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Principle and practice of supranationalism in ECOWAS and the implications for regional integration in West Africa
Nordiska Afrikainstitutet.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-3352-6151
2016 (engelsk)Inngår i: Political Science Review, ISSN 1996-4124, Vol. 7, nr 1, 17-34 s.Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

The concept of ‘supranationalism’ covers procedures and processes of decision-making in multi-national political communities that encourages the transfer of power to an authority broader than governments of member states. This paper acknowledges that the world is experiencing a re-awakening of supranationality, and that contemporary globalisation processes is contributing to this development that has not only checkmated the state and dissolves the absolutes of the Westphalian system, but has brought in other non-state actors including the civil society to be closely associated with the operations of international organizations. Globalisation processes have come with new challenges for governance and the management of global public goods (such as health, education, human security, etc.). The established of the African Economic Community (AEC) motivated other African regional organisations to introduce elements of supranationality in their operations. From various provisions in the Abuja Treaty, the understanding of supranationality as a situation where an international organization is endowed with powers to take decisions that are binding on it and all the member states is quite clear. The influence of this development is significant for regional integration in Africa. Using historical data and information on the performance of ECOWAS, this paper contextualizes the experience of ECOWAS in its practice of supranationalism. It highlights the opportunities, pressures and constraints for the effective and efficient operation of the supranational organization for ECOWAS These developments are important given that inter-governmentalism for long dominated the process of regional integration in Africa with each member states of regional organization retaining and exercising their full sovereign power in their separate decisions on the application and implementation of regional agreements. The paper concludes by arguing that ECOWAS, with the support of an efficiently run supranational body in the form of the ECOWAS Commission, can facilitate the process of regional integration in West Africa. This, of course, has several political ramifications demanding complex institutions and structures, and extensive political will, as well as unity of objectives and commitments at national and sub-regional.  It suffices to say here that the success of West African integration will depend first on the commitment of states in the ECOWAS region to redefine regional integration in a way that moves the process beyond state-centered approaches to include, among other things, the increased participation of civil society - the people and their representatives in associations, professional societies, farmers’ group, women’s groups and so on, as well as political parties - in regional integration processes.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Nigeria, 2016. Vol. 7, nr 1, 17-34 s.
Emneord [en]
supranationalism, intergovernemetalism, sovereignty, West Africa, regional integration, ECOWAS, West Africa
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:nai:diva-2092OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nai-2092DiVA: diva2:1065497
Tilgjengelig fra: 2017-01-16 Laget: 2017-01-16 Sist oppdatert: 2017-01-17bibliografisk kontrollert

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