Tracing the Development of East African Community on Peace and Security

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Virginia Tech


One monumental problem the East African Community faces today is implementation of its proposed bill known as the East African Community Security Protocol on peace and security. This bill was crafted upon the basis of existing scholarship which examines security and community either from the top-down/state-centric approaches (neorealism/neoliberalism/constructivism/etc.) or as vernacular security--bottom-up. Both of these approaches are inadequate in that they still a) prioritize the state/relate to the state/central authority, b) are Eurocentric (based on/dominated by European points of views), and c) do not adequately explain security collaborations in areas such as East Africa (EA). Therefore, this thesis develop a "responsive security community" approach which does not only ties top-down and ground-up approach, but it also advocates for development of strong states before the creation of a security community. This thesis argue that different states have their very different historical backgrounds and legacies. Hence, in order to have effective security community in EA there need be responsive, human security oriented states which embrace participation and inclusion in sub-national and national level. This would ensure the protection of the vital core of all their citizens' lives in ways that enhance human freedoms and human fulfillment. To discuss this responsive community approach, this thesis analyzes the theories of security community post WW II in conjunction with the development of the East African Community Security Protocol. This thesis also employs the theories of Participatory Budgeting (PB) and ground up approach as models for strengthening state and East African Civil Society Organization Forum (EACSOF). This thesis concludes that responsive security community in EA requires strong states which combine a focus on traditional notions of security with human/individual security.



Security, International Relations, Political, Economy, East Africa, Participatory Budgeting, EACSOF