Explaining zones of negative peace in interstate relations: The construction of a West African Lockean culture of anarchy

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Abstract

This article provides a theoretical and empirical account of the zone of negative peace thought to encompass the 16 states of West Africa from independence through the early 1990s. I draw on constructivist theory to argue that the zone of negative peace is a particular kind of interstate culture resulting from the formation of rival role relationships between states in the region. This theoretical approach combined with a compatible empirical measure of rivalry allows a quantitative test of a variety of well-known explanations for the zone of peace phenomenon. The simultaneous equations statistical analysis allows us to model the effect that rival role relationships have on the Lockean culture of anarchy, and vice versa (i.e. the mutual constitution of agents and structures). The results also indicate that a Lockean culture of anarchy, or zone of negative peace, is affected by factors emphasized by realists, liberals, and constructivists in the West African context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-415
Number of pages25
JournalEuropean Journal of International Relations
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • West Africa
  • culture of anarchy
  • regionalism
  • rivalry
  • zone of negative peace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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