Chapter 1 Introduction

Researching the Inner Life of the African Peace and Security Architecture

In: Researching the Inner Life of the African Peace and Security Architecture

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Abstract

This chapter introduces the main objectives of the edited volume, which are, first, to advance conceptual debates in order to capture more adequately the diverse, interrelated and historically contingent set of actors, practices and narratives involved in the construction, adaptation, and contestation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). Secondly, it aims to stimulate more explicit scholarly discussion about methodology and research practice. To that end, the chapter outlines the development of existing scholarship on APSA and identifies gaps therein as well as more general challenges of doing research on this subject. It traces part of these gaps and challenges to a persistent dominance of conventional approaches in international relations (IR) scholarship, and to a disconnect from more innovative conceptual approaches, associated with the research agendas of international studies and global studies. Based on this, the chapter reflects upon methodological challenges and outlines key elements of a new agenda to guide and advance research on the ‘inner life’ of APSA.