Beyond neo-imperialist intentionality: explaining African agency in liberal peace interventions

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    Abstract

    The extant critical literature on international interventions has not only discussed liberal peace interventions from Western subject positions but has also explained its drivers principally from the intention of Western actors to perpetuate neo-imperialism. This analysis, while not illogical, ignores the non-Western involvement in the liberal peace project and, therefore, cannot offer insights into how and why some non-Western actors equally commit to this enterprise. This article moves beyond Western subject positions of this discourse to focus on how and why African interveners engage in liberal interventions despite its Western neo-imperialist instrumentality. Drawing on official documents, interview data and the framework of hegemony, it uncovers African regional actors as practitioners of liberal peace interventions. It argues that they became involved in this practice mainly because they consented to the hegemony of the liberal world order as the only social vision suitable for maintaining domestic stability. Overall, the study offers a broad lens for understanding why the undertaking of liberal projects in many non-Western societies, especially in Africa, cannot be solely explained from the standpoint of Western neo-imperial intentions.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalThird World Quarterly
    Volume44
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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