1 DISTANCE LEARNING CENTRE AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY ZARIA

Etudes

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DISTANCE LEARNING CENTRE
AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY
ZARIA, NIGERIA

COURSE MATERIAL

FOR

DISTANCE LEARNING CENTRE POSTGRADUATE PROGRAMMES

MTLD 803: INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

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COPYRIGHT PAGE
© 2016 Distance Learning Centre, ABU Zaria, Nigeria

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any
means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior
permission of the Director, Distance Learning Centre, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,
Nigeria.

First published 2016 in Nigeria

ISBN:

Published and printed in Nigeria by:
Ahmadu Bello University Press Ltd.
Ahmadu Bello University,
Zaria, Nigeria.

Tel: +234

E-mail:

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COURSE WRITERS/DEVELOPMENT TEAM
Mrs Hudu Zaratou (Subject Matter Expert)
Dr Hamza Yusuf (Subject matter Reviewers)
Ibrahim M. Dikko
Enegoloinu Adakole (Language Reviewer)
Nasiru Tanko Graphics
Ibrahim Otukoya
Prof. Adamu Z. Hassan (Editor)

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QUOTE
“Open and Distance Learning has the exceptional ability of meeting the challenges of the three
vectors of dilemma in education delivery – Access, Quality and Cost”
– Sir John Daniels

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TABLE OF CONTENT
Title Page ———————————————————————————————
Copyright Page————————————————————————————–
Quote————————————————————————————————–
Table of Content————————————————————————————
1.0 Course Information—————————————————————————
2.0 Course Description—————————————————————————-
3.0 Course Introduction————————————————————————–
4.0 Course Outcome—————————————————————————–
5.0 Activities to Meet Course Objectives—————————————————-
6.0 Grading Criteria and Scale——————————————————————
7.0 Course Structure and Outline————————————————————–
8.0 Discussion Forum——————————————————————————
8.1 Topical Discussions———————————————————————-
9.0 Study Modules———————————————————————————
9.1 Module 1
Introduction
9.1.1 Objectives
9.1.2 Study Sessions
9.1.2.1 Study Session 1 Introduction
9.1.2.2 Study Session 2 Traditional and behavioural approaches to the study of international
Relations
9.1.2.3 Study Session 3 Basic concepts
Reference/Further Reading
9.2 Module 2
Introduction
9.2.1 Objectives
9.2.2 Study Sessions
9.2.2.1 Study Session 4 War and the causes of war
9.2.2.2 Study Session 5 International law
9.2.3 Self-Assessment Questions and Answers
Reference/Further Reading
9.3 Module 3
Introduction
9.3.1 Objectives
9.3.2 Study Sessions
9.3.2.1 Study Session 6 Diplomacy
9.3.2.2 Study Session 7 International organisations

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1.0 COURSE INFORMATION
1.1
Course Code: MTLD 803
Course title: Introduction to International Relations
Credit: 2 Credit Units
Year: Two
Semester: Second

1.2 Lecturer Information:
Name: Mrs. Hudu Zaratou
Contact address: Department of Public Administration,
A.B.U., Zaria.
Profile:
I am a lecturer in the Department of Public Administration,
Faculty of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. I am a graduate of
International Studies. Department of Political Science, Ahmadu Bello University,
Zaria, and I am pursuing my PhD in the Department of Public Administration
A.B.U., Zaria. I am blessed with three children.

I am here to acquaint you with the basic rudiments of International Relations. And
I am looking forward to your contribution, better audience and cooperation as to
expose you to the basic concepts and events that will give you an understanding of
International Relations, in this world of globalisation.

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2.0 COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course Public Administration is designed for you, with little or no knowledge
of international relations. Its aim is to provide you with the trends and the relations
among states, international organisations, and groups that will definitely affect
your day-to-day life.
This course will include:
1. Introduction and Emergence of the discipline
2. Approaches to the study of International Relations
3. War and the Causes of War
4. International law
5. Diplomacy
6. International organisations

3.0 COURSE INTRODUCTION
In its simplest concept, international relations is the study of political, economic,
social, religious, military, cultural and educational interaction among sovereign
states. It is the study of these interactions among the various actors that participate
in international politics, including states, international organisations, non-
governmental organisations, sub-national entities like bureaucracies and local
governments and individuals. It is the behaviour of these actors as they participate
individually and together in international processes.

This course is designed to make you understand the relations among various actors
in the international system. In line with this, you are expected to know the nature
or the behaviour of these actors as they participate individually and collectively in
international processes.

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Course Textbook(s)
Adeniran, Tunde (1983) Introduction to International Relations. Lagos:
MacMillan.
Dougherty, J.E. and Pfaltzgraff, R.L. Jr. (1981) Contending Theories of
International Relations. New York: Harper & Row Publishers.
Hans, Morgenthau (1972) Politics among Nations: The Struggle for Power and
Peace. (5th edition), New York: Alfred Knopf.
Karen, A. Mingst (2004) Essentials of International Relations. London: W.W.
Norton and Company.
Khanna V. N. (2004) International Relations. New Delhi: Vicars Publishing
House.
Palmer, Perkins (2007) International Relations. New Delhi: A.I.T.B.S. Vicars
Publishers.

4.0 COURSE OUTCOME
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
1. Explain the concept of International Relations.
2. Itemise and explain the traditional approach and scientific approach of
International Relations.
3. Discuss war, types of war and the causes of war.
4. Explain the importance of Diplomacy in International Relations.
5. Discuss International Law and explain its enforcement.
6. Discuss the relevance of International organisations as actors in the
international system.

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5.0 ACTIVITIES TO MEET COURSE OBJECTIVES
The course material is written in a clear and concise nature that will aid and guide
you in understanding the course. Relevant references have been provided. There
are going to be some group and individual assignments that we expect you to do
and submit within the defined time limit. Completion and timely submission of
assignment will be part of your assessment. For these assignments, you are
expected to have a working e-mail address. Optional tutorial sessions shall also be
held before the semester examination or any time required.

A minimum of two hours a week is recommended to study for this course. Over a
13 week study period in a semester, you shall be expected to devout a minimum of
26 hours.

6.0 GRADING CRITERIA AND SCALE
6.1 Grading Criteria
Grades will be based on the following Percentages
Individual assignments 10%
Group assignment/Discussion Questions 10%
Discussion Topic/Forum participation 10%
Quizzes/Other assignments 10%
Semester Examination 60%
TOTAL 100%

6.2 Grading Scale
A = 70-100
B = 60 – 69
C= 50 – 59

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F = < 49

As you work on your research in this course and throughout your
Advanced Diploma programme, here are some examples of open
education resources that will serve you well.
Open education resources
OSS Watch provides tips for selecting open source, or for procuring free or open software.
SchoolForge and SourceForge are good places to find, create, and publish open software. SourceForge, for
one, has millions of downloads each day.
Open Source Education Foundation and Open Source Initiative, and other organisation like these, help
disseminate knowledge.
Creative Commons has a number of open projects from Khan Academy to Curriki where teachers and parents
can find educational materials for children or learn about Creative Commons licenses. Also, they recently
launched the School of Open that offers courses on the meaning, application, and impact of "openness."
Numerous open or open educational resource databases and search engines exist. Some examples include:
? OEDb: over 10,000 free courses from universities as well as reviews of colleges and rankings of college degree
programs
? Open Tapestry: over 100,000 open licensed online learning resources for an academic and general audience
? OER Commons: over 40,000 open educational resources from elementary school through to higher
education; many of the elementary, middle, and high school resources are aligned to the Common Core State
Standards
? Open Content: a blog, definition, and game of open source as well as a friendly search engine for open
educational resources from MIT, Stanford, and other universities with subject and description listings
? Academic Earth: over 1,500 video lectures from MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale
? JISC: Joint Information Systems Committee works on behalf of UK higher education and is involved in many
open resources and open projects including digitizing British newspapers from 1620-1900!
Other sources for open education resources
Universities
? The University of Cambridge's guide on Open Educational Resources for Teacher Education (ORBIT)
? OpenLearn from Open University in the UK

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Global
? Unesco's searchable open database is a portal to worldwide courses and research initiatives
? African Virtual University (http://oer.avu.org/) has numerous modules on subjects in English, French,
and Portuguese
? https://code.google.com/p/course-builder/ is Google's open source software that is designed to let
anyone create online education courses
? Global Voices (http://globalvoicesonline.org/) is an international community of bloggers who report
on blogs and citizen media from around the world, including on open source and open educational
resources
Individuals (which include OERs)
? Librarian Chick: everything from books to quizzes and videos here, includes directories on open source and
open educational resources
? K-9 Tech Tools: OERs, from art to special education
? Web 2.0: Cool Tools for Schools: audio and video tools
? Web 2.0 Guru: animation and various collections of free open source software
? Livebinders: search, create, or organise digital information binders by age, grade, or subject (why re-invent
the wheel?)
Legal help
? New Media Rights is trying to help digital creators use public domain or open materials legally. They have
guides on how to use free and open software materials in various fields.

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7.0 COURSE STRUCTURE AND OUTLINE
7.1 Course Structure
WEEK MODULE STUDY SESSION ACTIVITY INDIVIDUAL
ASSIGNMENTS
GROUP
ASSIGNMENTS

Weeks 1& 2 RESUMPTION, REGISTRATION, ORIENTATION & REVIEW OF THE COURSE SITE
Weeks 3 & 4

MODULE 1

Study Session 1
Introduction and
definition of
international relations
1. Study your Course Material in
Study Session 1.
2. Watch the video on Study Session
1.
3. Listen to the audio on study
Session 1.
Define and explain the concept
of international relations.

Weeks 5 & 6
Study Session 2
Approaches to the
study of international
relations
1. Study your Course Material in
Study Session 2
2. Watch the video on Study Session
2.
3. Listen to the audio on study
Session 2.
Compare the idealism and
realism as theories of
international relations.
Assess the traditional and
scientific approaches in
international relations.
Which one best explain the
events of international
system.
Weeks 7 & 8
Study Session 3
Basic Concepts
1. Study your Course Material in
Study Session 3.
2. Watch the video on Study Session
3.
3. Listen to the audio on study
Session 3.
State and critically assess the
sources of state power.
Power is at the heart of
international politics,
discuss.
Weeks 9 & 10

MODULE 2

Study Session 4
War and the causes of
war
1. Study your Course Material in
Study Session 4.
2. Watch the video on Study Session
4.
3. Listen to the audio on study
Session 4.
What is a war and why do we
have wars?
War is a continuation of
politics by other means,
discuss.
Week 11 M I D S E M E S T E R B R E A K

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Weeks 9

Study Session 5
International law 1. Study your Course Material in
Study Session 5.
2. Watch the video on Study Session
5.
3. Listen to the audio on study
Session 5.
Discuss the major sources of
international law.

Weeks 13

MODULE 3
Study Session 6
Diplomacy 1. Study your Course Material in
Study Session 6.
2. Watch the video on Study Session
6.
3. Listen to the audio on study
Session 6.
What is diplomatic immunity
and who enjoys this privilege?
“The first duty of an
ambassador is to do, say,
advice and think whatever
may best serve the
preservation and the
aggrandisement of his own
state”, discuss.
Weeks 14
Study Session 7
International
organisations
1. Study your Course Material in
Study Session 7.
2. Watch the video on Study Session
7.
3. Listen to the audio on study
Session 7.
What are the organs of United
Nations Organisation and what
are their functions?
Is the United Nations a
world government?
Discuss.
Week 15
Study Session 8
International
organization
1. Study your Course Material in
Study Session 8
2. Watch the video on Study Session
8
3. Listen to the audio on study
Session 8

What led to the transformation
of OAU to AU?

Week 16
Study Session 9 1. Study your Course Material in
Study Session 9
2. Watch the video on Study Session
9
3. Listen to the audio on study
Session 9
Has ECOWAS been able to
achieve its objectives?

Week 17& 18

ON CAMPUS PRACTICAL/STUDIO WORK/REHERSALS/FIELD TRIP/TRAINING/TUTORIALS

Week 19 REVISION

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You are to submit all individual assignments and assigned group assignment via your programme dashboard within the stipulated period.
Week 20& 21

SEMESTER EXAMINATION

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11.2 Course Outline
Module 1: Introduction and General Overview
Study session 1 Introduction
A: Definition of international relations
B: The nature of the international system.
Study session 2 Traditional and behavioural approaches to the study of
International relations
A: Idealism
B: Realism
C: Decision making theory
D: System theory
Study Session 3 Basic concepts
A: State and Sovereignty
B: Power politics

Module 2:
Study Session 4 War and the causes of war
A: War definition
B: Types of war
C: Causes of war
Study Session 5 International law
A: Definition of international law
B: Sources of international law
C: Enforcement of international law

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Module 3
Study Session 6 Diplomacy
A: Definition and origin of diplomacy
B: Types of Diplomacy
C: Task of diplomacy and diplomats
D: Diplomatic immunity and privileges
Study Session 7 International Organisations
A: Types of international organisations
B: The United Nations Organisation
Study Session 8 International organisations
A: The African Union
Study Session 9 ECOWAS
A: Aims and objectives of ECOWAS
B: The Institutions of ECOWAS
C; Achievement of ECOWAS
D: Challenges

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9.0 STUDY MODULE
9.1 MODULE 1: Introduction and General Overview
Introduction
International Relations is a study of relations among sovereign states. These
relations concern different aspects of the life of a State: diplomatic relations,
economic relations, cultural relations and defence relations. States are the main
actors of international relations. We have other actors that are not states, e.g.
international organisations, non-governmental organisations, multi-national
corporations. All these organisations participate in the working of the international
system.

9.1.1 Objective
At the end of this module, you are expected to be able to:
1. Define and explain the concept of international relations and the various
approaches to the study of international relations.
2. The module also intends to make you understand the concepts of state,
sovereignty and power politics.

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9.1.2 STUDY SESSIONS
9.1.2.1 STUDY SESSION 1: Introduction
Section and Subsection Headings:
Introduction
Learning outcomes
Main Content
A: Definition of international relations
B: The nature of the international system.
A: Definition of international relations
B: The nature of the international system.
Conclusion
Summary
Self-assessment questions and Answers
References/Further Readings

Introduction
This session introduces you to the definition and basic concepts of International
Relations, with a particular focus on the nature of the discipline. At the end of this
session you should be able to define the concept of International Relations and
state the nature of the relationship among sovereign states.

Session Outcome
By the end of this session, you should be able to:
1. Define some basic concepts of international relations
2. Examine the nature of relationships among sovereign states

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A: Definition of International Relations
In its simplest conception, International Relations is the overall relations between
actors in the international system. It embraces all intercourse and interaction
among states and all movement of people, goods and ideas across national
boundaries.

As a field of study, International Relations is concerned with the study of the
nature and conduct of relations among states, individuals or groups operating
within particular areas of the world system. Its focus includes analysis of foreign
policies or political processes between nation states, but with its interest in all
facets of relations between distinct societies.

B: Nature of the International System
The international system is characterised and shaped by the nature of modern state
system. This system encompasses the whole relation that take place among them,
such as: political or diplomatic relation, economic relation and any other relations
that are needed in solving inter-states problems. So, we can deduce that the
international system is characterised by a high degree of interaction and
interdependence.

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Much of these relations since 1945 have centred around the search for a new
international system to replace the old order, that was shattered in two world wars
(1914-1918 and 1939-1945) and to work out a new pattern of relationship in a
world dominated by two superpowers (USA and Soviet Union), divided between
communist and capitalist system till 1991 and between have and have-not nations.
The emergence of many new states from the Third World and the discovery of new
technologies, also brought a new dimension in the international system.

From which perspectives can we start the study of International Relations? How
can we understand why bombings occur in Israel and Palestine? What structural
factors explain the econony meltdown in th world? How can we begin to think
theoretically about events and trends in international relations? All the events that
seem remote can become both highly related and personally to any or all of us.
In-text Questions:
1. What happened in 1991 that transformed power relations at the international level?

Answer: The world was dominated by two superpowers since the end of the Second World War
in 1945. This situation led to what was called the Cold War. But, in 1991, the Soviet Union, who
was the leader of the communist world collapsed due to the contradictions of its political and
economic systems. This paved the way for the emergence of the USA as the sole superpower.

2. How important are relations among states?

Answer: Relations among states are important in the sense that no state can live in isolation:
States need each other to: trade, to solve problems confronting them in a globalised world in
terms of health, security, economy and education.

Session Summary
In summary, International Relations as a subject, is concerned with the study of
relationship among sovereign states and other non-governmental actors. The aim of
these relations is to solve common problems confronting them. The development of

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international relations, as they are today, started vigorously after the Second World
War in 1945. Newly independent states, in great number, also joined the international
system in 1960. The period 1945 to 1991 was characterised by what was called, the
Cold War between the capitalist nations and the communist nations. This situation
divided the world into two antagonistic blocs.

Self Assessment Question
Define international Relations.

Answer to Self Assessment Question
In its simplest conception International Relations is the overall relations between
actors in the international system. It embraces all intercourse and interaction
among states and all movement of people, goods and ideas across national
boundaries.

References/Further Reading
Karen A. Mingst (2004) Essentials of International Relations. London: WW. Norton
& Company.
Palmer, Perkins (2007) International Relations. New Delhi: A.I.T.B.S. Vicars
Publishers.

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9.1.2.2 STUDY SESSION 2
Traditional and Behavioural Approaches to the Study of International
Relations
Section and Subsection Headings:
Introduction
Learning outcomes
Main Content
A: Idealism
B: Realism
C: Decision making theory
D: System theory
Conclusion
Summary
Self-assessment questions and Answers
References/Further Readings

Introduction
The session introduces the different approaches to the study of international
relations. They are used to analyse events happening in world politics, in order to
be able to predict future events.

Session Outcomes
By the end of this session, you should be able to:
1. Understand the major approaches to the study of international relations

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A: Traditional Approach: Idealism and Utopianism
According to the Encyclopedia of the social sciences “Utopianism is a form of
theory which attempts to promote certain desired values and practices, by
presenting them in an ideal state of society. Idealism and Utopianism have the
same perspectives.

Idealism is a perception based on ‘perfection’. Such perception fights for the
achievement of a perfect society, morally and rationally. Idealism holds that human
nature is basically good and that people can improve their moral and material
conditions, making societal progress possible. Bad or evil human behaviour such
as injustice, war and aggression are not inevitable, but can be moderated or even
eliminated through institutional reform or collective action. Idealists are optimistic
about individuals as being rational, and able to understand the universally
applicable laws, governing both native and human society. If a just society is not
attained, then the fault rest with inadequate institutions, the result of a concept
environment.

I: Idealism and the Nature of Politics:
Idealists are proved to believe that humans and their countries are capable of
achieving more cooperative, less conflictive relations. In this sense, idealists might

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trace their intellectual leverage to political philosophers such as Jean – Jacques
Rousseau (179 – 1778), who argues in the social contract that humans had joined
together in civil societies because they “reached the point at which the obstacles to
bettering their existence were greater, than the resources at the disposal of each
individual”. Having reached that point, Rousseau argues that, “people realise that
their primitive condition can no longer subsist, and the human race would perish
unless it changes its manner of existence”.

Like Rousseau, contemporary idealists believe that people joined in civil societies
to better their existence and they are confident that now and in the future, people
can join together to build a cooperative and peaceful global society. The basic
proposition of idealism is that war is preventable. They further believe that the best
path to cooperation is through building effective international organisations. This is
because international organisation adds to the growth of cooperation, by providing
various benefits to member states that facilitate the operation of reciprocity.

Most of half of the League of Nations covenants, twenty-six provisions focus on
preventing war. The covenant even includes a provision legitimising the notion of
collective security, wherein aggression by one state would be by collective action,
embodied in a league of nations.

Based on these postulations, the idealist posits that a precondition for world peace
and stability lies in at least, three possible lines of action. In the first place, they all
agree for the establishment of international institutions to replace the ‘anarchical’
and ‘war’ prone balance of power systems. Second, the idealists advocate for the
legal control of war. Third, they believe that the best way to avoid war in the
international system is to eliminate weapons.

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In-text Question:
What is the main thrust of the idealist approach?

Answer:
Idealism propounds the achievement of a perfect society, morally and rationally. It holds that
human nature is basically good and that people can improve their moral and material conditions,
by making societal progress possible. Idealists also believe that the best path to cooperation is
through building effective international organisations.

The idealist theory formed the basis to the creation of the League of Nations, after
the First World War. Unfortunately, the primary goal of the idealist which was to
abolish war was far from being achieved, because the Second World War occurred.
Ideas of this school in summary:
– Key actors in the international systems: states, international organisations.
– View of the individual: basically good, capable of cooperating.
– It emphasises on justice.
– View of the state: not an autonomous actor, having many interests.
– View of the international systems: interdependency among actors, view of
the international society anarchy.
– Beliefs about change: probable, a desirable process. Some of the major
theorists: Kant, Wilson, Montesquieu, Rousseau.

B: Traditional Approach: Realism
I: Realism and the Nature of Politics:
Realists believe that political struggle among humans is probably inevitable,
because people have an inherent dark side. Many realists trace their postulation
from such political philosophers as Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679). Thomas
Hobbes believe that human possess an inherent urge to dominate.

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Realists focus on the anarchic nature of a world system based on competition
among sovereign states, as the factor that shapes world politics. As a realist puts it,
the international system based on sovereign actors (states), which answer to no
higher authority, is “anarchic with no overarching authority, providing security and
order”. The result of such system is that “each state must rely on its own resources
to survive and flourish”. And because “there is no authoritative, impartial method
of settling these disputes, that is; no world government, states are their own
judges and often resort to force, to achieve their security interests”.

This theory is normative and policy oriented. Much of realist theory is a critic of
idealism. Realism posits that the prospect for effecting changes in international
system is not great. Realism is pessimistic about the possibility of shaping the
causes of events by deliberate effort and will. Realism has little faith in the efficacy
of human effort and human reason.

Realism is based on the view of the individuals as being primarily selfish, and
power seeking; individuals are organised in states, each of which acts in a unitary
way, in pursuit of its own national interest defined in terms of power. These states
exist in an anarchic system, characterised by the absence of an authoritative
hierarchy. States under this condition can only rely on themselves. In the aftermath

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of WWII, at the height of disillusionment with idealism, international relations
theorist Hans Morgenthau (1904 – 80) just as Hobbes and Augustine, state that
‘international politics is a struggle for power’.

The realist theory contends that people by nature are inherently, sinful and wicked
that of all peoples’ evil ways, no one is more prevalent and dangerous than the
instinctive lust for power and desire to dominate others, and under such conditions
international politics is a war of all against all. That, the primary obligation of
every state is to promote its national interest defined as the acquisition of power,
and the realists believe that if all states seek to maximise power, stability will result
from maintaining a balance of power.

In summary, the idea of this school is that:
? Key actors in the international system are states.
? They view the individuals as power seeking, selfish, evil and antagonistic.
? They emphasise on power.
? They view the state as power seeking, unitary actor, following its national
interest.
? View of the international system: anarchic, reaches stability in a balance of
power system.
? The realists believe about change: low change potential, show structural
change.
? Some of the major theorists: St. Augustine, Machiavelli, Hobbes,
Morgenthau.

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C: Behaviouralism
In the 1950, some scholars became dissatisfied with examining historic events as
idiosyncratic cases. They became disillusioned with philosophical discourse of the
traditional approach (idealism, realism). They pounded new questions: is
individual behaviour more predictable than the largely contextual descriptions of
the historian? Is it possible to test whether the trends found through historical
inquiry or the ‘ought to’, proposed by the philosophers empirically valid? The
focus of the behaviouralism is on developing appropriate methods to empirically
test events.

The behavioural approach has the objective of using the scientific methodology to
investigate phenomenon, in order to predict human behaviour, with some measure
of accuracy. It is also concerned with human behaviour rather than with abstract
institutions like state or international organisations. Behaviouralism is also
concerned with the forces and factors that influence the individual’s attitude and
behaviour, in giving situations and the examination of the socio-economic,
psychological and political condition, of the individual’s environment.

During the 1980s and 1990s scholars have seriously questioned the behavioural
approach. To some, many of the foundational questions; the nature of man and
society – are neglected by behaviouralists because they are not easily testable by
empirical methods. Others remain committed to the behavioural approach, pointing
to the lack of funding and time as an explanation for their meager results.

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D: Decision Making Theory
The focus of this theory is on the individual
state man. When individual decision makers are
the focus, their idiosyncrasies, values,
motivations and ideals are examined, as they
relate to their leadership style as decision
makers. Their goals or choice of objectives as
well as expectations are analysed to determine
the policies of state.

Diplomatic historians prefer this level of analysis. According to K. J. Holsti, “when
we say states behave”, we really mean policy makers are defining purposes,
choosing among causes of action and using national capabilities, to achieve
objectives in the name of the state”. When a decision is taken either in Nigeria or
China … it is not the geography or political entity; decisions of each state are those
made by people – Top officials. However, the usefulness of the decision making
approach is underscored by the value of studying individual leaders. For instance
when the ideological orientation of a leader is known, his temperament, his foreign
as well as domestic policy preferences are understood, it would be possible to
predict the decision that he would make and possible outcome.

Some misperception of this century by some decision makers most probably
include some states decisions to recognise the short lived Republic of Biafra during
Nigerian civil war 1967 – 70 without the means to ensure its survival.
In-text Questions:
What are the basic arguments of Realism, Behaviouralism and Decision making theories?

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Answer: 1. Realism: postulates that the international system is anarchical as there is no World
Government. It sees state as power seeking to achieve its national interest against others.
2. Behaviouralism: uses scientific method to predict human behaviour in politics and predict
events based on human characteristics.

3. Decision-making: focuses decision-makers to analyze their leadership which eventually
determine the pattern of relationships among states.

E: The Systems Theory
The systems theory is probably the most widely used in international relations.
Borrowed from Biology and Engineering sciences, its emphasis is on the working
mechanism of a set-up for goals attainment. System theory aids in determining a
political system’s capacity, for maintaining its equilibrium in the face of stress and
for adapting to changes that are forced internally and externally. It is assumed that
all existing political units interact with one another according to some regular and
observable pattern of relationship.

A system is an autonomous unit of complex elements, which interacts and is
capable of adapting within it. Each set of element is interdependent. The behaviour
of each state depends upon the behaviour of other states; or in terms of
gamesmanship, every player’s move or “strategy” – the set of moves he
calculates and must take to win – depends on the moves of every other player.
A system, then, is an abstract way of looking at a part of reality for purposes of
analysis; hence we speak of a human being’s “circulatory system”, in which the
parts or “subsystems” – the veins, arteries, organs, and cells – must all work
properly if the larger body system is to give peak performance or, perhaps run at
all. In other words, when man eats, digestion takes place, as well as waste disposal.

31

This helps to lubricate the body system for a healthy living, leading to
reproduction. Any malfunctioning, say the blood system, must destabilise other
sub-systems; hence, drug may be taken to create proper functioning for continuity.

In the game of international politics, each state in the state system is the guardian
of its own security and independence. Each regards other states as potential
enemies who might threaten fundamental interests. That is, each state action either
destabilises or attempts to maintain equilibrium. Consequently, states generally
feel insecure and regard one another with a good apprehension and distrust. The
result is that all become very concerned with their strengths or power. In other to
prevent an attack, a state feels it must be as powerful as the potential
aggressor, for disproportion of power might tempt the other state to attack. A
“balance of power”, or terror or equilibrium, however would make victory in war
unlikely.

Therefore, equilibrium will in all probability deter attack. As Morgenthau said,
“Equilibrium balanced power and balanced power is naturalised power”. Thus, a
balance of power is the preservation of the system itself. Any attempt by any
nation to expand its power, destabilises the system and attain dominance, which
would allow it to impose its will upon the other states, will be resisted. When the
balance is disturbed, the tendency will be for responsive action to be taken to
return it to a position of equilibrium. In other words, states are actors whose
purpose is to play the role the system has “assigned” them in maintaining this
equilibrium.

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If they fail in their assignment by disregarding the operational rule, that power
must be counterbalanced, and thus place their own security in jeopardy. The
balance of power is therefore an empirical description of how states do act,
(or more cautiously, how most of them, especially the great powers, act most of
the time) and also, a prescription for states to show how they should not. From the
above analysis, a country is a subsystem whatever her behaviour is; it either
destabilises or maintains equilibrium. The two world wars and their intervention by
the U.S and the former Soviet Union on other states have in one way or the other
destabilised the system or maintained it.

The Middle East crisis destabilised international peace, created global oil price
inflation. Thus, American bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1941 partly
brought World War II to an end. So was her bombing of Libyan cities of Tripoli
and Benghazi to prevent Gaddafi’s imperialistic posture. That Saddam Hussein
annexed Kuwait disturbed the system, but the intervention of the UN and US-
Allied Forces, came to restore equilibrium in the Gulf.

The inability of the north to transfer technology to the south explains the imbalance
in the economies of the third world. The Liberian, Sudanese, Somalia, Sierra
Leonean, Rwandan, Burundi crises have disturbed the African system, but efforts
by the ECOMOG, the AU, the US and the UN are ongoing to restore equilibrium.

33

In-text Questions
1- Is balance of power theory a stabilising factor in world peace?
2- What is a system in international relations?
Answers
1. Read section E paragraph 3.
2. Read section E paragraph 2.

Session Summary
System theory teaches us how the units (states) in the international system are
autonomous actors. Each unit should take care of its own security and existence.
Interaction among the units is based on national interests, which each unit determines
based on domestic considerations.

Self Assessment Question
Define system theory to the study of International Relations.

Answer to Self assessment Question
1. A system is an autonomous unit of complex elements, which interacts and is
capable of adapting within it. Each set of element is interdependent. The
behaviour of each state depends upon the behaviour of other states; or in terms
of gamesmanship, every player’s move or “strategy” – the set of moves he
calculates and must take to win – depends on the moves of every other
player.

34

Reference/Further Reading
Karen, A. Mingst (2004) Essentials of International Relations. London:
WW. Norton & company.

35

9.1.2.3 STUDY SESSION 3
Basic Concepts in International Relations
Section and Subsection Headings:
Introduction
Learning outcomes
Main Content
A –State and Sovereignty
B- Diplomatic Recognition
C- Power Politics
Conclusion
Summary
Self-assessment questions and Answers
References/Further Readings

Introduction
As the main actor of international relations, the state has certain elements of power
that make it perform its functions in the international system. The first major element
is the territory. The state should be confined within recognised boundaries. The state
should also have a population which has allegiance to the state, and finally, the state
should be recognised by other states.

Study Session Outcomes
At the end of this session, you should be able to:
1. Define the concept of a State and its constitutive elements.
2. Appreciate the recognition of a newly created state by other states is a must for
that state to start a beginning in international life. You should be able to know

36

the processes for this recognition.

A. The State
A state is a politically independent community. In other words, a state is the
ultimate stage in the development of a community. There is no clear, all-inclusive
definition of the state; some scholars like Marx see the state as essentially a class
structure, “an organisation of one class dominating over the other classes”, that is a
machine used by one class to dominate other classes”. The liberals regard it as the
one organisation that transcends class and stands for the whole community. Simply
put, the state can be seen as the most inclusive organisation, which has formal
institutions for regulating the most significant external relationship on the men
within its scope. It is the basic political
unit, a grouping of individuals who are
organised in a defined territory for the
pursuit of secular common welfare, the
maintenance of law and order and the carrying out of external relations with other
groups similarly organised.

The state according to MacIver is a form of human association which, ‘acting
through law as promulgated by a government, endowed to this end with coercive
power, maintain within a community territorially demarcated, the universal
conditions of social order”.

For an entity to be considered a state, some fundamental conditions must be met.
States share all or most of six characteristics: sovereignty, territory, population,
internal organisation, domestic support, diplomatic recognition. These legal criteria
are not absolute.

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I. Sovereignty
The term denotes supreme and final legal authority, above and beyond which no
further legal power exists. Sovereignty has two dimensions: internal supremacy
within the territory of the state and external independence from direct political
control by any other states. The concept of sovereignty was believed to have been
first used by Jean Bodin in 1576 in his six Books concerning the state. He
developed the theory that sovereignty is an essential feature of the state.

Other political thinkers like Thomas Hobbes and Austin, argue that sovereignty is
characterised by absoluteness, comprehensiveness, permanence and indivisibility:
in reality however, there is nothing like unrestricted, unlimited and absolute
sovereignty. This is an unrealistic view of sovereignty.

The main issue is that the sovereign actor (state) owed neither allegiance nor
obedience to any higher authority.
In-text Question
What are the characteristics of a State?

Answer
Read the following: Territory, Population, and Sovereignty.

II: Territory
Each of the world’s state is located at a particular area of the earth’s surface and
has definite, generally recognised boundaries that do not overlap the area of any
other state. It must however be noted that while territoriality is essential to a state,
no limit or uniformity can be prescribed in respect of the size of states. Most states
do have a territorial base, though the precise borders are often subject of dispute.
Until the Palestinian Authority was given a measure of control over the West bank

38

and Gaza, for instance Palestine was not territorially based. Territorial boundaries
can expand, contract, or shift dramatically.

III: Population:
A state is inhabited only by a group of individuals which it regards as citizens or
subjects and all others as aliens. The population of a state is thus defined as
including citizens or subjects who enjoy full civil rights and owes full allegiance,
nationals or natives of the dependencies of a state. Most states have a stable
population, but migrant communities and nomadic peoples cross borders, as the
Masai peoples of Kenya and Tanzania or the Fulani of Nigeria, Niger Republic and
Cameroon do, undetected by state authorities. Where do the populations of the
country begin and end? Citizenship has become a bit more fluid than it was long
ago. For example a citizen of a European Union country can now vote in local
elections and even hold political office in the country in which he resides.

IV: Government (Internal Organisation), government is the agency or machinery
through which the will of the state is formulated, expressed and realised. It leads,
coordinates and where need be, coerces to implement the goals of the state.
Government is the recognised legal agent of the state. Most states have
government, but statehood continues during periods of severe turmoil, even
anarchy. Afghanistan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, dissolved into chaos for an extended
time. During last decade, some governments existed outside the territory, e.g.:
exiled Poland government in United Kingdom.

V: Domestic Support: The state’s population is loyal to it and grants it the
authority to make rules and to govern. The dissolution of Czechoslovakia and the
Soviet Union are illustration of multinational states collapsing in the face of the

39

separatist impulses of disaffected nationalities. The states are created to perform
tasks, to “establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common
defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty”, as the
preamble to the USA constitution puts it. When the state cannot deliver these
goods, domestic support of states weakens.

B. Diplomatic Recognition
When a political entity declares its independence and no other country grants it
diplomatic recognition, is it really a state? No. How many countries must grant
recognition before statehood is achieved? When Israel declared its independence
the United States of America and the Soviet Union recognised it. The Republic of
Transkei a tiny piece of real estate carved out of South Africa – was recognised by
just one state, South Africa. This proved insufficient to give Transkei a status as a
state. So, while the legal conditions for statehood provide a yardstick, that
measuring stick is not absolute. Some entities that do not fulfill all the legal criteria
are still states.

C. Power Politics
States are critical actors because they have power, which is the ability not only to
influence others, but to control outcome, so as to produce results that would not
have occurred naturally. Power is an essential element of politics. According to
Hans Morgenthau, the struggle for power is universal in time and space, and is an
undeniable fact of experience, whatever the ultimate aim of international politics;
power is always the immediate aim. States have power vis-à-vis each other and
with respect to those actors within the state. Yet, power itself is multi-dimensional;
there are different kinds of power.

40

The outcome of the power relationship – To what extent power is used, is
determined in part, by the power potential of each of the parties involved. Nicholas
Spykman argues that, ‘however unstable and dynamic “the equilibrium of force”,
power relations remain a central element for peaceful coexistence among members
of the world community.

Thus, at the core of international relations is the element of power. Power is a
political phenomenon – when a person or a state pursues power, he does so in
order to gain leverage over other actors. It has been observed that many factors
simultaneously enhance a state ability to goals. Power, according to Hans
Morgenthau, ‘is the acquisition and control of those things that could help in
establishing hegemony over others’. To him “it covers all social relationship which
serves that end from physical violence, to the most subtle psychological ties by
which one mind controls another’.
In-text Question:
Is power important in inter-states relations?

Answer:
Read section B

I. Tangible Elements of Power:
Elements of national power can be divided into tangible and intangible elements.
a. Geography: Geographic size and position are the natural sources of power
recognised by international relations theorists. A large geographic expanse gives a
state automatic power; large states like Russia, China, and USA are good
examples. In the late 1890s, the naval officer and Historian, Alfred Mahan wrote
on the importance of controlling the sea. He argues that the state that controls the

41

ocean route controls the world. But to Mackinder, the state that has the most power
is the one that controlled the Asian geographic “heartland”. Both views are valid.

British power in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were determined largely
by its dominance on the seas; a power that allowed Britain to colonise distant
places. Geographic position has also proven to be a significant source of power
potential. Germany has acted to secure its power through its control of the
hardbound of Eurasia. When we speak of geography, we are also referring to
natural resources. Controlling a large geographic expanse is not a positive
ingredient of power unless it contains natural resources. Petroleum exporting states
like Kuwait and Qatar are small but have a crucial natural resource, have greater
power potential than their sizes would suggest.

b. Economic Might
States use more than words to exercise power; states may use economic might to
try to influence other states. A state’s ability to use economic might depend on its
power potential. Clearly, only economically well-endowed countries can grant
licenses, offer investment guarantees, grant preferences to specific countries, house
foreign assets, or boycott effectively.

Economy as an instrument can be used to achieve any foreign policy objective by
exploiting need and dependency and offering economic rewards by threatening or
imposing economic sanctions. A country could also deploy its economic power to
create political allies and economic satellites in order to help establish and
maintain political obedience from satellites. It is precisely because of all these that
the USA and western countries have often been criticised by the developing

42

countries, for their continued manipulations of their economic power, to further
consolidate their world hegemonic power.

c. Military Power: Military power today has become decisive in dividing the
world between the powerful and the not so powerful. Military power itself depends
on the size of the armed forces, their structure, level of training and their mobility
and communication, command structure. In other words, the geopolitical location
of the country, the level of development of the military technology or procurement
of arms and armaments, all add to increase or reduce a nation’s military power.

II. Intangible sources of power: National Image, public support and leadership
are important sources of power.

People within states have images of their own states’ power potential; images that
translate into an intangible power ingredient. For instance, Canadians have
typically viewed themselves as internationally responsible and eager to participate
in multilateral peacekeeping missions, to provide generous foreign aid packages,
and to respond unselfishly to international emergencies. The state helped to shape
that image, making Canada a more powerful actor than its small population would
otherwise dictate.

The extent to which a country now acquires the image of power, depends on the
perceptions of other member nations in the international system. China’s power
was magnified during the leadership of Mao Zedong (1893 – 1976), when it
appeared to have unprecedented public support for the communist leadership and a
high degree of societal cohesion. When that public support is absent particularly in
democracies, the power potential of the state is diminished. Leadership is also an

43

important source of intangible power. Visionaries and charismatic leaders such as
France’s Charles de Gaulle, the United States’ Franklin Roosevelt, were able to
augment the power potential of their states by taking bold initiatives. Poor leaders,
those who squander public resources and debase the public trust, such as Zaire’s
Mobutu Sese Seko, diminish the state’s power capability and its capacity to exert
power over the long term.
In-text Question: Should a state combine the Tangible and Intangible powers?

Answer: Read: I and II

Session Summary
The tangible sources of power of a state are those physical elements the state should
possess in order to have power in international system. While the intangible sources,
are from the political and diplomatic actions of the state.

Self Assessment Question
Discuss the tangible and intangible source of power

Answer to Self Assessment Question
Tangible Source of Power
a. Geography: Geographic size and position are the natural sources of power
recognised by international relations theorists. A large geographic expanse gives a
state automatic power; large states like Russia, China, and USA are good
examples. In the late 1890s, the naval officer and Historian Alfred Mahan wrote on
the importance of controlling the sea. He argues that, the state that controls the
ocean route controls the world. But to Mackinder, the state that has the most power
is the one that controlled the Asian geographic “heartland”. Both views are valid.

44

British power in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were determined largely
by its dominance on the seas; a power that allowed Britain to colonise distant
places. Geographic position has also proven to be a significant source of power
potential. Germany has acted to secure its power through its control of the
hardbound of Eurasia. When we speak of geography, we are also referring to
natural resources. Controlling a large geographic expanse is not a positive
ingredient of power unless it contains natural resources. Petroleum exporting states
like Kuwait and Qatar are small but have a crucial natural resource, have greater
power potential, than their sizes would suggest.

b: Economic Might
States use more than words to exercise power; states may use economic might to
try to influence other states.
A state’s ability to use economic might depend on its power potential. Clearly,
only economically well-endowed countries can grant licenses, offer investment
guarantees, grant preferences to specific countries, house foreign assets, or boycott
effectively. Economy as an instrument can be used to achieve any foreign policy
objective, by exploiting need and dependency and offering economic rewards by
threatening or imposing economic sanctions.

Intangible sources of power: National Image, public support and leadership are
important sources of power.
People within states have images of their own states’ power potential; images that
translate into an intangible power ingredient. For instance, Canadians have
typically viewed themselves as internationally responsible and eager to participate
in multilateral peacekeeping missions, to provide generous foreign aid packages,

45

and to respond unselfishly to international emergencies. The state helped to shape
that image, making Canada a more powerful actor than its small population would
otherwise dictate.

The extent, to which a country now acquires the image of power, depends on the
perceptions of other member nations in the international system. China’s power
was magnified during the leadership of Mao Zedong (1893 – 1976), when it
appeared to have unprecedented public support for the communist leadership and a
high degree of societal cohesion. When that public support is absent, particularly in
democracies, the power potential of the state is diminished.

Leadership is also an important source of intangible power. Visionaries and
charismatic leaders such as France’s Charles de Gaulle, the United States’ Franklin
Roosevelt, were able to augment the power potential of their states by taking bold
initiatives. Poor leaders, those who squander public resources and debase the
public trust, such as Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko, diminish the state’s power
capability and its capacity to exert power over the long term.

References/Further Reading
Adeniran, T. (1983) Introduction to International Relations. Lagos: MacMillan.
Khanna, V.N., (2004), International Relations. New Delhi: Vicars Publishing
House.

46

9.2 MODULE 2

Introduction
This module will introduce you to another dimension of international relations,
which is war and international law. It is interesting to know why states go to war,
despite the existence of international law regulating relationship among states.

Objective
The objective of this module is to acquaint you with some basic knowledge on the
concept of war and international law.

47

9.2.2.1 STUDY SESSION 4
War and the Causes of War
Section and Subsection Headings:
Introduction
Learning outcomes
Main Content
A: War definition
B: Types of war
C: Causes of war
Conclusion
Summary
Self-assessment questions and Answers
References/Further Readings

Introduction
This session introduces you to the concept of war and it constituent characteristics.
Also, the major theoretical underpinning of the concept of war would be
highlighted.

Study Session Outcome
At the end of this session, you should be able to;
1. know the meaning of war and all its characteristics.
2. also know the major theoretical underpinnings of the concept of war.

48

A. War Definition
War is one of the most important phenomena in international relations; war can be
defined as an organised killing of other human beings.

Karl Von Clausewitz defines it as ‘the continuation of policy by other means’. War
is characterised by military activity, high social and political tension, and a
breakdown of normal relations. Some of the purposes of war could end in uplifting
a people and righting the wrongs of the past, while creating a new social order that
would enable people involved live happily. Some of the purposes distort social
order and bring disaster.

B Types of War
International Relations scholars have developed numerous classification schemes
to categorise wars. These include general war, limited war, civil war, asymmetric
warfare and terrorism.

In-text Question
1. What are the different types of war?

Answer
1. General War
2. Civil War
3. Limited War
4. Terrorism
5. Asymmetric Warfare

I. General War:
It involves many participants and multiple major powers, it is a war to conquer and
occupy an enemy territory. To achieve these goals, decision-makers utilise all
available weapons and target both civilian and military sites. The thirty years war

49

(1618-48) was the longest general war ever, and it involved numerous great powers
(Britain, France, Hapsburgs, Austria, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden) and resulted in
over 2 million battle field deaths. World
War 1 and World War II were critical
turning points in making general war a
policy option. Over the years, general war
has become less frequent, the number of
countries participating in such wars has
fallen, and the length of time such wars last has shortened. The destructiveness of
the last two general wars and the massive loss of life have led to the decline of
general war as an option.

II. Limited War
Wars can be classified as limited wars on the basis of goals pursued, the type of
weapons used, and the targets. The Korean war, the Vietnam war, the 1991 Gulf
war, the 2003 Iraqi war are examples of wars fought in limited ways from the
perspective of the USA. In each case, the USA told its allies that the enemy was to
be defeated in a specified territory. With the decline of general wars, wars have
become more limited and more geographically concentrated in developing
countries.

III. Civil War
Guerilla warfare and insurgency: It is a war between factions within a state over
control of territory or establishment of a government. The number of civil wars is
more frequent and has risen. The African continent provides numerous examples
of civil wars. For instance, the Nigerian civil war 1967 – 70, and the civil war that
erupted in Cote d’ivoire in 2002.

50

IV. Asymmetric Warfare
It is a warfare conducted between parties of unequal strength, in which the weaker
party seeks to recentralise its opponent’s strengths including its technological
superiority by exploiting the opponent’s weaknesses. It can involve the
employment of guerrilla warfare against a superior force. Tactics used by the
Algerians against the French in the 1950’s. And it may include terrorist attacks
against an adversary’s population, such as those that al-Qaeda carried out against
US embassies in Africa in 1998.

V. Terrorism
Is a kind of asymmetric warfare that has increasingly become a major international
security threat. Terrorism involves four major elements (1) premeditation, the
decision by a perpetrator to commit an act to install terror in others. (2)
Motivation, whether it be political, religious or economic. (3) Targets, usually
noncombatants, such as political figures, bureaucrats, and (4) Secretiveness, the
perpetrators belong to clandestine groups or are secretly sponsored by states.
In-text Question:
1. What is the current warfare method used by insurgent groups?

Answer:
1. Read: sub-section V

C. Causes of War
The causes of war are many and complex, many scholars see the causes of war in
the personal characteristics of major leaders, and others see the causes of war in the
internal structure of the state.

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I: Realist and Liberal Interpretation:
Scholars like Thomas Hobbes see the innate nature of man to dominate others as
the major cause of war. To psychologists, since human beings are social animals
they are bound to behave like animals and that leads to aggression. Both the
characteristics of individual leaders and the general attributes of people have been
blamed for war. Leaders are aggressive; they use their leadership position to
further their causes. Thus, according to realists and liberals, war occurs because of
the personal characteristics of major leaders. Misperceptions by leaders seeing
aggressiveness where it may not be intended, may lead to the outbreak of war; for
instance, exaggerating the hostility of the adversary.

In some instances, the characteristics of the masses lead to the outbreak of war. St
Augustine for example wrote that every act is an act of self- preservation on the
part of individuals, yet, these views do not explain why some human beings do
engage in cooperative behaviour; war does not happen all the time, it is an unusual
event. So, characteristics inherent in all individuals cannot be the only causes of
war.

II: State and society: liberal and radical explanation.
This level of explanation suggests that war occurs because of the internal structures
of states. States vary in size, geography, ethnic homogeneity, and economic and
political preferences. Plato for example; posits that war is less likely, where the
population is cohesive and enjoys prosperity. Many scholars including Kant
believe that war was more likely in aristocratic states.

Liberals, drawing on the Kantian position, posit that republican regimes, the ones
with representative governments and separation of power, are least likely to wage

52

war. That is the basic position of the theory of democratic peace. Liberals hold that
some types of economic systems are more war prone than others. Liberal states are
also more apt to be capitalist states whose members enjoy relative wealth; such
societies feel no need to divert the attention of the dissatisfied masses to an
external conflict. The wealthy masses are largely satisfied with the status quo. War
is also caused by the changing distribution of power among states that occur
because of uneven rates of economic development.

There were approximately 14, 800 armed struggles throughout history, with 3.8
billion people dying either as a direct or indirect result of wars. Kenneth Waltz in
Man, the state and war, explains the characteristics of individuals, both leaders and
masses, internal structure of states as some of the factors that operate within the
limitations of the international system.

Session Summary
The causes of war are multiple. But, the ones pointed out by scholars like, Emmanuel
Kant and Kenneth Waltz are:
1 – the characteristics of major leaders,
2 – the internal structures of the state.
War can be caused also, by the changing distribution of power among states.

53

Self Assessment Question
Define the concept of war.

Answer to Self Assessment Question
War is one of the most important phenomena in international relations; war can be
defined as an organised killing of other human beings.
Karl Von Clausewitz defines it as ‘the continuation of policy by other means’. War
is characterised by military activity, high social and political tension, and a
breakdown of normal relations.

Reference/Further Reading
Karen A. Mingst (2004) Essentials of International Relations. London: WW.
Norton ; Company.

54

9.2.2.2 STUDY SESSION 5
International Law
Section and Subsection Headings
Introduction
Learning outcomes
Main Content
A: Definition of international law
B: Sources of international law
C: Enforcement of international law
Summary
Self-assessment questions and Answers
References/Further Readings

Introduction
This session introduces you to the field of international law, which is a sub-section of
international relations. International law gained its currency from the customary
behaviours of states in their dealings, before the creation of the modern state system
in 1648. These customary behaviours were codified together with new conventions
and agreements, into international laws governing relationship among states and non-
states actors.

Study Session Outcomes
At the end of this session, you should be able to:
1. define international law and its sources.
2. understand the process of the implementation of international law.

55

In-text Question: What are the functions of International Law?

Answer: International law is designed to:
– Minimise friction between states.
– Stabilise behaviour of states.
– Facilitate co-operation.
– Protect individuals.
– Settle disputes.
– Serve as a tool for public relations.

A. Definition and Functions of International Law
Law includes norms of permissible and impermissible behaviour. It sets a body of
expectations, provides order, protects the status quo, and legitimates the use of
force by government to maintain order. It provides a mechanism for settling
disputes and protecting states from each other.

International law came into being in its real sense in 1815 at Vienna in Austria,
when questions on the status of diplomats were formalised, in giving diplomats
some kind of immunities against arrest.

The early works of Hugo Grotius (1604 – 1625), Emerish de Vattel (1758),
contributed to the emergence of various “schools” of international law, which led
to understanding the conduct of inter-state relations. They first distinguished
international from municipal law, modified the notion that the law of nature was
also applicable to states and they improved on the positivist theories that saw true
law in customs and treaties alone.

56

International law is the body of rules and principles of action binding sovereign
political units, especially the modern nation – states in their relations with one
another; it is the law of nations.

States are the main actors in international relations; they are then the subjects of
international law. All independent, sovereign and autonomous states are seen as
equal before the international law. These sovereignties are recognised, their
governments’ constitutional laws are respected and their rights honoured.
International law itself came about by the joint effort of the independent states on
their own free will to establish systems of law, in order to regulate the conduct of
relations among themselves with a view to achieving common goals.

International law is designed to:
– Minimise friction between, states
– Stabilise behaviour of states
– Facilitate co-operation
– Protect individuals
– Settle disputes
– Serve as a tool for public relations.

At the state level, law is hierarchical, structure exists for making law (legislature
and executive) and enforcing law (executive and judiciary), within the state
individuals and group are bound by law. Because of the consensus within the state,
there is a compliance with the law. If the law is violated, state authorities can
compel violators to judgment and use the instrument of state authority to punish
the wrong doers.

57

In the international system, authoritative structures are absent: no international
executive, no international legislator and no international judiciary with
compulsory jurisdiction. For the realist that is the fundamental point: the state of
anarchy. For the Liberals; international law is very significant in the relations
between states and has an effect on daily life.

Louis Henkin explains the significance of this law; “If one doubts the significance
of this law, one need only imagine a world in which it were absent …. There
would be no security of nations or stability of governments; territory and airspace
would not be respected, vessels would navigate only at their constant peril;
property – within or without any given territory – would be subject to arbitrary
seizure. Person would have no protection of law or diplomacy agreements would
not be made or observed, diplomatic relations would end, international trade would
cease; international organisations and arrangements would disappear”.
In-text Question: What is the relevance of international law?

In-text Answer:
Louis Henkin explains the significance of this law; “If one doubts the significance of this law,
one need only imagine a world in which it were absent …. There would be no security of nations
or stability of governments; territory and airspace would not be respected, vessels would
navigate only at their constant peril; property – within or without any given territory – would be
subject to arbitrary seizure. Person would have no protection of law or diplomacy agreements
would not be made or observed, diplomatic relations would end; international trade would cease;
international organisations and arrangements would disappear”.

58

B. Sources of International Law
International law like domestic law comes from a variety of sources. Virtually all
law emerges from custom. A group of states solves a problem in a particular way,
these habits become ingrained as more states follow the same custom, and
eventually the custom is codified into law. For instance Great Britain and later the
United States were primarily responsible for developing the law of the sea. As sea
faring powers, each adopted practices; rights of passage through straits methods of
signaling other ships conduct, during war were codified into law.

But customary law is limited. It develops slowly; British naval custom evolved into
the law of the sea over several hundred years. Furthermore; not all states
participate in the making of customary law. And the fact that customary law is
initially non codified leads to ambiguity in interpretation.

I. Treaties: Article 38(1a) of the statute states that; International agreements are
sources of international law. Treaties are the primary source of international law. A
primary advantage of treaties is that they codify, or write down the law;
agreements between states are binding according to the doctrine of pactasunt
servanda (treaties are to be served/ carried out). All treaties are binding on those
countries that are party to them (have signed and ratified or otherwise given their
legal consent). Moreover, some treaties are also applicable to non-signatories.
Multilateral treaties, those signed by more than two states, are an increasingly
important source of international law. The 1948 convention on the prevention and
punishment of the crime of genocide, for example, has been ratified by most states.

59

II: General Principles of Law: General principles as sources of international law,
is contained in article 38(I c) of the statute: “General Principles of law” recognised
by civilised nations. Although such language is vague, it has its benefits. It
encompasses “external” sources of law, such as the idea that freedom of religion
and freedom from attack are among the inherent rights of people. Other examples
of general principles are equity and reparation for breaches. Many of these are
principles found in all private legal systems.

III: Judicial decisions and scholarly writing: Judicial decisions and the
teachings of publicists are subsidiary sources of international law, as compared to
the other three sources. Article 59 of the international court of justice statute says
that judicial decisions by the international court of justice, are binding only on
parties. However, the very fact that there are cases which are adjudicated before
the International Court of Justice and decisions which states agree to abide by,
gives international court of justice more weight, than it would otherwise have.
Moreover, the practice of looking at judicial precedents is an old one which exists
in most legal systems.

Legal scholars known as publicists are a source which is used both by international
adjudicators and by national adjudicators.

IV: Courts are also sources of international law. Although the International Court
of Justice (ICJ), with its 15 judges located in The Hague, has been responsible for
some significant decisions, the ICJ is basically a weak institution; first, the court
hears very few cases, but since the end of the cold war its case load has increased.

60

Since the small country of Nicaragua won a judicial victory over the USA in 1984,
developing countries have shown trust in the court. However the court’s non-
compulsory jurisdiction provision still limits its case load. No state is compelled to
submit to the ICJ.

C. Enforcement of International Law
One of the most important trends in the post-cold war era has been the expansion
of the international judiciary, motivated by the idea of individual responsibility for
war crimes and crimes against humanity.

With weak authoritative structures at the International Court of Justice and the
International Crime Court, states (parties) must agree before a case is taken. For
instance; no state is also compelled to judgment. No state is compelled to submit to
the ICJ. The question is therefore; why do most states obey international law most
of the time? The liberal response is that states obey international law because, it is
right to do so. States want to do what is right and moral, and international law
reflects what is right. States want to be looked on positively, according to liberal
thinking.

They want to be respected by world public opinion, and they fear being labeled as
pariahs and losing face and prestige in the international system.

When states choose not to obey international law; other members of the
international system do have recourse. Realists rely on self-help mechanisms:
– Issue diplomatic protests.

61

– Initiate reprisal actions that are relatively short in duration and intended to
right a previous wrong.
– Threaten to enforce economic boycotts or impose embargoes on both
economic and military goods if trading partners are involved.
– Use military force, the ultimate self-help weapon.

But liberals contend that self-help mechanisms alone are ineffective. In most cases
for the enforcement mechanism to be effective, several states have to participate.
States have to join together in collective action against the violator of international
norms and law.

Realists on their side are skeptical about international law; to them states choose to
comply with the norms not because the norms are good and just in themselves to
comply. States benefit from living in an ordered world, where there are some
expectations about other states behaviour.

A constant fear of infringement on territory and insecurity for their population is
costly for states. It is in the self-interest of most states to have their vessels free to
navigate international waters, and to enjoy the secure procedures of diplomatic
relations and international trade. Such is the rational of international law according
to the realists.

Session Summary
The implementation of international law is a very cumbersome exercise because
there is no higher authority to compel states. States obey international law because
they want to do what is right and moral. When states choose not to obey international

62

law, other members of the international system initiate reprisal actions against them.

Self-Assessment question
1. State and discuss the various sources of international law.

Answer
I. Treaties: Article 38(1a) of the statute states that international agreements are
sources of international law. Treaties are the primary source of international law. A
primary advantage of treaties is that they codify, or write down the law;
agreements between states are binding according to the doctrine of
pactasuntservanda (treaties are to be served/carried out). All treaties are binding on
those countries that are party to them (have signed and ratified or otherwise given
their legal consent). Moreover, some treaties are also applicable to non-signatories.
Multilateral treaties, those signed by more than two states, are an increasingly
important source of international law. The 1948 convention on the prevention and
punishment of the crime of genocide, for example, has been ratified by most states.

II: General Principles of Law: General principles as sources of international law,
is contained in article 38(I c) of the statute: “General Principles of law” recognised
by civilised nations. Although such language is vague it has its benefits. It
encompasses “external” sources of law, such as the idea that freedom of religion
and freedom from attack are among the inherent rights of people. Other examples
of general principles are equity and reparation for breaches. Many of these are
principles found in all private legal systems.

III: Judicial decisions and scholarly writing: Judicial decisions and the

63

teachings of publicists are subsidiary sources of international law, as compared to
the other three sources. Article 59 of the international court of justice statute says
that, judicial decisions by the international court of justice are binding only on
parties. However, the very fact that there are cases which are adjudicated before
the International Court of Justice and decisions which states agree to abide by,
gives international court of justice more weight than it would otherwise have.
Moreover, the practice of looking at judicial precedents is an old one which exists
in most legal systems.

Legal scholars known as publicists are a source which is used both by international
adjudicators and by national adjudicators.

IV: Courts are also sources of international law. Although the International Court
of Justice (ICJ), with its 15 judges located in The Hague, has been responsible for
some significant decisions, the ICJ is basically a weak institution; first, the court
hears very few cases, but since the end of the cold war its case load has increased.
Since the small country of Nicaragua won a judicial victory over the USA in 1984,
developing countries have shown trust in the court. However the court’s non-
compulsory jurisdiction provision still limits its case load. No state is compelled to
submit to the ICJ.

Reference/Further Reading
Adeniran, Tunde (1983) Introduction to International Relations. Lagos:
MacMillan.

64

9.3 MODULE 3
Diplomacy
Introduction
Diplomacy is an important aspect of international relations. The Ministry of
Foreign Affairs of each country is in charge of the implementation of its foreign
policy. International law has regulated diplomatic practices during the Vienna
Convention in 1961. This has enabled states to train professional diplomats.

9.3.1 Objectives: The objective of this module is to introduce you to a very
important aspect of international relations. That is Diplomacy.

65

9.3.2 STUDY SESSIONS
9.3.2.1 STUDY SESSION 6: Diplomacy
Section and Subsection Headings
Introduction
Learning outcomes
Main Content
A: Definition and origin of diplomacy
B: Types of Diplomacy
C: Task of diplomacy and diplomats
D: Diplomatic immunity and privileges
Summary
Self-assessment questions and Answers
References/Further Readings

Introduction
The session introduces you to the meaning and origin of Diplomacy as an important
aspect of International Relations.

Study Session Outcomes
At the end of this session, you should be able to:
1. Know the meaning and origin of Diplomacy.
2. The different types of diplomacy.

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A. Definition and brief Origin of Diplomacy
Diplomacy is concerned with management of relations between states and other
actors. Diplomacy has been defined as the management of international relations
by negotiation. Sir Harold Nicolson sees diplomacy as the process and machinery
through which negotiation is carried out between states. Managed by ambassadors
and envoys, diplomacy is also the business or the art of diplomats.

The origin of diplomacy can be traced to the 15th century with the Italian city
states. Kingdoms led by princes sent envoys to represent them in various
Kingdoms. The congress of Vienna established grades of diplomatic offices, in
1815 and later in 1961 rules were laid down for correct diplomatic behaviour and
immunity.

In 1648, the Westphalia creation of modern states, started the process of permanent
envoys and ambassadors. In the present international system about 194 sovereign
states are politically, economically interdependent, and this means that any major
domestic or foreign policy in one will have repercussions on the interest of many
others. Diplomacy should sense and overcome misperceptions that arise from
differing cultural viewpoints.

B. Types of Diplomacy
I. Permanent traditional diplomacy
This is where a traditional permanent structure is usually used in diplomatic
discussions. That is, all diplomatic discussions must involve the states’ ministries
of external affairs, through their ministers, their ambassadors and their diplomats.
The head of government would normally allow the external affairs minister make

67

all the pronouncements, on behalf of the state and whenever the Head of
Government wants to make such pronouncements, the minister and the legislature
must also have an input.

In cases of change of government, this
structure is not altered, although the
personnel may change such as the ministers
and ambassadors sometimes. No matter
how radical or revolutionary a regime may
be, it cannot afford to change this structure
all the time.

Ii. Permanent conference diplomacy
Here diplomatic discussions are carried out through various conferences.
Particularly over issues that go beyond the power of individual state organisations
such as; the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), AU
(African Union), UN (United Nations), Non-aligned Movement (NAM), European
Union (EU), the Commonwealth, Arab league, WTO (World Trade Organisations),
etc. They hold annual summits and extra-ordinary summits on general or specific
issues, concerning world conflict and peace. Thus, before ECOWAS launched
ECOMOG (Economic Monitoring Group), it met, discussed and approved military
monitoring action on Liberia, to curtail conflict and promote harmony in the war
torn area.

The AU annual summits normally highlight African problems with possible
solutions. With one voice they call on the international community to resolve crisis

68

on economic matters. Within the OAU/AU there was the committee on Southern
Africa Liberation and Apartheid.

There is also a mediation and reconciliation committee, with peacekeeping
missions. One problem with the AU however, is the inability of its leaders to put
weight behind agreed actions. This was the reason why it failed in its peacekeeping
mission in Chad, where Nigeria was abandoned to carry the burden.

Iii. Parliamentary conference diplomacy
Each state constitution recognises the importance of establishing committees on
foreign affairs. They normally debate foreign affairs issues and pass them on to the
whole house for general debate. As it is normal, parliament must ratify treaties
signed by the Head of Government. The inability of Nigeria’s Supreme Military
Council to ratify the ceding of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroun by Gowon, is
the cause of the present problem between Nigeria and Cameroun at the Bakassi
Peninsula.

Iv. Personal diplomacy
This is a diplomatic style where the Head of State or the Foreign Affairs Minister,
dumps the permanent traditional structures for personal initiative. This entails
diplomatic shuttles, travelling from one country to another, for image laundering
and other matters. Although the journeys are usually in the company of staff of the
relevant ministries, the promises by the envoy are made out of his own volition.

General Yakubu Gowon, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Mohammed Buhari are the
best examples in Nigeria. During one of the diplomatic shuttles, Gowon promised
to pay the salaries of Grenada civil servants for six months. The danger in this type

69

of diplomacy is that, the environment he visits easily influences a weak leader. But
for strong leaders it is difficult. This was why the expectations of the Nigerian
government were high that, Margaret Thatcher’s visit to Nigeria may influence her
thinking over apartheid in South Africa. However, Nigeria miscalculated, because
Britain believes in following the traditional policy-making process.

In-text Questions:
What are the four types of Diplomacy?

Answer:
Conference Diplomacy
Personal Diplomacy
Permanent Conference Diplomacy
Permanent Traditional Diplomacy

V. Ad Hoc conference diplomacy
This is a temporary diplomatic format set up by states or organisations for specific
purposes, and it terminates after the purpose might have been achieved, e.g. the
OAU’s Apartheid Committee. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was one time co-
chairman, Eminent Persons Group on South Africa, etc. As soon as apartheid was
crushed in 1994, the ad hoc committees were disbanded.

VI. Economic diplomacy
This connotes the means by which government influences and controls certain
productive arms of government, in concert with the private sector interest in the
economies of other countries for her domestic benefit, which are economic and
political. The concept dates back to 1980 when the policy of technical assistance
was in vogue, with the objective of promoting export markets. There is offensive
economic diplomacy where a country in pursuit of its international relations, with
its buoyant economy is not only ready to change the course of events and

70

situations, but also has the capability to strike first at any instance when its national
economic interest is at stake.

This may entail the extension or denial of financial benefits, petroleum products,
food supplies, the granting or denial or withdrawal of trade concessions, the
establishment or disinvestments of foreign investment etc.
Nigeria for example, nationalised BP assets in Shell PLC on August 2, 1979 over
Zimbabwe’s independence. The Arab states oil embargo of 1973 was to pressurise
the western world. The Monroe Doctrine, Marshal economic plan and Brezhnev
doctrine etc. are such other examples. There is also the Defensive Economic
Diplomacy, where a country that is exploited and objectified, reacts violently at its
opponents and tries to force them out rather than succumb to servitude.
A country may want to be a master to self. For example, Japan, China, Cuba,
Nicaragua, etc., put up such struggles to sustain their sovereignty. There is also the
need to restructure the existing international economic order. Nigeria’s economic
diplomacy started in 1988 on the heels of the economic crisis and the Structural
Adjustment Programme (SAP). The emphases were:
a) Attraction of foreign investment;
b) Aggressive promotion; and
c) Debt management.

C. Tasks of Diplomacy and Diplomats
National Diplomats serve as communication links between their country and the
rest of the world. Traditionally, diplomacy has focused on the national interest.
Writing in the 1400s, Venetian Ambassador Ermolao Barbaro asserted that ‘the
first duty of an ambassador is to do, say, advise and think whatever may best serve
the preservation and aggrandisement of his own state’.

71

Whether it is conducted with honour or deceit, diplomacy is carried on by officials
with a variety of titles such as President, Prime Minister, Ambassador, or Special
Envoy, and it is worthwhile to explore the roles that these officials and other
diplomats play in promoting the national interest.

I. Tasks of diplomacy
1. Diplomacy must determine its objectives in the light of power actually and
potentially available for the pursuit of foreign policy objectives.
2. Diplomacy must assess the objectives of other nations and the power
actually and potentially available for the pursuit of their foreign policy
objectives.
3. Diplomacy must determine to what extent these different or various
objectives are compatible with each other.
4. Diplomacy must employ means suited to the pursuit of its objectives. Failure
of any will jeopardise the success of foreign policy.

II. Observer and Reporter
Reports are the raw material of foreign policy. A primary diplomatic role has
always been to gather information and impressions and to analyse and report these
back to the home office. Major subjects of these reports are legislative
programmes, public opinion, market conditions, trade statistics, finance,
production, agriculture, mining … etc. Many embassies contain also a contingent
of intelligence officers who are technically attached to the diplomatic service but
who are in reality part of their country’s intelligence service.

72

III. Negotiator: Negotiation is per excellence the pursuit of agreement by
compromise and direct personal contact. Diplomats are by definition negotiators.
Negotiation is a combination of art and technical skill, that attempts to find a
common ground between two or more divergent position meetings between
national leaders, the vast bulk of negotiating is done by ambassadors and other
such personnel.
In-text Questions:
What are the three tasks of diplomacy?

In-text Answer:
1. Diplomacy must determine its objectives in the light of power actually and potentially
available, for the pursuit of foreign policy objectives.
2. Diplomacy must assess the objectives of other nations and the power actually and
potentially available, for the pursuit of their foreign policy objectives.
3. Diplomacy must determine to what extent these different or various objectives are
compatible with each other.

IV. Substantive and symbolic representative
Substantive representation includes explaining and defending the policies of the
diplomat’s country. Misperception is dangerous in world politics, and the role that
diplomats play in explaining their countries actions and statements to friends and
foes alike is vital to accurate communications. Diplomats represent their countries
and that country is judged according to the personal impression he makes. This is
why for instance; ambassadors who have historical ties with the country to which
they are accredited are apt to be received enthusiastically, enhancing the image of
their country.

V. Protection of nationals This function involves protecting the lives and
promoting the interests of nationals residing and travelling abroad. It is a routine

73

task, nationals have to be protected or evacuated if necessary. Nationals must be
represented by legal counsel. Diplomats are to protect the interest of their citizens,
when on foreign soil by providing advice and making overall policies.

Another important function of a diplomat is to provide advice to those who
formulate goals and plans of action and occasionally, they make important policy
decisions themselves. Diplomats serve as policy makers in a sense because they
provide a large portion of the information upon which policy is based.

The acceptance of the decisions of diplomats depends upon the fact that he enjoys
political prestige, among the top policy experts in the home country. If the
diplomat has a reputation of reliability, initiative and resourcefulness and refrains
from attempting to sabotage official policy in his execution, he may be called upon
frequently to make policy recommendations.

D. Diplomats and their Conducts
There are three rules concerning protocol, immunities and non-interference
developed in world international law. The diplomat who has served for the longest
period in a foreign capital is called doyen or dean of diplomatic corps; and at
ceremonies precedes other ambassadors. Ambassador or High Commissioner is the
head of the embassy. Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary is an honorific
title. He is a representative of his head of state abroad.

74

I. Charge d’ affaires
There is a charge d’ affaires, when there is no ambassador. A charge d’ affaires is
either a first secretary or a counselor or minister. He is appointed for a particular
mission at a particular time. Unlike the Ambassador, he does not represent his head
of state.

II. Military attaché, Naval attaché, Air Attaché
This class of diplomats started in the 19th century, when we started having military
regimes in developing countries; this diplomat is in charge of observing industrial
economic, scientific and political development in the host country.

Other diplomatic personnel appointment is done through simple notification. Some
countries can refuse to accept a category of diplomats.

III. Non-interference Diplomats are not allowed to interfere in the internal
political processes of the host countries. But they may defend their own
government policies to the foreign public, by addressing private groups, but not to
ask people to put pressures on their own government.

E. Privileges and Immunities of Diplomats
Certain privileges and immunities are extended to diplomats that are not granted to
private citizens. The reasons for this special status are:
1. Diplomats are personal representatives of their heads of state and also in
effect, if not in form of their governments and hence of the people of their
own countries.

75

2. In order to carry out their duties satisfactorily, they must be free of certain
restrictions which local laws would otherwise impose, their immunities
entail exemption from direct taxes and customs duties, exemption from civil
and criminal jurisdiction of the countries to which they are accredited and
form the laws of foreign states. They themselves, their families and the
member of their staff are personally inviolable. Embassies and legations,
with all furniture and their archives are regarded as part of the national
territory of the state, which the diplomats represent and are thereby immune
from molestation by officials of the state or local governmental units, in
which the properties are located.

3. Legal immunity that ensures that diplomats are given safe passage and are
not considered susceptible to law suit or prosecution under the host
country’s laws.

Session Summary
Diplomacy has been in existence since the 16th century. It has been an important tool
used by states to conduct their inter-states relations. The Congress of Vienna of 1961
established diplomatic rules and regulations, to be followed by all sovereign states to
ease relations among them. Different types of diplomatic process are in place. Each
process is meant to address a particular issue. Diplomats are well protected in
discharging their duties.

Self Assessment Question:
List the 3 types of diplomacy and explain their characteristics.

76

Answer to Self Assessment Question:
I: Permanent Traditional Diplomacy
This is where a traditional permanent structure is usually used in diplomatic
discussions. That is, all diplomatic discussions must involve the states’ ministries
of external affairs, through their ministers, their ambassadors and their diplomats.
The head of government would normally allow the external affairs minister make
all the pronouncements, on behalf of the state and whenever the Head of
Government wants to make such pronouncements, the minister and the legislature
must also have an input.

In cases of change of government, this structure is not altered, although the
personnel may change such as the ministers and ambassadors sometimes. No
matter how radical or revolutionary a regime may be, it cannot afford to change
this structure all the time.

II: Permanent Conference Diplomacy
Here diplomatic discussions are carried out through various conferences.
Particularly over issues that go beyond the power of individual state,9
organisations such as the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African
States), AU (African Union), UN (United Nations), Non-aligned Movement
(NAM), European Union (EU), the Commonwealth, Arab league, WTO (World
Trade Organisations), etc. They hold annual summits and extra-ordinary summits
on general or specific issues concerning world conflict and peace. Thus, before
ECOWAS launched ECOMOG (Economic Monitoring Group), it met, discussed
and approved military monitoring action on Liberia to curtail conflict and promote
harmony in the war torn area.

77

The AU annual summits normally highlight African problems with possible
solutions. With one voice they call on the international community to resolve crisis
on economic matters. Within the OAU/AU there was the committee on Southern
Africa Liberation and Apartheid.

There is also a mediation and reconciliation committee, with peacekeeping
missions. One problem with the AU however, is the inability of its leaders to put
weight behind agreed actions. This was the reason why it failed in its peacekeeping
mission in Chad, where Nigeria was abandoned to carry the burden.

III: Parliamentary Conference Diplomacy
Each state constitution recognises the importance of establishing committees on
foreign affairs. They normally debate foreign affairs issues and pass them on to the
whole house for general debate. As it is normal, parliament must ratify treaties
signed by the Head of Government. The inability of Nigeria’s Supreme Military
Council to ratify the ceding of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroun by Gowon, is
the cause of the present problem between Nigeria and Cameroun at the Bakassi
Peninsula.

Reference/Further Reading
Palmer, Perkins (2007) International Relations. A.I.T.B.S. New Delhi: Vicars
Publishers.

78

9.3.2.2 STUDY SESSION 7
International Organisations
Section and Subsection Headings
Introduction
Learning outcomes
Main Content
A: Types of international organisations
B: The United Nations organisation
Summary
Self-assessment questions and Answers
References/Further Readings

Introduction
The end of the Second World War saw the proliferation of international organisations
in all the continents. From world organisation like the United Nations to continental
organisations like the European Union, African Union etc., international system
shifted from bilateral diplomacy to multilateral diplomacy. International
organisations became the most preferred forums for international negotiations.

Study Session Outcomes
At the end of this session, you should be able to:
1. Define International Organisations and their functions in the international
system.
2. Define and know the importance of non-governmental organisations.

79

A. International Organisations
International organisations are important actors in international relations. They
constitute a major theme in the study of International Relations. An understanding
of the way they operate in international system is, therefore, as important as the
study of any aspect of international relations itself.

B. Types of International Organisations
I. International Organisations
They are increasingly involved in the crucial issues of world politics. These actors
affect the possibilities and probabilities of state actions. They facilitate agreements
among two or more sovereign states, for the conduct of regular political
interactions. They function on a permanent basis and regular meetings. One type of
International Organisation is the intergovernmental organisation (IGOs).

II. Inter-governmental Organisations
IGOs are composed of states. The total number of IGOs has more than tripled from
1945 to 1985; by 1997 however, their number had declined from 378 to 258. (They
shift a post-world war II high of 378). IGOs are created by states, and the
individuals who are sent as delegates to such organisations represent the interests
and policies of their home governments. Meanwhile, the organisation employs
permanent staff at a permanent home base, consisting of individuals whose
primary loyalty is to the organisation itself.

IGOs can be categorised according to the scope of their membership and the scope
of their purposes; there are universal political organisations such as the old League
of Nations and the United Nations, which has as part of its aims to include a wide

80

international membership. Such organisations also are general-purpose
organisations, that is to say they perform political, economic, developmental,
military, socio-cultural, and other functions for member states.

Other general-purpose organisations have restricted memberships, e.g. the
Organisations of American States (AOS), the
African Union (AU). Generally, the limited
purpose organisations are regionally based but in
some cases, they are not; for instance the
Commonwealth of Nations is not regional, its
membership is spread across the globe but is
limited to the former colonies of the British
Empire like Nigeria. The G8 is for the most
advanced industrialised states in the world.

A greater number of IGOs serve limited purposes, and are usually called
“functional IGOs”, because they perform specific functions on behalf of member
states. The IGOs connected to the UN often aim for universal membership and
provide services. For instance; the World Health Organisation (WHO), the
International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
and the World Bank (they are involved in monetary matters for economic
development). Many other functional IGO’s have restricted membership. Some
such as NATO serve primarily military functions, others are concerned with
economic matters, examples are the various organisations of the EU, and
organisation like the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asia Nation).

81

In-text Question:
What is the function of IGOs?

In-text Answer:
IGOs can be categorised according to the scope of their membership and the scope of their
purposes; there are universal political organisations such as the old league of Nations and the
United Nations which has as part of its aims to include a wide international membership. Such
organisations also are general-purpose organisations, that is to say they perform political,
economic, developmental, military, socio-cultural, and other functions for member states. Other
general-purpose organisations have restricted memberships, e.g. the Organisations of American
States (AOS), the African Union (AU). Generally, the limited purpose organisations are
regionally based but in some cases, they are not; for instance; the Commonwealth of Nations is
not regional, its membership is spread across the globe but is limited to the former colonies of
the British Empire like Nigeria. The G8 is for the most advanced industrialised states in the
world.

A greater number of IGOs serve limited purposes, and are usually called “functional IGOs”,
because they perform specific functions on behalf of member states. The IGOs connected to the
UN often aim for universal membership and provide services. For instance; the World Health
Organisation (WHO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (they are involved in monetary matters for economic
development). Many other functional IGO’s have restricted membership. Some such as NATO
serve primarily military functions, others are concerned with economic matters, examples are the
various organisations of the EU, and organisation like the ASEAN (Association of Southeast
Asia Nation).

III. IGOs as International Actors
The IGOs have a significant and continuing impact on interstate relations. The
International role of many IGOs is that, the states expect them to act in certain
area. The state for instance expect the UN to act in Areas of conflict (among its
objective, peaceful resolution of conflict) as it did in 1990, to the aid of Kuwait
after the Iraq invasion. When states have economic problems they look
automatically at the World Bank or IMF for aid. Developing countries associate
with IGOs to help their economic performance.

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IGOs continually affect the foreign policy behaviour of their members to the extent
that member states join the organisation and value the continuation of membership.

IV. Non-governmental Organisations
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are private international actors. NGOs
are organisations that cut across national boundaries, they are (transnational) and
are made up of industries or national groups (they are not official representatives of
National Governments) the NGOs exist “below” the level of the state. There are
professional organisations, religious bodies, sport organisations, trade union
groups, and political parties; their membership may be composed either directly or
indirectly (e.g. International Political Science Association) or of various national
societies that are composed of industry (like the International Red Cross composed
of the various national Red Cross organisations). International NGOs have now
increased from less than 200 in 1909 to more than 800 in 1945 and to about 5,600
in 2000.

V. Functions and Roles of NGOs
NGOs perform a variety of functions and roles in International Relations. They act
as advocates for specific policies and offer channels of political participation (e.g.
Amnesty International) they mobilise mass publics. NGOs promote contact across
state boundaries on matters of common interest, and providing non-governmental
means of communications. Sometimes, NGOs function as a pressure group
affecting national governments or international organisations (for instance; NGOs

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played a strong role at the 1992 UN conference, on the Environment and
Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro).

They played key roles in adding transparency to the process, by drafting
informational materials. More than 400 environmental organisations were
accredited at the conference including those with grass root origins in developing
countries, many of which had few previous international linkages. The official
documents produced, recognised the unique capabilities of NGOs and
recommended their participation at all levels: from policy formulation and decision
making to implementation. Some NGOs such as Amnesty International or the
Roman Catholic Church can exert a great influence on the policies of various
states.

The political focus of NGOs is usually on national governments and they are
effective through changing government policy, rather than direct action. A great
number of NGOs are formally consulted by the international organisations
concerned with their problems (e.g. health and medical organisations are consulted
by World Health Organisation).

At the most micro levels are individuals. While individuals are important to the
operation of transnational organisation, international linkages between and among
states (tourism, students exchange, and business and commercial links), individuals
are most often powerless in international politics.

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Some analysts, however, claim that the situation is changing, private individuals
are having a great impact on world affairs (individuals are becoming aware of their
place in the world) individuals acts’ produce significant impacts. For example,
Mathias Rust, a West German teenager acting on behalf of world peace landed his
light plane in Red Square in 1987, exposing the vulnerabilities of soviet air
defenses and leading to the dismissal of the defense minister.

IGOs are seen to be a distinctive modern phase of world politics. International
organisation as a social and political process has come to be a permanent feature of
inter-state relationship, this process has come to regulate and harmonise the
functioning of the state system.

International organisation has provided an avenue whereby states meet, to discuss
matters of importance and take collective decisions (great nations have often used
such forum to formulate decision in their favour and ensure that decisions that may
threaten their interests are not adopted or (e.g. USA in UNO,) would end,
international trade would cease, international organisations and arrangements
would disappear.

Session Summary
The 20th century has seen the proliferation of non-governmental organisations and
governmental organisations. These organisations intervene in specific areas of
concern to states.

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Self Assessment Question
What is the difference between an NGO and IGO?

Answer to self assessment question
Intergovernmental Organisation:
IGOs are composed of states. The total number of IGOs has more than tripled from
1945 to 1985; by 1997 however, their number had declined from 378 to 258. (They
shift a post-world war II high of 378). IGOs are created by states, and the
individuals who are sent as delegates to such organisations, represent the interests
and policies of their home governments. Meanwhile, the organisation employs
permanent staff at a permanent home base, consisting of individuals whose
primary loyalty is to the organisation itself.

A greater number of IGOs serve limited purposes, and are usually called
“functional IGOs”, because they perform specific functions on behalf of member
states. The IGOs connected to the UN often aim for universal membership and
provide services. For instance the World Health Organisation (WHO), the
International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
and the World Bank (they are involved in monetary matters for economic
development). Many other functional IGO’s have restricted membership. Some
such as NATO serve primarily military functions, others are concerned with
economic matters, examples are the various organisations of the EU, and
organisation like the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asia Nation).
Non-Governmental Organisations
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are private international actors. NGOs
are organisations that cut across national boundaries, they are (transnational) and

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are made up of industries or national groups (they are not official representatives of
National Governments) the NGOs exist “below” the level of the state. There are
professional organisations, religious bodies, sport organisations, trade union
groups, and political parties; their membership may be composed either directly or
indirectly (e.g. International Political Science Association) or of various national
societies that are composed of industry (like the International Red Cross composed
of the various national Red Cross organisations). International NGOs have now
increased from less than 200 in 1909 to more than 800 in 1945 and to about 5,600
in 2000.

Reference/Further Reading
Karen A. Mingst (2004) Essentials of International Relations, London: WW. Norton
& Company.

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9.3.2.3 STUDY SESSION 8
The African Union
Section and Subsection Headings
Introduction
Learning outcomes
Main Content
A –From OAU to AU
B- The Charter of the OAU: Its Principles and Objectives
C- The Structure and Organisation of the OAU
D-Principles of African Union
E- Organs of AU
Summary
Self-assessment questions and Answers
References/Further Readings

Introduction
The session introduces you to the rational of the formation of AU, it principles and
objectives as an international organisation, organisational structure and organ of AU.

Study Session Outcomes
By the end of this session, you should be able to:
1. Know the rationale for the formation of OAU
2. Understand the principles and objectives of the organisation
3. Identify the achievement of OAU and its transformation to AU

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A: From OAU to AU
Following the granting of independence to African countries, series of African
conference took place, as the new leaders sought to map out joint policies for the
future. Though all of them shared the common concern for consolidating and
defending their new-found independence, there was no agreement as to the best
way for achieving this.

Following the pan African conferences by leaders, two powerful African groups
emerged: one of these was the Casablanca group; the countries that formed the
Casablanca Group were Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Algeria, Libya and United
Arab Emirate or Egypt and all signed the Casablanca charter.

The second group was the Monrovia group, which emerged after the conference
held in Monrovia the capital city of Liberia. The members were Cameroon, Central
African Republic, Chad, Madagascar, Mauritania, Congo Brazzaville, Dahomey
(now Benin Republic), Gabon, Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Niger, Nigeria,
Senegal and Ivory Coast.

These two rival groups were committed to the promotion and defence of African
Unity, but they did not agree on a common strategy, Nkrumah’s idea was for an
African Union government, but the concept was unacceptable to most other
African leaders, notably those in the Monrovia group.
In-text Question:
What was the difference between the Casablanca group and the Monrovia group?

In-text Answer
Following the pan African conferences by leaders, two powerful African groups emerged: one of
these was the Casablanca group; the countries that formed the Casablanca Group were Ghana,

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Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Algeria, Libya and United Arab Emirate or Egypt and all signed the
Casablanca charter.
The second group was the Monrovia group, which emerged after the conference held in
Monrovia the capital city of Liberia. The members were Cameroon, Central African Republic,
Chad, Madagascar, Mauritania, Congo Brazzaville, Dahomey (now Benin Republic), Gabon,
Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Ivory Coast.

These two rival groups were committed to the promotion and defence of African Unity, but they
did not agree on a common strategy, Nkrumah’s idea was for an African Union government, but
the concept was unacceptable to most other African leaders, notably those in the Monrovia
group.

B. The Charter of the OAU: Its principles and Objectives
In May 1963, the foreign ministers of 30 African Countries met in Addis Ababa to
prepare an agenda for the meeting of their heads of states. They discussed the
creation of an organisation of African states, which will be concerned with matters
of collective defence, decolonisation and cooperation in economic, social,
educational and scientific matters. The principles of the OAU, under article one of
the charter stipulates:
I. The sovereign equality of all member states.
II. Non-interference in the internal affairs of states.
III. Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each state and for its
inalienable right to independent existence.
IV. Peaceful settlement of disputes by negotiation,
mediation, conciliation and arbitration.
V. Unreserved condemnation, in all forms, of
political assassinations, as well as of subversive
activities on the part of any other state, of absolute
dedication to the total emancipation of the African territories which are still
dependent; and

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VI. Affirmation of a policy of non-alignment with regard to all blocs.

C: The Structure and Organisation of the OAU
The OAU was merely to serve as a “forum” for preventing where possible, and
reconciling where inevitable, conflicts within the African States. To achieve these
principles, the OAU charter established the following organs:

I. Assembly of heads of State and Government: This was the highest policy
making body which meets annually on gestational basis. Two thirds of the majority
constitutes the quorum, while each country had only one vote. It considers and
deliberates upon reports from the council of Ministers or from member countries.

II. Council of Ministers: This is made up of foreign ministers of member
countries or their duly accredited representatives. The responsibility of the council
of ministers is to prepare agenda and working documents for the Assembly of
heads of state and government. Two thirds of the membership constitutes the
quorum for purpose of meeting and voting.

III. General Secretariat: The General Secretariat, which has its permanent
Headquarters at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was to be run by the Secretary General.
The Secretary General is elected by the assembly for a four year renewable term.
An Assistant Secretary General and a pool of professional administrators drawn
from all over Africa assist him.

Commissions: There were proposals of at least four commissions, namely
commission on mediation conciliation and arbitration, defence commission,

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economic commission and the liberation committee. Some of these commission
and committees have mixed reactions over their impact and achievements on
African continental politics. In any case, it was these institutions and structures that
were used to manage the affairs of the OAU in the period, 1963 to 2002.

One of the major achievements of the OAU is the fact that it survived 39 years of
political and economic challenges. It went through many conflicts before it was
finally transformed into a new organisation now called the African Union.

D. The African Union
On March 2, 2001, the African Heads of state and government, at an extraordinary
OAU summit in Sirte, Libya formally endorsed proposals committing themselves
to the transformation of the OAU into the African Union (AU). Between March 9,
2001 and April 23, 2001 a total of 34 out of the 53 members of the OAU ratified
the constitutive act. South Africa joined the Union and became the 35th member
and Nigeria the 36th, thus; fulfilling the two-thirds requirements. In terms of
achievement, the organisation, was given credit in the decolonisation of the
continent but was often criticised for failing to address growing poverty and fragile
economies. The change of direction was decided by the majority of members, with
this, the African Union came into force on the 26th April 2001.

By July 9, 2001, when the OAU met at Lusaka, Zambia, a total of 51 countries had
ratified the AU consecutive act. Morocco did not ratify it because of its complaints
over Western Sahara, while Madagascar was excluded because of the political
crisis going on in that country at the time of the last summit of the OAU at Durban,
South Africa.

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In-text Question: Why was the OAU created and what was its achievement?

In-text Answer:
In May 1963, the foreign ministers of 30 African Countries met in Addis Ababa to prepare an
agenda for the meeting of their Heads of States. They discussed the creation of an organisation of
African States which will be concerned with matters of collective defence, decolonisation and
cooperation in economic, social, educational and scientific matters. The principles of the OAU,
under article one of the Charter stipulates:
? I. The sovereign equality of all member states.
? II. Non-interference in the internal affairs of states.
? III. Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each state and for its
inalienable right to independent existence.
? IV. Peaceful settlement of disputes by negotiation, mediation, conciliation and
arbitration.
? V. Unreserved condemnation, in all forms, of political assassinations, as well as of
subversive activities on the part of any other state of absolute dedication to the total
emancipation of the African territories, which are still dependent; and
? VI. Affirmation of a policy of non-alignment with regard to all blocs.

E. Principles of African Union
The main principles of the African Union are as follows:
I. Sovereign equality and interdependence among member states of the union.
II. Respect of borders existing on achievement of independence;
III. Participation of the African peoples in the activities of the Union;
IV. Establishment of a common defence policy for the African continent.
V. Peaceful resolution of conflicts among member states of the Union, through
such appropriate means as may be decided upon by the Assembly.
VI. Prohibition of the use of force or threat to use force among member states
of the Union.
VII. Non-interference by any member state in the national affairs of another.

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VIII. The right of the Union to intervene in a member state, pursuant to a
decision of the assembly in respect of grave circumstances. Namely: war
crimes genocide and crimes against humanity.
IX. Peaceful co-existence of member states and their right to live in peace and
security.
X. The right of member states to request intervention from the union in order to
restore peace and security.
XI. Promotion of self-reliance within the frame work of the Union.
XII. Promotion of gender equality.
XIII. Respect for democratic principles, human rights, the rule of law and good
governance.
XIV. Promotion of social justice to ensure balanced economic development.
XV. Respect for the sanctity of human life condemnation and rejection of
impunity and political assassination, acts of terrorism and subversive
activities, and
XVI. Condemnation and rejection of unconstitutional changes of governments.

E: Organs of the African Union
I. The Assembly: It is the most important decision making body of the member
states. The assembly meets annually during which it selects its own chairman.
Decisions of the assembly are reached at by consensus, of by two thirds majority.
Some of the functions of the assembly include approval of budgets, admission of
new members, and appointment of judges of the court of justice and conflict
resolution.

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II. Executive Council: The executive council prepares grounds for assembly
meetings. The council also takes decisions on general issues of agriculture,
communication, food, foreign trade and social security.

III. The permanent Representatives Committee: This is made up of
Ambassadors to the African Union (AU) and is responsible for planning ground
work for the Executive Council.

The Commission: This is the name of the AU Secretariat. It is constituted of a
Chairman, a Deputy Chairman and eight Commissioners. The Commission is
responsible for the day to day running of the AU activities; there was also
provision of specialised technical committees. These committees consider a
number of issues such as trade, immigration, monetary and financial issues etc.

The Pan African Parliament: This is made up of elected representatives to be
nominated from five regions of Africa. This parliament was designed to promote
civil society participation in the AU activities.

Court of Justice: The court is expected to adjudicate on cases of human rights
abuses and other such matters.

The Peace and Security Council: this is composed of 15 members, responsible
for monitoring and intervening in conflicts.

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Financial Institutions: Article 19 of the AU constitutive act provides for three
specific financial organs to be created, the African Central bank (ACB), African
Investment Bank (AIB) and African Monetary Fund (AMF). The role of these
institutions is to implement the economic integration. All these initiatives are
expected to advance African countries not only towards market integration but also
monetary and physical integration.

According to the African Union, its primary goal is to drive “the integration and
development process” of union members, regional communities and African
citizens.

The African Union:
Successes and Challenges: Let us briefly discuss some of the successes and
challenges of African Union. The African Union came into existence with a more
focused goal of propelling African states towards peace and prosperity, as the basis
for achieving the ultimate goal of political and economic integration of its member
states. The AU was modeled on the European Union.

The AU has had reasonable successes through its direct contribution and
collaboration with the international community, to settling and minimising
conflicts in some of the regions such as the crisis in Sudan, resolving post-election
violent conflicts in Cote d’ ivoire and Kenya and forcing military – coup makers to
hand over power to civilian regimes. The AU’s unique voluntary Peer Review
Mechanism, by which individual member states agree to be assessed by a team of
experts drawn from other states, is designed to encourage democracy and good
governance. In pursuit of prosperity in the region, the AU has in place declarations

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and institutions to promote and support economic integration, among its 54
member states as the path way to sustainable development. Progress has been made
by the AU in collaboration with the United Nations, towards better coordinating
and harmonising development policies and programmes. On the other side, in
terms of challenges, despite numerous protocols and signing of technical consensus
documents to facilitate the free movement of goods and people across borders, the
AU record in stimulating the removal of trade barriers to cross-border trade,
characterised by long delays at border crossings and legal and illegal payments,
which increase transaction costs, is a major obstacle to expansion of intra-African
trade.

A major challenge confronting the AU is above all, to respond to the job and
livelihood aspirations of Africa’s youth, who account for as much as three quarter
of the labour force in most countries. Many have even attended universities and are
still jobless.

The AU now pays more attention to international development cooperation and
relationship with international partners. This is most obvious in the case of China’s
ever growing presence in Africa, which the AU regards as a positive factor.

In-text Question:
What prompted the change from OAU to AU?

Answers:
I. Sovereign equality and interdependence among member states of the union.
II. Respect of borders existing on achievement of independence;
III. Participation of the African peoples in the activities of the Union;
IV. Establishment of a common defence policy for the African continent.

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V. Peaceful resolution of conflicts among member states of the Union through such
appropriate means, as may be decided upon by the Assembly.
VI. Prohibition of the use of force or threat to use force among member states of the Union.

Session Summary
The creation of the Organisation of African Unity was done by independent African
States, to mitigate their individual weaknesses towards the former colonial masters.
The organisation, at inception was confronted by a kind of division between the
radicals (Casablanca group) and the conservatives (Monrovia group).

The OAU recorded some achievements in terms of decolonisation of the remaining
African countries still under colonisation, and the fight against apartheid in South
Africa. About 40 years after its creation, the members of OAU decided to create a
new organisation out of the old one in order to have a new focus; this direction is on
improving the wellbeing of Africa in terms of economic development.

SAQ
Write short note on the followings
1, Permanent Representatives Committee
2, Executive Council

Answers to SAQ
1, Permanent Representative Committee. This is made up of Ambassadors to the
African Union (AU) and is responsible for planning ground work for the Executive
Council.
2, Executive Council. The executive council prepares grounds for assembly

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meetings. The council also takes decisions on general issues of agriculture,
communication, food, foreign trade and social security.

Reference/Further Reading
Adeniran, Tunde (1983) Introduction to International Relations. Lagos:
MacMillan.
Karen A. Mingst (2004) Essentials of International Relations, London: WW. Norton
& Company.

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9.3.2.4 STUDY SESSION 9
ECOWAS
Section and Subsection Headings
Introduction
Learning outcomes
Main Content
A: Aims and objectives of ECOWAS
B: The Institutions of ECOWAS
C; Achievement of ECOWAS
D: Challenges
Summary
Self-assessment questions and Answers
References/Further Readings

Introduction
In 1961 Nnamdi Azikiwe, the then governor general of the federation of Nigeria
proposed a scheme of West African market, as an economic factor that could bring
unity to the sub-region. The protocols launching ECOWAS were signed in Lome,
Togo on 5 November, 1976. In 1977 Cape Verde joined ECOWAS, making the
total number of members to 16. In 2002, Mauritania withdrew from the community
leaving it with 15 members. ECOWAS was founded to achieve collective self-
sufficiency for the member states by means of economic and monetary union,
creating a single large trading bloc.

Study Session Outcomes
At the end of this session, you should be able to:

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1. Know the objectives of ECOWAS, and
2. The institutions of ECOWAS.

A. Aims and Objectives of ECOWAS
The community as reflected in the 1993 revised ECOWAS Treaty containing 93
articles arranged into 22 chapters has as its central objectives; “the promotion of
cooperation and integration, leading to the establishment of an economic union in
West Africa, in order to raise the living standards of its people and to maintain and
enhance economic stability, foster relation among member states and contribute to
the progress and development of the African continent”.

This is to be achieved by elimination of custom duties, abolition of quantitative
and administrative restriction on trade, establishment of a common commercial
policy; the abolition of obstacles to the free movement of persons, services and
capital; the harmonisation of agricultural and industrial policies, the establishment
of a fund for cooperation and the harmonisation of monetary policies.

In spite of the above objectives, ECOWAS as a body has made little progress
towards the attainment of the above goals. If anything, what has emerged is a
fragmented development towards the attainment of the above objectives.

B. The institutions of ECOWAS
Articles 6 of the Revised ECOWAS treaty of 1993, list the institutions of
ECOWAS to include:
I. The Authority of Head of States and Government,

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II. The Council of Ministers,
III. The Community Parliament,
IV. The Economic and Social Council,
V. The Community Court of Justice,
VI. The Executive Secretary,
VII. The fund for cooperation, compensation and Development,
Specialised Technical Commission and
VIII. Any other Institutions that may be established by the authority.

By the powers delegated to it by the authority, the Commission issue directives on
matters concerning coordination, and harmonisation of economic integration
policies approve the work programmes, and budgets of the community and its
institutions.
In-text Question: What are the objectives of ECOWAS?

Answer:
Read: section A

Community Parliament
The ECOWAS parliament convened in May 2002, with 115 members of
parliament representing all the member states except
Cote d ‘ Ivoire then, because of the conflict in that
country. Togo, Liberia, Cape Verde, Guinea, Guinea
Bissau, Republic of Benin, the Gambia and Sierra
Leone have 5 parliamentarians each. Burkina Faso,
Mali, Niger and Senegal have 6 parliamentarians
each. Cote d’Ivoire is entitled to seven

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representatives. Ghana has 8 and Nigeria has 35. The ECOWAS parliament is
situated in Abuja, Nigeria.

The Economic and Social Council
It has an advisory role and its composition shall include representatives of the
various categories of economic and social activity.

The Court of Justice
The court shall carry out the functions assigned to it independently of the member
states and the institutions of the community. Judgments of the court of justice shall
be binding on the member states, the institutions on the community and on
individuals and corporate bodies.

Authority of Heads of State and Government
It is established and it shall be the supreme institution of the community and shall
be composed of heads of state/or government of member states. The Authority
shall be responsible for the general direction and control of the community, and
shall take all measures to ensure its progressive development and the realisation of
its objectives. In pursuit of this, the authority shall:
a) Determine the general policy and major guidelines of the community, give
directives, harmonise and coordinate the economic, scientific, technical,
cultural and social policies of member states.
b) Oversee the functioning of community institutions and follow-up
implementation of community objectives,
c) Appoint the Executive Secretary,
d) Prepare and adopt its rules of procedures.

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Council of Ministers
The council shall comprise the minister in charge of ECOWAS affairs and any
other minister of each member state. As provided in the Treaty of ECOWAS, the
council shall make recommendation to the authority on any action aimed at the
attainment of the objectives of the community; appoint all statutory appointees
other than the Executive Secretary.

The Executive Secretariat
The Secretariat shall direct the activities of the Executive Secretary unless
otherwise provided in the protocol, be the legal representative of the institutions of
the Community in their totality. The duties of the Executive Secretary include
among others, execution of decision taken by the Authority and application of the
regulations of the council, promotion of community development programmes and
projects; Preparation of draft budgets and programmes of activities of the
community and supervision of their execution upon their approval by council.
Submission of proposals and preparation of such studies, as may assist in the
efficient and harmonious functioning and development of the community initiation
of draft, texts for adoption by the Authority or Council.

Technical Commissions
The following technical commissions are established: food and agriculture,
industry, science and technology and energy; Environment and Natural resources,
transport, communications and tourism, trade, customs, Taxation, statistics, money
and payments; political, judicial commissions.
ITQ: What are the organs of ECOWAS?

Answer: Read section B for the answer.

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The Authority may, whenever it deem appropriate, restructure the existing
commissions or establish other commissions. Each commission comprises
representatives of each member state. Each commission may, when necessary set
up subsidiary commissions to assist it in carrying out its work.

C. Achievements of ECOWAS
1- Creation of free trade area in progress.
2- Elimination of customs duties and taxes of equivalent effect on goods and
approved projects.
3- Removal of non-tariff barriers on trade and goods within member states.
4- Creation of a West African peacekeeping force called ECOMOG.
5- Restoration of peace in Sierra Leone.
6- Contribution to the return of peace in Guinea Bissau and Cote d’Ivoire.
7- Declaration of the Moratorium on the importation, exportation and
manufacture of light weapons in West Africa.
8- Destruction of weapons in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Niger and Nigeria
and mutual assistance in vicinal matters.
9- Adoption of the protocol on the fight against corruption.

D. Challenges
– Consolidation of Democracy and reinforcement of good governance.
– Consolidation of regional peace and security and sustainable economic
development.
– Eradication of poverty.
– Greater involvement of the private sector in integration activities.

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– Greater involvement of the civil society and women in integration
programme.
– Industrialisation of the region.
– Protection of the environment.
– Ensuring food security in the sub-region.

Session Summary
ECOWAS has been battling with the implementation of its objectives since its
creation in 1972. This is due, perhaps, to the diversity of its members in terms of
colonial experience. But, ECOWAS has put in place laudable objectives for
economic integration. Resistance, however, is noticeable among member states from
their institutions in charge of implementation. ECOWAS’ Parliament and Court of
Justice are recently established to make the participation of citizens in the working of
the organisation more palpable.

Self-Assessment Questions: State and explain the achievements and challenges of
ECOWAS.

Self Assessment Question Answers:
1- Creation of free trade area in progress.
2- Elimination of customs duties and taxes of equivalent effect on goods and
approved projects.
3- Removal of non-tariff barriers on trade and goods within member states.
4- Creation of a West African peacekeeping force called ECOMOG.
5- Restoration of peace in Sierra Leone.
6- Contribution to the return of peace in Guinea Bissau and Cote d’Ivoire.

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7- Declaration of the Moratorium on the importation, exportation and
manufacture of light weapons in West Africa.
8- Destruction of weapons in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Niger and Nigeria
and mutual assistance in vicinal matters.
9- Adoption of the protocol on the fight against corruption.

Reference/Further Reading
Adeniran, Tunde (1983) Introduction to International Relations. Lagos:
MacMillan.
Karen A. Mingst (2004) Essentials of International Relations, London: WW. Norton
; Company.