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Regional Cooperation on Democratization and Conflict Management in Africa

While the African Union (AU) is leading overarching efforts to establish continent-wide norms for acceptable political conduct, regional institutions are also contributing substantially to democratization and peacebuilding in their neighborhoods. Bodies such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have been actively managing conflicts and preventing movement toward authoritarianism. However, country-level commitment to democratic governance remains uneven and inconsistent. Addressing the region’s security and governance challenges calls for further integration and cooperation, which will require significant resources and new notions of sovereignty with responsibility.