ECOWAS and its Influence on Democratising the Foreign Policy Processes of West African States

August 2019 | AJPSIR

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Published: 01 August 2019


The dominant argument of studies preceding the collapse of the Cold War is that foreign policy decision-making and implementation processes in many African states were centralised, due to democracy deficit. However, the wave of democratisation and globalisation that followed the end of the Cold War has occasioned a significant transformation in the way many contemporary African states perceive and approach their foreign policies. Sustained democratisation is also contributing to the broadening of participation in foreign policy processes, thereby, propelling the involvement of regional organisations, such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to assume a greater role in foreign policy. Utilising the descriptive approach and the institutionalist-structural functionalist theories, the study interrogates the influence of the ECOWAS regional body on the foreign policies of its member states. It centrally, argues that the interventionist role which the ECOWAS plays is influential in democratising the foreign policy architecture and processes of states in its region.


Foreign policy, Democratisation, Foreign Policy Democratisation, Western Africa, and the ECOWAS

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