Transformation of ECOWAS as a Security Apparatus and Its Implications in Ghana's Political Orientation, 1990-2000

In: African and Asian Studies
Joshua Dapaah-Agyemang
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The transformation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) from an economic integration scheme to a political security scheme and its implications in Ghana political orientation was born out of the unanticipated changes of the post-1990s sub-regional civil conflicts and especially after the end of the Cold War. This history gave Ghana an opportunity within ECOWAS' transformation from economic integration to politico-security organization. In this connection, Ghana's foreign policy took a new turn affecting the whole West African sub-region that was precipitated partly by the Liberian civil war. My principal argument is that despite Ghana's adoption of purposeful isolationism in the early 1980s, the followed trends of events of Ghana foreign policy, at least on the sub-regional level, is a reflection of internal and external factors such as the transformation of ECOWAS security apparatus due to conflicts in some member states, but not the leadership style of the government. Therefore, in order to apprehend the reason behind the dynamics of Ghana's foreign policy change and adjustment, in particular Ghana's strategies and perception of its interest in the sub-regional level, one has to consider a number of crucial factors such as the political and economic milieu in which ECOWAS is engaged, vis-à-vis Ghana's government actions.

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