The paradigm shift in rethinking of national and regional security strategy in East Africa
Manyange, Nyaboke Damaris
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This thesis is a case study conducted through the structured focused comparison approach. It focuses on the states of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda Tanzania and Uganda for the period 1999-2013. The objective of the study was to examine how paradigm shifts have shaped national and regional security strategies in the EAC Region and to assess the role played by decision makers in the security processes. It triangulates three data collection techniques; in-depth key informant interviews, content analysis of key government policy documents and archival research. The study observes that research on the subject matter of security is curtailed by bureaucratic bottlenecks and secrecy. This limits the study techniques that can be effectively applied in deriving primary data. The thesis contributes to academia by developing and utilizing a model of the paradigm shift as the framework of analysis and proffers that this model can be replicated in other studies to analyze strategy and policy processes at the national and regional levels. The study also assesses the EAC region as an emerging regional security complex and lays a foundation for further research on the issue, specifically on the development of a theory that is applicable to the African regional institutions. The thesis articulates national and regional security strategy processes in the EAC region; it outlines the converging and divergent security interests of the respective states, their securitizing frameworks and the multiplicity of actors who influence security strategy. The thesis discerns various paradigmatic shifts and some continuity in the rethinking and practice of security strategies in the region and observes that some aspects of security strategy have survived the rigors of the paradigmatic shifts. The thesis reveals both weakness and strengths in the securitizing frameworks of the respective states and observes that the five states have been successful in formulating strategies at both the national and regional levels, but there are gaps when it comes to the implementation and coordination of these strategies. Regarding, regional security strategy the thesis observes that a key challenge to the EAC is the lack a regional hegemon to provide leadership in the securitizing processes of the region. This leads to disunity in the approaches taken by each state in addressing security issues beyond their borders, some of which directly affect the partner states and their neighbors. The thesis also observes that the existing mistrust ad suspicion between the five states contributes to the lack of progress in implementing a regional security strategy. It notes that until the factors that lead to the uneasy in the relations between the states are overcome, the problems of implementation of security strategies will persist. The thesis proffers key issues that may constitute areas for future research; it observes that the coordination of security strategy is the weakest link at both the national and regional levels. There is need to further appreciate ways in which the coordination function of security strategy can be enhanced. In addition, the thesis reveals the need to arrive at an agreement on how to construct common threats at the regional level. This is mainly because each state may perceive and prioritize different threats at any one given time. This becomes one of the key challenges in conceiving and articulating a regional security strategy.