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UN, AU and SADC approaches to unconstitutional changes of government : the case of Madagascar

Girardeau, Naomi Aass (2012-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Includes bibliography


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The resurgence of unconstitutional changes of government in Africa is regarded not only as a threat to democratisation processes but also to peace, security and stability on the continent. The United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU) and various regional economic communities (RECs) have all sought to address this challenge, in what may be described as a trilateral linkage between the international, regional and sub-regional organisations. The unconstitutional change of government in Madagascar in 2009 led to the involvement of the UN, AU and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Although these organisations all responded to the case of Madagascar, it cannot be assumed that they all share a common understanding of and approach to unconstitutional changes of government. This study builds upon a constructivist approach to norm development, with a particular focus upon the norm life cycle. The thesis seeks to assess if a normative approach to dealing with unconstitutional changes of government has developed within the UN, AU and SADC respectively, and if so, how? Furthermore, how have these organisations responded to such a case, with a specific focus on Madagascar? Building upon these findings, the thesis aims to assess if and how a norm condemning unconstitutional changes of government has emerged, spread and become internalised within the UN, AU and SADC. The study illustrates that the norm condemning unconstitutional changes of government is particularly salient within the AU. Furthermore, and unlike many other peace and security norms, the norm condemning unconstitutional changes of government seems to have emerged from the level of the AU and impacts upwards on the UN as well as downwards on SADC. These findings imply that the AU will have a prominent role in informing the approach and response to such cases on the African continent in the future. Furthermore, the normative frameworks of the UN and SADC may be developed largely as a result of and on the basis of the principles and policies of the AU.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die herlewing van ongrondwetlike regeringsverandering in Afrika word nie net as 'n bedreiging vir die demokratiseringsprosesse beskou nie, maar ook vir vrede, veiligheid en stabiliteit op die kontinent. Die Verenigde Nasies (VN), die Afrika-Unie (AU) en verskeie streeks-ekonomiese gemeenskappe (REC's) het gepoog om hierdie uitdaging, wat beskryf kan word as ‘n driehoekskakeling tussen die internasionale, streeks- en substreek-organisasies, aan te spreek. Die ongrondwetlike regeringsverandering in Madagaskar in 2009 het gelei tot die betrokkenheid van die VN, AU en die Suider-Afrikaanse Ontwikkelings gemeenskap (SAOG). Alhoewel hierdie organisasies op die Madagaskar-saak gereageer het, kan daar nie aanvaar word dat hulle ‘n gemeenskaplike begrip van en benadering tot die ongrondwetlike verandering van regering deel nie. Hierdie studie bou op 'n konstruktivisme benadering tot die ontwikkeling van norme, met 'n spesifieke fokus op die lewensiklus van ‘n norm. Die tesis poog om te bepaal of 'n konstruktivisme benadering respektiewelik binne die VN, AU en SAOG ontwikkel het rakende ongrondwetlike regeringsverandering, en indien wel, hoe? Verder, hoe het hierdie organisasies gereageer op so 'n geval, met spesifieke fokus op Madagaskar? Met hierdie bevindinge in gedagte, sal die tesis bepaal of, en hoe, 'n norm wat ongrondwetlik regeringsveranderinge veroordeel, na vore gekom het en hoe dit versprei en binne die VN, AU en SAOG geïnternaliseer is. Hierdie studie illustreer dat die norm wat ongrondwetlik regeringsveranderinge veroordeel, besonder opvallend is binne die AU. In teenstelling met ander vredes- en sekuriteits norme, blyk dit dat die norm wat ongrondwetlik regeringsveranderinge veroordeel, sy oorsprong het op AU-vlak, met opwaartse trefkrag op die VN, sowel as afwaarts op SAOG. Hierdie bevindinge impliseer dat die AU in die toekoms 'n prominente rol in die benadering tot en reaksie op derglike gevalle op die Afrika-kontinent, sal hê. Verder kan die normatiewe raamwerke van die VN en SAOG moontlik hoofsaaklik ontwikkel as gevolg van die basis van beginsels en beleid wat deur die AU neergelê word.

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