Title page for ETD etd-09222010-164607

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Kitipov, Julian Kossev
Email julian.kitipov@gmail.com
URN etd-09222010-164607
Document Title The development of sub-regional security complexes as a response to regional security challenges with specific reference to South East Europe and Southern Africa
Degree Master of Arts
Department Political Sciences
Advisor Name Title
Prof A du Plessis Supervisor
  • security regimes
  • regional security
  • security communities
  • regional security complexes
  • regionalism
  • regionalisation
  • constructivism
  • South East Europe and Southern Africa
Date 2010-09-03
Availability restricted

The aim of this study is to analyse the development of sub-regional security complexes as a response to regional security challenges, with reference to South East Europe (SEE) and the Southern African Region (SAR).The end of the Cold War (1989) revived theorising on regional security. Previous research was mainly based on neo-realists and neo-liberal theories. This study includes alternatives (e.g. constructivism) to broaden the notion of regional security. The assumption is that mainstream theories provide insufficient understanding of regional security because they overstate the systemic level and statism. Constructivism offers a ‘correction’ model and views states as socially constructed actors with identities and interests that do not follow a systemic or rational logic. A society of states emerges when entities and groups construct common identities and interests as a platform for collective security practices. The study uses regional security complexes (RSCs) – among two other frameworks (security regimes and security communities) – as a framework for analysing security cooperation in SEE and the SAR.

The study fosters a sub-systemic or sub-regional level in respect of SEE and the SAR. It argues that in contrast to the regional level, the sub-regional level and complex facilitates greater visibility of the security dynamics of SEE and the SAR. The study shows that historical and (conflicting) ideological experiences played an important role in the establishment of related post-1945 regional arrangements and defence alliances. Only post-Cold War regional states managed to transcend national interests and ideological differences to establish sub-regional organisations like the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) in pursuit of common interests. However, the regionalism projects of the respective regions developed along distinctive and asymmetrical regionalisation processes in different sectors (economic, environmental, societal and politico-military). Among the negative trends are economic disparities, insufficient funding of environmental policies, the resurgence of (ethnic) nationalism, instability where conflict prevails and a lack of political commitment. Positive trends are the fact that the prospect of the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) membership plays a positive role in the SEE regionalisation process; and that the shared historical experiences among SADC members is a unifying force in the SAR. Thus the regional security dynamics in SEE and the SAR indicate that sub-regional complexes are emerging.

In conclusion, it is contended that SEE is a centred type sub-regional security complex because the sub-region and its regional arrangements are in concomitant relations with continental power structures such as the EU. In contrast, the SAR is a standard subregional security complex because of South Africa’s commercial and politico-military dominance and emerging assertiveness in the sub-region. The predictive scenarios discussed provide alternative views on future prospects. The study verified the research assumptions. It is concluded that the regional security dynamics in SEE and the SAR cannot be understood without reference to constructivism and the sub-systemic level; and that the regional arrangements in SEE and the SAR constitute sub-regional security complexes. However, the complexes, as the outcome of the regionalism project and the regionalisation process, are incomplete and in an onset phase.

© 2010, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Kitipov, JK 2010, The development of sub-regional security complexes as a response to regional security challenges with specific reference to South East Europe and Southern Africa, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-09222010-164607/ >


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