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By Scarlett Cornelissen

ISBN-10: 134931384X

ISBN-13: 9781349313846

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For social constructivists, therefore, political outcomes reflect the positions of governments that succeed in convincing others to abandon formerly held views by providing information that discredits them (Avdeyeva, 2008; Goodman and Jinks, 2004), or that introduce new information that makes other governments accept new norms, or that provide new ideas that trigger normative and behavioural changes in other governments (Checkel, 1998; Finnemore, 1996). Persuasion, however, requires entrepreneurial leadership to have meaningful impact.

The volume is organized around three core themes. First, on the understanding that the formal (state and substate) and informal 14 Introduction: Africa and IR in the 21st Century (non-state) domains carry equal significance in shaping African IR, the volume explores shifting forms of sovereignty through multiple expressions of authority and the range of actors involved in this. Contributions by Karen Smith and Thomas Kwasi Tieku provide a conceptual foundation by reconsidering the place of Africa in the international system and the means by which the continent should be studied.

The argument is that the behaviour of African states, or of their leaders in particular, can be better understood in terms of regime survival rather than the widely accepted (in IR theory, at least) notion of state survival. It would thus seem that many of the IR of African states can be understood in terms of regime security or, put differently, of maintaining political power. We also see that, in terms of state behaviour, personal and regional diplomacy play a significant role. The conclusion appears to be that African IR is much more personalized, a lesson that may apply elsewhere.

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