The end of the Cold War has been characterized by a wave of violent civil wars that have produced unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe and suffering. Although mostly intra-state, these conflicts have spread across borders and threatened international peace and security. One of the worst affected regions is West Africa which has been home to some of Africa's most brutal and intractable conflicts for more than a decade. This volume locates the peacekeeping operations of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) within an expanded post-Cold War conceptualization of humanitarian intervention. It examines the organization's capacity to protect civilians at risk in civil conflicts and to facilitate the processes of peacemaking and post-war peace-building. Taking the empirical case of ECOWAS, the book looks at the challenges posed by complex political emergencies (CPEs) to humanitarian intervention and traces the evolution of ECOWAS from an economic integration project to a security organization, examining the challenges inherent in such a transition.
'A timely, revisionist, regionalist monograph which contributes to several overlapping discourses: from peacekeeping and complex political emergencies to fragile states and African international relations. Kabia advances post-bipolar periodisations to explain problematic divisions of labour and elusive liberal peace. He transcends the dichotomous greed versus grievance and resource or ethnic war divides. Essential, cautionary reading for anyone contemplating investing in West Africa’s natural resources such as today’s emerging economies.' Timothy M Shaw, University of the West Indies, Trinidad & Tobago 'Against the background of the development of a new peace and security architecture by the African Union framed as "African solutions to African problems", Dr. John Kabia's important and timely book will, no doubt, contribute to the understanding of the role and relevance of regional organisations in conflict management and peacekeeping in Africa's troubled regions. This is a highly recommended book for anyone interested in politics, peace and development in Africa.' David J. Francis, University of Bradford, UK