- 北海道大学大学院メディア・コミュニケーション研究院 = Research Faculty of Media and Communication, Hokkaido University
- メディア・コミュニケーション研究 (ISSN:18825303)
- vol.60, pp.13-34, 2011-08-11
For the regional integration, European Union has been a good and ideal model. But considering the different social economic actors from African ones, we are aware that European process is not the universal model that is applicable to other regions. According to the integration theory, the economic activities bring a political integration. It is a "spill over" effect from "low" politics to "high" politics. This article is aimed at verifying African social actors who haven't participated in regional integration as the integration theory supposes. European integration is based on civil society where actors, rational citizens, who understand capitalism and Nation-State, do transnational activities. On the other hand, the real African society is "fluid" and changeable in the historical situation. It changed itself and was divided into some social classes, elite-mass and sub-nationalistic or ethnic groups during modernization. That kind of society is out of Nation-State integration. The integration theory has never discussed about the "fluid" social actors. Authoritarian political regime tried to integrate such a divided society with power and control. I hypothesize that African society keeps distance from State policy, so the actors have not brought the regional integration "from the bottom" in Africa. But many regional organizations exist in Africa. Why? This article explains these histories. Organization of African Union was begun by African independence elites, "from top". OAU became a symbol of African cultural rehabilitation and tried to realize "African tradition" in the agricultural politics of rural community. Indeed, it drew out the artificial nationalism. The other regional organizations were established as heritage of neocolonial geopolitics. They also were paralyzed by superpowers strategy during the Cold War. They are capable to change their functions by themselves. Some of them whose objectives must be economic cooperation and integration assure a regional security. It is characteristic that they try to rebuild Nation-States for regional integration. It is contrary to European Union, which reduces national sovereignty. This case study is ECOWAS politics in Liberia civil war. Another characteristic point of African integration is the social "fluid" actors' networks. These actors make internal and external networks beyond the national frontiers in the era of Globalization. We have to watch out the informal and violent networks. But in Madagascar political crisis in 2002, peasant network, mediation diplomacy and international investment prevented ethnic secessionism. Including such social actors, civil society in Africa has a wider concept than in Europe. It is important to investigate how this civil society participates to nation-building and regional integration in Africa.