Fundamentals of State Sovereignty in Africa: Theoretical Perspective


Loshkariov I.D.


In the context of the ongoing scientific debate about the essence of state sovereignty and possible directions of its transformation, there is a need for a comprehensive analysis of regional specifics. Traditionally, the analysis of sovereignty was based on the historical experience of European states, and the Westphalian model of sovereignty was considered as almost universal. At the same time, this approach does not provide a much-needed framework for the local and regional specifics of sovereignty. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to identify and reveal the main characteristics of the sovereignty of African countries according to four parameters: integrity, immutability, carriers, and direction. Such an analysis will not only allow African political experience to fit into academic research, which still relies heavily on Western (European) cases of sovereignty. An important task of this article is also to show the features of sovereignty and variability of African states. The specificity of the sovereignty of African states is historically determined by the imposition of different types of sovereignty. Most of them were developed on the continent and were introduced from outside. This implies a noticeable variability in the practical implementation of sovereign rights and the specificity of the actual bearers of sovereignty. In contrast to Westphalian sovereignty, Africa has developed a wider range of sovereignty holders, which is not limited by formal state decision-making mechanisms. Due to the peculiarities of supranational integration and external borrowing, African countries have developed some constraints on external sovereignty and have retained the ability to deal with other states, including extra-regional ones. However, this process still has little impact on internal sovereignty due to its heterogeneity, multi-level nature, and complexity.


sovereignty, agents of sovereignty, negotiated sovereignty, Africa




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For citation:

Loshkariov, I.D. (2024). Fundamentals of State Sovereignty in Africa: Theoretical Perspective. Journal of the Institute for African Studies. № 2. Pp. 9–23. 2412-5717-2024-67-2-9-23

Для цитирования:

Лошкарёв И.Д. Особенности суверенитета государств в Африке: теоретический ракурс. Ученые записки Института Африки РАН. 2024. № 2. С. 9–23. 10.31132/2412-5717-2024-67-2-9-23