Leadership, regionalisation of peace operations and conflict mediation: African Union and Southern African Development Community in perspective

  • Mphatso Jones Boti Phiri

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This study analyses the topic of leadership in African Union (AU) peace operations and conflict mediation. Using the case studies of AU mediation in Madagascar, and the AU mission in Somalia, the study investigates how leadership is produced in AU interventions, how regional and sub regional actors interact with each other, and how regionalisation of peace processes match to dominating approaches in international peace and security management. The
    research is informed by an analysis of academic and policy literatures, as well as data gathered through 41 interviews with key policymakers and implementers at the AU and Southern African Development Community (SADC) headquarters.

    This thesis makes its primary contribution to studies of leadership and contemporary conflict management in Africa. It outlines the importance of socially constructed forms of leadership, and how this influence (and is influenced by) the relationship between AU states, sub-regional organisations, and the AU itself. By doing so, it poses significant questions with regards to how the AU is expected
    to demonstrate a hierarchical form of leadership on the African continent. It also contributes to contemporary debates regarding the role of regional and sub-regional organisations in international conflict resolution, most notably to the fields of liberal peacebuilding, and cosmopolitan approaches to peacekeeping.
    Moreover, the thesis broadens contemporary understanding of peace and conflict on the African continent and contributes to policy debates over strategic interventions in regionalised peace interventions.
    Date of Award2018
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University


    • peace operations
    • leadership
    • conflict mediation
    • peace interventions
    • African Union
    • SADC

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