmental level and relations on other levels.[15] For Nathan, security communities include not only states, but also ‘individuals, citizens, groups and populations’.[16] In opposition to this, Hammerstad argues that it is exactly because of developments in recent years – that is, the end of apartheid and of the wars in Angola, Mozambique and partly the DR Congo, combined with attempts to coordinate their relations and interactions – that it makes sense to talk about a nascent security community.[17]

A security community is not only based on the absence of violence, but also on the expectation of the continued absence of violence and peaceful change. Intrastate conflicts and unrest will continue to destabilize the region, and thus the potential for a security community to exist. Furthermore, domestic conflicts are often hard to predict and control, especially by often weak African states, thus reducing the ability to create trust between states concerning continued peaceful development and change.[18]

Security Cooperation in SADC

In 1992, when the SADC treaty was signed in Windhoek, a section concerning future security co-operation within SADC was included. In the Windhoek Declaration of 1992 it was stated that there was a need for:

a framework of co-operation which provides for...strengthening regional solidarity, peace and security, in order for the people of the region to live and work together in peace and harmony.... The region needs, therefore, to establish a framework and mechanisms to strengthen regional solidarity, and provide for mutual peace and security.[19]

The signing of the declaration and the provisions stipulated in it expressed the new wave of hope and co-operation that spread throughout the African continent like rings in the water following the end of the Cold War in 1989-90 and the collapse of the apartheid regime in South Africa in the early 1990s. Hope was expressed that the African states could help each other in securing a stable future focused on developmental issues. A strong partnership between the southern African states would make it possible to create a foundation for a renaissance in the southern Africa sub-region, as well as Africa as a whole. At the time, South African Deputy President Thabo Mbeki called this the beginning of an African Renaissance, by which the continent would be enabled to blossom. But there was a realisation among the political leaders that this could not be done without the creation of a stable political environment. It was therefore necessary to create a structure for security co-operation that might be able to provide stability, and at the same time respond swiftly to any evolving crises. There could be no renaissance without peace and stability, and consequently there was a need for a strong regional capacity handling the full spectrum of conflict, including actual military capability.

The Creation of the Security Regime in SADC

SADC is structurally based on three main pillars: Economic Development, General Issues and finally one including Politics, Defence, and Security. The security pillar includes the promotion and securing of peace and stability in the region. SADC members have agreed to co-operate in a number of areas, including politics, diplomacy, international relations, peace and security.[20] The void created by the dissolution of the FLS was filled in Gaborone on 28 June 1996 by the setting up of the  OPDSC  as the military pillar of SADC. However, from the very day of its formation, disagreement arose between Zimbabwe and South Africa concerning the Organ’s affiliation with SADC, that is, the rules and principles guiding the regime. The uncertainty stems from the fact that the Gaborone communiqué refers to the OPDSC as an SADC Organ, while it at the same time stipulating that the Organ should operate at summit level, independently of other SADC structures.[21] The result was that SADC decided to create a security structure in 1996, but could not agree on the conditions for its daily operations, a disagreement which took five years to settle. South Africa believed that it was agreed in Gaborone that the Organ should operate within the framework of SADC and be formally affiliated with the SADC summit, despite its independent chair.[22] The South African government furthermore believed that the issue of security was too important an issue to leave as an independent structure with one country, Zimbabwe, as the permanent and separate chairman, as had been the case with the FLS. The Zimbabwean government, on the other hand, with reference to the Gaborone decision, argued that the Organ should operate outside SADC and have a less permanent structure with an independent chairmanship. The idea was to run the Organ with the same flexibility and informality that characterised the FLS and to make it independent of the donor support that dominated the other SADC structures.[23] The summit communiqué finally deferred the issue to another meeting. The problems arose because of Zimbabwe’s firm belief that it had the right to the chairmanship of the new structure, whatever form it might take, because of the role it had played in the old FLS structure.[24] The disagreements between the leaders of the SADC countries also highlighted the political and normative differences between the political leaders in the region. War, human rights violations, a lack of democracy, underdevelopment and corruption are just a few of the issues plaguing co-operation within SADC. Consequently, there was a certain degree of fear within some states that, by giving more authority to that SADC, they would be undermining their own domestic power bases.

A major obstacle was also the rivalry between Zimbabwe and South Africa, and especially between their two presidents, Mandela and Mugabe. On 8 September 1996, Mandela wrote to his counterparts in SADC that South Africa would resign from the SADC chairmanship if the SADC summit agreed to separate the Organ from SADC structure.[25] Through this action, South Africa de facto vetoed decision-making on the fate of the Organ, and it was not until 2001 that SADC members decided to integrate the Organ into SADC structures. However, this process shows how South Africa, by a combination of diplomatic negotiation, threats and persuasion, was able to define the rules of the security regime in SADC. It thus also underlined its far from uncontested dominant position in SADC by defining the framework for co-operation in the Organ, as well as in the organisation in general. This formal structure was to be part of the bigger security architecture in Africa, based on the ‘subsidiarity’ principle described in the article by Moeller in this issue. South Africa was not using and did not need to use the threat of military coercion of the apartheid days, but was able to use strong diplomatic tools in reaching its goals.

Because of the disagreement over the OPDSC’s affiliation to SADC, formal judicial procedures for the daily operations of the Organ were not put in place. It was therefore possible for individual SADC members to meet on a bilateral or trilateral level and claim that this was in fact an official OPDSC meeting, as, for instance, happened when the defence ministers of the DRC, Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia met in Victoria Falls. The meeting then qualified as a defence sub-committee meeting, even though it did not have the required two-thirds of participants to make up the quorum stipulated in SADC treaty.[26] Neither the South African-led intervention into Lesotho, Operation Boleas, nor the ‘so-called’ SADC intervention in the DRC actually had the SADC mandates claimed for them at the time of deployment.[27] The political skirmish that followed the DRC intervention highlighted the problems that SADC was faced with at the time. The disagreement came down to the relationship of the OPDSC and thus its sub-committee level, the ISDSC, with the SADC and the summit, and thus the question of whether or not the security structure falls under the provisions of the SADC treaty. This was undecided in 1998 and only solved in August 2001 through the amendment of the SADC treaty and the Protocol on Politics, Defence, and Security Co-operation integrating the OPDSC and its sub-committees into SADC.

The Mutual Defence Pact

After the signing of the OPDSC protocol at the Blantyre summit in August 2001, two initial processes were implemented. The first was the formation of a Mutual Defence Pact (MDP), which was finalised and signed in Dar es Salaam in July 2003. The second was the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPO), which focused on producing an agenda for implementing the goals of the Protocol, and especially strengthening the capacity of the SADC Secretariat.[28] Among the problems concerning the Organ were the lack of resources and limited capacity, both human and economic, in its secretariat. Several donor-financed research projects have been launched to support the operationalisation of the Organ, which is seen as having a pivotal role in facilitating co-operation between SADC members.[29] However, the focus of this section is on the second process, the creation and nature of the MDP.

The establishment and the content of the MDP

The heads of state at the Dar es Salaam summit passed the SADC MDP in August 2003 after long and difficult negotiations. One of the sticking points that had to be dealt with was the emphasis in the treaty’s Article 6 on the principle of collective self-defence and collective action. Interestingly enough, this article ended up including a ‘claw-back clause’, stating that each state shall participate in collective actions ‘in any manner it deems appropriate’.[30] However, the MDP also stresses that all collective action must be mandated at the summit level, thus blocking future interventions such as those in Lesotho and the DRC. The Pact has been criticised for its collective defensive nature, which focuses on staving off potential external threats instead of collective security. The argument here is that, since the objective of collective defence is to ward off any attack from the outside, it is incompatible with collective security, which focuses on internal stability and aims at making collective defence redundant. The purpose of the MDP is described as an attempt to operationalise the OPDSC, even though the protocol of the OPDSC states that its objective is to create peace and stability in the region.[31] This means that SADC has adopted a collective defence pact to help operationalise a collective security objective.

The Pact’s collective defence aspect is further stressed by the provision that signatories shall co-operate in training and development, research and the production of military equipment.[32] This is something that will, without a doubt, benefit the South African arms industry over time. Since 1994 the ANC government has been faced with the dilemma of how to function as benign regional power trying to promote democracy, development and human rights, while at the same time having a relatively advanced arms industry relying on export for survival. This has from time to time created political problems for South Africa because it has sold arms to states such as Uganda and Rwanda, thus indirectly supporting one side in the conflict in the Great Lakes Region.[33] As a survival strategy, the South African arms industry is increasingly taking part in joint ventures with primarily European arms producers today, which is one of the by-products of the first phase of the government’s Strategic Defence Package.

The MDP also emphasises the principles of non-interference and sovereignty of the individual states, despite the fact that the AU charter of 2002 has opened up a space for military intervention in the case of crimes against humanity, genocide etc. It is therefore striking to discover that the MDP actually underlines the importance of the sovereign right of individual members to non-interference, which apparently runs counter to the provisions of the AU charter. Furthermore, it is interesting to note Article 8 of the MDP stipulating that individual states must not harbour or nurture any individuals or institutions aiming to destabilize the political, military, economic or social security of a member state.[34] This principle could turn out to be highly problematic because it could mean that South Africa, for example, cannot give asylum to individuals sought by the Zimbabwean regime for political activism.

It seems as if the South African government – as underlined by, for instance, Deputy Foreign Minister Pahad’s statement above – has had to compromise on certain principles in order to win regional acceptance and support for its wider ambitions to promote a continental renaissance. However, in other areas of the MDP it has succeeded in introducing new norms and principles for future cooperation within SADC. In Article 13, for instance, the MDP states that the settlement of disputes between the member states shall happen through dialogue, or, if this is not possible, through the SADC Tribunal.[35] The principle of the non-military settlement of disputes has thus been introduced as the guiding principle of the organisation.

One striking fact here is that the MDP does not mention co-operation in PSOs once, nor are terms like ‘democracy’, ‘good governance’ or ‘human rights’ mentioned. However, the Pact must of course be understood for what it is, namely a collective defence agreement protecting its members from each other, and especially from external threats. But a relevant question in this regard is, protection against what? The pact’s most important function is that it regulates the use of force in inter-state relations while at the same time functioning as a deterrence against external military interference in, for instance, the DRC and maybe Zimbabwe. It is, however, very doubtful how this would be effected because of the ‘claw-back clause’ in Article 6-3. Nevertheless, the MDP has a threat-reducing function as well, which is an important element in creating trust among states in a security complex. By signing this pact, moreover, South Africa has played its benign great power role, as the pact states that an attack on a SADC member is also an attack on South Africa. Thus, it provides a perception of security against external aggression for the members’ of the regime.

One of the problems with having a security structure within the SADC structure is that it relies on states to solve problems between states, even though many of these states constitute the very problem, often being themselves a source of instability, governed as they are by corrupt leaders, neo-patrimonial structures and various degrees of despotism. National interests are therefore often incompatible with joint interests.[36] The signing of the MDP has a different objective as it is a collective defence agreement and could be seen as an attempt to breathe some life into SADC through its confidence-building measures and advance stipulations concerning future defence co-operation. The South African decision in 2003 to spearhead the so-called African force into Burundi together with Mozambique and Ethiopia, not SADC, could partly be seen as a consequence of the lack of integration. The organisation at the time was not able to undertake such a task, even though this does not represent a shift away from the principle of subsidiary that characterises SADC relations because Burundi was, and still is, considered an AU matter. The type of operation in Burundi would typically be one for the future SADC-led ASF brigade to undertake, even though Burundi is not a member of the organisation. One of the problems has been the 2002 closing of the Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre (RPTC) in Harare, Zimbabwe.[37] This was a severe setback in the attempt to secure harmonisation and co-operation in peacekeeping between SADC countries. However, the RPTC was reopened in 2005 and it could become an important part of future regional integration in the region. This also means that, while SADC has not been an efficient tool for South Africa so far in the area of security, the organisation now seems to be on the move at last. For instance, plans have been made to replace parts of the South African contingent in MONUC with a SADC force, which could relieve some of the pressure on the SANDF.[38]

Future Development of SADC: Community or Association?

South Africa views the Southern African Development Community as one of the building blocks of the AU and an implementing agent of NEPAD. South Africa's vision for the Southern African region is one of the highest possible degree of economic co-operation, mutual assistance and joint planning of regional development initiatives, leading to integration consistent with socio-economic, environmental and political realities. The restructuring of SADC has afforded the opportunity to achieve the aforesaid issues.[39]

In the international political system, competition for power and influence has traditionally been what has dominated relations between sovereign states.[40] Self-interest has been the basic driving force in determining interstate relations. However, over time this system has matured and created ‘mature anarchies’, where other tools than actual war are used to resolve differences between states.[41] Small ‘islands’ of peace or security communities have been created, where now mature actors have learned that competing through military means is far too costly.[42] However, the notion of a security community has been traditionally debated within the discipline of international relations.

In the case of SADC, it is questionable whether a security community actually exists. One of the basic features of such a community is the existence of shared meanings, identities and values between sovereign states.[43] The SADC region has never been characterised by close social relations and contacts between the member states. To be a community, there needs to be a common sense of belonging, that is, common values, goals, objectives etc. SADC co-operation is still to be understood as an association, with disagreements still being solved by the use of force or threats, where co-operation is directed by formal agreements, as exemplified by the MDP, and where the individual members prioritise national interests over collective ones.[44] Deutsch argued back in 1957 that a security community is characterised as consisting of a group of people who have become integrated together and have a sense of belonging. Within the community there is agreement that common social problems must and can be resolved by peaceful means.[45] Therefore, for Deutsch a security community is one in which there is real assurance that the members of that community will not fight each other physically, but will settle their disputes in some other way.[46] The recent signing of the SADC’s MDP is an example of this aspect, which creates the required framework for the creation of a future security community within SADC.

In the case of the creation of a wider community in SADC, this would include the development of common values in areas such as human rights, electoral procedures etc. Here again, SADC has created the formal agreements, but implementation is lacking in several of the member states. However, SADC regional members do to a certain extent agree on some fundamental issues such as economic and social development, even though South Africa’s economic policies have created frustration and anger in the other member states. A second basic feature of such a community is that its members have many-sided direct relations. Interaction happens constantly in a number of areas in a community, and a feeling of responsibility, commitment and understanding exists between its members. Within SADC, the integration process has resulted in direct co-operation between its members on several levels. However, the integration is differentiated because not all SADC members participate equally in this community process.

A third important feature of a community is reciprocity, whether altruistic in nature or consisting of a search for longer-term, self-interested objectives. It is unclear to what extent interaction within SADC is based on self-interest or community feeling. In this respect, SADC cannot be considered a community because the primary relations still operate on a bilateral level rather than on the community level. In attempting to understand the level and nature of co-operation in SADC, it is important to be able to determine whether it is a community or an association, self-interest being recognised as an important aspect of the latter. The nature of the reciprocity is also important because it illustrates the type of relationship involved. Self-interest exists within a community, and its individual members will seek to maximise the returns of a particular transaction, whether this is economic or political in nature. However, whereas in a community the reciprocity between the members will be diffuse in kind, it will be characterised by direct reciprocity in an association. In a community, as mentioned above, the use of military force will therefore no longer be a political option between members. The collective defence agreement between SADC members, despite its vague formulations and its claw-back clauses, attempts to make it impossible to use coercive means in interstate relations within SADC by creating a framework similar to that directing interstate relations within the liberal zone.[47] However, as the split within SADC in 1998 concerning ‘SADC’ deployment into the DRC showed, the will to comply with the principles expressed in the MDP did not seem to exist at that time. Thus, it is uncertain whether the MDP exists today except on paper, though over time it might have an impact on the domestic policies of member states, otherwise the agreement will be considered obsolete and irrelevant. One issue in favour of regarding SADC as a security community or at least as an attempt to create one is the part of SADC treaty, and also the AU treaty, that stipulates that regime change can only occur through peaceful means. Thus a military takeover will not be tolerated or legitimised by formal recognition. This paragraph has, of course, been criticised as an attempt by authoritarian leaders to safeguard themselves from the constant threat of a violent takeover of government. However, the basic idea of peaceful change is an important part of a community and will in the longer-term perspective have a significant influence on the democratic reform process because it reduces the risk of a non-democratic takeover of government. In a security community, explicit tools exist to attempt to resolve conflicts peacefully. The normative rules of interstate relations are of a non-violent nature, and war is, therefore, no longer an option.[48]

The key to development within SADC is a resolution of the crises in Zimbabwe and to a lesser extent the DRC so that the core countries in SADC can face developmental challenges in a united fashion. Despite the crises in Zimbabwe and the DRC, SADC members are, according to the South African DFA, increasingly coherent and co-ordinated in, for instance, relations with the AU. Common approaches are agreed upon before meetings, thus increasing SADC’s influence within the AU.[49] This has been necessary because other regional groupings in Africa, especially ECOWAS, but also some of the Arab states in the north have been better at exercising influence in the AU. However, the normative differences among SADC members that have existed since the establishment of the organisation in 1992 have at times made it difficult to achieve a common approach. The problem concerning the future development of SADC will be tied to its ability to create a common normative base for its member states and thus create the required normative foundations for enhanced political integration. It is necessary to have at least the same basic values to be able to establish common political interests and goals. According to the South African Department of Foreign Affairs, the South African government is resorting to an ‘open door–closing door’ strategy in trying to introduce new democratic norms via new agreements and treaties within both SADC and the AU, and in the process is literally ‘closing the door’ on previous bad habits. The basic idea is that by making states sign and agree on new treaties, they will also somewhere down the line have to comply with the very same principles.[50] This is an example of what Goldstein and Keohane argue is a basic principle in international relations, namely that there needs to be a correlation between the norms that a state claims to adhere to and its actual political system.[51] When South Africa makes other states sign an agreement, it is also indirectly forcing them to bring their political system in line with these very principles. Furthermore the organisation has, as Schoeman points out, so far focused more on integration in scope as opposed to integration in depth.[52] This is basically because scope provides increased market access, while depth requires transfers of sovereignty, national control to the supra-state body and thus the harmonisation of values and norms. This again points towards SADC being more an association than a security community.


The article started by asking whether a lack of common values was blocking the creation of a security community in SADC. There is no clear answer to this question. SADC members have introduced a number of treaties which indicate both shared values and a sense of common belonging. This shows that the intention to create a security community is there, thus making collective defence redundant. However, the organisation is split between the reformists and a group of states that only play lip service to the principles of democratic governance and human rights, Zimbabwe being a good example. Only time will show whether the South African strategy of being a good example and making the other members implement the new common SADC values will actually work. Mosdal’s article on this issue illustrates that the road to democracy is not straight, and that many issues can derail such attempts. The upcoming election in Zimbabwe 29 March 2008 will once again function as a litmus test as to whether SADC members, and Zimbabwe in particular, are prepared to take the democratic principles that is said to tie the organisation together seriously, or, as Vale and others argue, whether the organisation’s very existence is tied to the goal of protecting the political elites in power.

PDF med originaludgaven af Militært Tidskrift hvor denne artikel er fra:




Adler, Emanuel & Barnett, Michael, 1998, Security Communities, Cambridge University Press, UK.

Alden, Chris & Schoeman, Maxi, 2003. The Hegemon That Wasn't: South Africa's Foreign Policy toward Zimbabwe

Strategic Review for Southern Africa,  Institute for Strategic Studies, University of Pretoria (ISSUP)  Vol. 25 No. 1 May, p. 1-28.

Alden, Chris and Soko, Mills, 2004. South Africa’s Economic Relations with Africa: hegemony and its discontents, Paper presented at a conference in Copenhagen May.

Bach, Daniel C. edi. 1999. Regionalisation in Africa; Integration & Disintegration, James Currey & Indiana University Press, UK & US.

Baregu, Mwesiga ed. & Landsberg, Christopher ed. 2003. From Cape to Congo : Southern Africa's evolving security challenges, Lynne Rienner, Boulder, 2003.

Bayart, Jean-Francois, 1996. The State in Africa, - the politics of the Belly Longman, London & New York, 3rd edi.

Bayart, Jean-Francois ; Ellis, Stephen ; & Hibou, Béatrice, 1999. The Criminalization of the State in Africa, The International African Institute, James Currey & Indiana University Press, Bloomington & Indianapolis.

Baylis, John; Wirtz, James; Gray, Colin S.; and Cohen, Eliot eds. 2007, Strategy in the Contemporary World, 2. Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford/New York

Bertelsmann-Scott, Talitha & Mutschler, Claudia, 1998. Mercosur & SADC, regional Integration in the South SAIIA Reports No. 15, Report on a Conference held on 27-28 Oct.

Booth, Ken, 1994. A Security Regime in Southern Africa: Theoretical Considerations Southern African Perspectives, A Working Paper Series No. 30, Feb.

Bremmer, Horst, 1999. The Operationalisation of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, Prepared for seminar on the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security in Durban 27-29 October.

Bull, Hedley, 1977 (2002), The Anarchical Society, - A study of Order in World Politics 3rd edi. Palgrave, Basingstoke UK.

Buzan, Barry, 1991. People, States & Fear, Harvester Wheatsheaf, New York & London.

Buzan, Barry, 2004. From International to World Society?: English School Theory and the Social Structure of Globalisation Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Studies in International Relations, Cambridge.

Buzan, Barry; Jones, Charles & Little, Richard, 1993. The Logic of Anarchy, Neorealisme to Structural Realism Columbia University Press, New York.

Buzan, Barry & Wæver, Ole, 2003. Regions and Powers – The Structure of International Security. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Studies in International Relations.

Cilliers, Jakkie, 1999. Building security in Southern Africa, An update on the evolving architecture, ISS Monograph Series No. 43 Nov.

Cilliers, Jakkie, 1996. The Evolving Security Architecture in Southern Africa. Africa Insight, Vol 26 No 1, page 13-25.

Cilliers, Jakkie, 1996. The SADC Organ for Defence, Politics and Security. ISS Paper No. 10, October.

Cilliers, Jakkie & Goucha, Moufida Eds. 2001. Peace, Human Security and Conflict Prevention in Africa. Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria South Africa.

Cilliers, Jakkie & Mills, Greg, Eds. 1999. From Peacekeeping to Complex Emergencies; Peace Support Missions in Africa, Jointly published by SAIIA and ISS, July.

Cilliers, Jakkie and Sturman, Kathryn, 2002. Commitments by African Heads of State to Peace, democracy, Human rights and Associated Issues. Institute for Security Studies. ISS Paper 58, July.

Cilliers, Jakkie and Sturman, Kathryn, 2004. Challenges Facing the AU’s Peace and Security Council. African Security review 13(1), p.97 – 104.

Clapham, Christopher; Mills, Greg; Morner, Anna; & Elisabeth Sidiropoulos, Eds. 2001. Regional Integration in Southern Africa: comparative  international pperspectives. SAIIA, Natal, January.

Coning, Cedric de, 1998. Lesotho Intervention: Implications for SADC – Military Interventions, peacekeepeing and the African Rennaissance. Paper presented at 10 November 1998 at the University of Pretoria.

Coning, Cedric de, 1999. Preparing for the third Millennium; Towards a Policy framework for the OAU Conflict Management Mechanism, ACCORD Occasional Paper 4/99.

Coning, Cedric de, 1999. A New Lease of Life for SADC Organ, ACCORD, Durban.

Cox, Robert W. Social Forces, States and World Orders: Beyond International Relations Theory. Millennium, Journal of International Studies, Vol. 10, No. 2, p. 126 – 155.

Denning, Mike, 2004-05. A Prayer for Marie: Creating an Effective African Standby Force. Parameters, p. 102 – 117, Winter.

Department of Foreign Affairs, 1999. White Paper on South African Participation in International Peace Missions, Approved by Parliament on 24 February

Deutsch, Karl W et. al. 1957. Political community and the North Atlantic area : International organization in the light of historical experience. University of Princeton Press, New York.

Gill, Stephen Eds. 1993. Gramsci, Historical Materialism and International Relations. Cambridge Studies In International Relations, Cambridge University Press.

Goldstein, Judith & Keohane, Robert O., Eds. 1993. Ideas & Foreign Policy, - Beliefs, Institutions, and Political Change. Cornell University Press, Ithaca & London.

Grant, J. Andrew & Söderbaum, Fredrik Eds. 2003. The New Regionalism in Africa. Ashgate, The International Political Economy of New Regionalisms Series, Aldershot.

Hammerstad, Anne, 2003. Defending the State or Protecting the People? SADC Security Integration at a Crossroads. SAIIA Report No. 39, November.

Hammerstad, Anne, 2005. Domestic threats, regional solutions? The challenge of security integration in Southern Africa. Review of International Studies, vol. 31, p. 69-87

Hettne, Björn; Inotal, András & Sunkel, Osvaldo Eds. 2000. The New Regionalism and The Future of Security and Development. A UNU/WIDER Study, St. Martin’s Press Inc. UK.

Holsti, Kalevi J. 1996. The State, War, and the State of War. Cambridge University Press , UK.

Hyde-Price, Adrian, 2004. The EU, Power and Coercion: From “Civilian” to “Civilising” Power. Paper presented at the Cidel Workshop Oslo 22-23 October 2004.

Landsberg, Christopher. 2004. The Quiet Diplomacy of Liberation: International Politics and South Africa’s Transition. Jacana Media, Johannesburg.

Lodge, Tom, 2003. Politics in South Africa, Indiana University Press, USA.

Mandrup, Thomas. 2007a. Africa: Salvation or Despair  - A  Study of Post-apartheid South African Government’s Use of the Military Tool in its Foreign Policy Conduct from 1994-2006, Ph.D. dissertation written with support jointly from Danish Institute for International Studies and Institute for Political Science, University of Copenhagen.

Mandrup Jørgensen, Thomas. 2007b. ‘You Do Need a Stick to Be Able to Use it Gently’; in Buur et al. Eds; The Security-Development Nexus. Uppsala and Cape Town: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, & HSRC Press.

Mandrup, Thomas, 2008 forthcoming, in Cawthra, Gavin Eds. Peace diplomacy: The South African National Defence Force in Burundi. FES/CSDM, Johannesburg.

Møller, Bjørn, 2005. The Pros and Cons of Subsidiarity – The Role of Regional and Sub-regional Organisations in Ensuring Peace and Security in Africa. DIIS Working Paper No 2005/4.

Nathan, Laurie, 2004A. The Absence of Common Values and Failure of Common Security in Southern Africa, 1992-2003. Crisis States Programme, LSE, Working Paper No. 50, July.

Nathan, Laurie, 2004b. Obstacles to Security Sector Reform in New Democracies. Research Centre for Constructive Conflict Management, August,,

Nathan, Laurie, 2005. Consistency and inconsistencies in South African foreign policy. International Affairs 81, 2, pp. 361 – 372.

Nathan, Laurie, 2006. Domestic Instability and Security Communities. European Journal of International Relations, Vol. 12, No. 2, 275-299

Ngoma, Naison, 2003. SADC: Towards a Security Community. African Security review, Vol. 12, No. 3.

Ngoma Naison, 2004. SADC’s Mutual Defence Pact: A Final Move to a Security Community? The Round Table, Vol.93, No.375, 411-423, July.

Nye Jr., Joseph, 2002. The Paradox of American Power. Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York.

SADC. Treaty of the Southern African Development Community. Windhoek, August 1992.

SADC. Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation: SADC – Towards a Common Future. SADC, Gaborone, 2001.

SADC. SADC Mutual Defence Pact: SADC – Towards a Common Future. SADC, Gaborone, 2003.

Schwarzenberger, George, 1959. Hegemonial Intervention. Yearbook of World Affairs Vol. 13, p. 236—265.

Schoeman, M. M. E. 1998. Building A Secure Community in Southern Africa: The Case of SADC. PHD thesis from University of Wales and Rands Afrikaans University.

Schoeman, Maxi, 2005. SADC – the two-headed monster. Paper presented at the Centre for African Studies, University of Copenhagen, November.

Solomon, Hussein Eds. 2005. Towards a Common Defence and Security Policy in the Southern African Development Community. Michigan State University Press, June.

South Africa in Africa: The Post-Apartheid Decade, 2004. Centre for Conflict Resolution – Seminar Report Stellenbosch, South Africa, 29 July – 1 August. Rapporteurs: Cheryl Hendricks and Kaye Whiteman November 2004.

Swatuk, Larry, 2003. Intellectual Coherency, Permanent Emergency: Africa in Regional Security Studies. Paper prepared for the International Studies Association, Portland, Oregon, 25 February – 2 March.

Swatuk, Larry A. & Omari, Abillah H. 1996. Regional Security: Southern Africa’s Mobile Front Line, Centre for Southern African Studies, Southern African Perspectives 61, Summer.

Swatuk, Larry A. & Vale Peter, 1999. Why democracy is not enough : Southern Africa and human security in the twenty-first century. TSS: Alternatives. 24, no. 3, pp.361-389.

Söderbaum, Fredrik & Taylor, Ian Eds. 2003. Regionalism and Uneven Development in Southern Africa. Ashgate, Aldershot the UK.

Söderbaum, Frederik, 2004. The Political Economy of Regionalism – The Case of Southern Africa. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstok.

Vale, Peter and Taylor, Ian,1999. South Africa’s Post-Apartheid Foreign Policy Five Years On - From Pariah State

to 'Just Another Country'? The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Relations, Vol. 88, No. 352, p. 629 – 634, October

Waltz, Kenneth, 1979. Theory of International Politics. McGraw-Hill Inc, USA.

Vale, Peter, 2003. Security and Politics in South Africa: the regional dimension. Rienner Publishers, University of Cape Town Press, Paarl.


List of interviews

H. Short and E. Castleman in the South African DFA, September 2003.


[1] Cox, Social Forces, States and World Orders: Beyond International Relations Theory, p. 136.

[2] Lesotho, Swaziland, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Madagascar, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Tanzania.

[3] SADC Treaty, Article 5, 1. a-c.

[4] The FLS alliance, consisting of Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe (1980) and Namibia (1990), was established in 1975 and focused on the decolonization process in southern Africa, at a time when white minority regimes were in control in both Rhodesia and South Africa. The primary purpose of the creation of the FLS was to fight apartheid, and the formation of the alliance in 1975 was a consequence of South Africa’s weakened regional hegemonic position after the failure of President Vorster’s détente policies and the removal of the Portuguese “cordon sanitare” that had protected South Africa.

[5] Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad, September 1996. Quoted in Mills, Leaning all over the place? p. 1.

[6] Nathan, Domestic instability and Security Communities; See also Nathan, The Absence of Common Values and Failure of Common Security in Southern Africa, 1992-2003.

[7] This is not a rejection of the existence of ideas and values such as pan-Africanism and Ubuntu cutting across boundaries. However, as Lodge rightly points out, these principles often do not represent more than mere political rhetoric that is used to sell another political message and objective. The use of the term ‘renaissance’ may be another example of this. See Lodge, Politics in South Africa.

[8] Vale, Security and Politics in South Africa, p. 121.

[9] Vale, Security and Politics in South Africa, p. 123.

[10] Vale, Security and Politics in South Africa, p. 122.

[11] Swatuk, Intellectual Coherence, Permanent Emergencies, p. 8.

[12] Nathan, Domestic Instability and Security Communities, p. 276.

[13] Vale, Security and Politics in South Africa, p. 121ff; Swatuk, Intellectual Coherence, Permanent Emergencies, p. 8.

[14] Nathan, Domestic Instability and Security Communities, p. 277.

[15] For further reading see Söderbaum, The Political Economy of Regionalism: The Case of Southern Africa.

[16] Nathan, Domestic Instability and Security Communities, p. 279.

[17] Hammerstad, Domestic Threats, Regional Solutions?, p. 77.

[18] Nathan, Domestic Instability and Security Communities, p. 286.

[19] Cillier, ISS Monograph No. 43, pp. 5f.; see also SADC Declaration, Windhoek, 1992.

[20] Cilliers, Building Security in Southern Africa, p. 11.

[21] See SADC Summit Communiqué from Gaborone, Botswana, 28 June 1996; and speech by Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Mudenge, 20 January 1999.

[22] It was already stipulated in the Gaborone Communiqué that the chairmanship of the Organ should rotate on a yearly basis, which was finally confirmed by the Protocol of the Organ in 2001. Because of the impasse concerning the status of the OPDSC, Mugabe was formally its chairman from 1996 to 2001, though it was never operational during that time.

[23] Malan, SADC, the DRC and Lesotho, p. 91.

[24] Cilliers, Building Security in Southern Africa, p. 21.

[25] Cilliers, Building Security in Southern Africa, pp. 28f.

[26] SADC Treaty, Article 18.

[27] Cilliers, Building security in Southern Africa, p. 15f. But Col. Nyathi of the Zimbabwean MoD stated, with reference to the debate concerning the mandate: “there is no way that SADC members can claim that they were not involved in the decision to intervene in the DRC. There were extensive consultations between all the member states beforehand. Those that today claim otherwise are wrong. The reason why some states today disagree with the DRC alliance concerning the mandate is caused by the fact that these actors would like to have been in charge of the process, and now feel left out.” Interview with Col. Nyathi in the Zimbabwean MoD, January 2000.

[28] Hammerstadt, Defending the State or Protecting the People?, pp. 4-5.

[29] For further details about the SIPO, see, for instance, the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ.

[30] SADC, Mutual Defence Pact, Article 6-3.

[31] SADC, Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, Article 2-1.

[32] SADC, Mutual Defence Pact, Article 9-a to c.

[33] For further details on the South African Defence Industry, see Bachelor and Willet, Disarmament and Defence Industrial Adjustment in South Africa.

[34] SADC, Mutual Defence Pact, Article 8-2.

[35] SADC, Mutual Defence Pact, Article 13.

[36] A point made by Van Nieuwkerk in Promoting Peace and Security in Southern Africa, p. 2.

[37] The RPTC was closed in early 2002 after the Danish government withdrew its donor support as a consequence of the political crisis in Zimbabwe. This happened despite the fact that Denmark had signed a multilateral agreement with SADC, and not Zimbabwe, and it therefore created a lot of anger amongst the member states at the time. The Zimbabwe issue has since then blocked Danish, and western, donor support for the RPTC. The Danish government’s logic is peculiar in the sense that Denmark is considering supporting the EASTBRIG, including states like Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya and Somalia, while still refusing to become involved in SADC on account of Zimbabwe.

[38] Remark made by Professor Cawthra at the SADSEM authors’ seminar in Windhoek, 10-11 March 2006.

[39] Foreign Minister  Zuma in her budget speech, 28 May 2002.

[40] Waltz, Theory of International Politics, p. 91ff.

[41] Buzan, People, States and Fear, p. 175ff.

[42] Adler and Barnett, Security Communities, p. 11.

[43] Adler and Barnett, Security Communities, p. 31.

[44] Vale, Security and Politics in South Africa, p. 121.

[45] Deutsch et al., Political community and the North Atlantic area, pp. 3-9.

[46] Deutsch et al., Political community and the North Atlantic area, pp. 3-9.  

[47] However, it is important to stress that in itself a collective defence agreement does not make the use of armed force impossible. It first stipulates that members are not allowed to attack each other, and then secondly stipulates what is supposed to be done if this does happen anyway.

[48] It is not exclusively actual war that is involved here, but also the idea and threat of war, i.e. the fear that another state might actually use military force in its attempts to solve a conflict.

[49] Interview by the author conducted in the South African Department of Foreign Affairs, 10 September 2003.

[50] Interview by the author conducted in the South African Department of Foreign Affairs, 10 September 2003.

[51] Goldstein and Keohane, Ideas and Foreign Policy, p. 15.

[52] Schoeman, SADC: The Two-headed Monster.