Algeria and the African Union - between security and economic integration: a neofunctionalist and regionalist reading

PhD Thesis

Lamri, A. 2020. Algeria and the African Union - between security and economic integration: a neofunctionalist and regionalist reading . PhD Thesis Canterbuy Christ Church University School of Law, Policing and Social Science
AuthorsLamri, A.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDoctorate of Philsophy

This thesis investigates the process of integration in the African Union (AU), and the reasons behind the slow progress of the AU to achieve the goal of deeper economic integration. In the research I explore the role of an AU member state in the process of African integration: Algeria. The research scrutinises the development of Algerian foreign policy towards the AU and highlights any changes in the Algerian FP attitudes and the reasons behind these changes. Similarly, the research unveils the reality of the decision-making process in this country, and the different agents that influence it.

To achieve the main goals of the research, different theoretical choices were elaborated. This resulted in researching European integration theories; Neofunctionalism was, then, selected to study the Algerian development in the making of its foreign policy in general and towards the African Union specifically. Some concepts within the Neofunctionalist thinking were used including the principle of the shift of loyalties, the socialisation process, the spillover system, and the role of interest groups in the process of integration. Moreover, the theory of Regionalism was used to examine the process of integration in the AU discovering new reasons that led to the slow development of economic integration in Africa.

Consequently, the research highlights the current obstacles and challenges that have hindered the process of economic integration in the AU, including the poverty of most of the AU member states, the limited financial budget of the Union and the instability of the majority of African countries. Furthermore, the research unveiled the lack of political will towards AU economic integration plans. Hence, this contribution extends beyond the traditional models of explanation, and discusses the situation in AU member states (in this case Algeria) and points to other factors as well such as the weakness of the lobbyist activities and business groups in Algeria specifically and Africa more generally.

The thesis, then, focusses on Algeria’s supportive and active status in the AU security sector, highlighting how Algeria has been successful in pushing its own security and antiterrorism agenda to the AU level, thereby demonstrating that integration into the AU is possible, if it is backed by influential member states, and wider coalitions can be built to promote integration and cooperation.

KeywordsAlgeria and the African Union; Economic integration; Neofunctionalism
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Deposited06 Aug 2021
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