Call for Papers: Prospects for Regional Integration in Africa – A Comparative Perspective


December 9, 2020

International MIASA Conference and Book Project (Eds. Andreas Freytag and Abena D. Oduro)

Call for Papers

Deadline: February 15th, 2021


The African Union (AU) has recently taken bold steps to integrate the continent further. In 2015 members agreed on a broad integration plan, the Agenda 2063. A first success has already been achieved: The Agenda 2063 foresees a comprehensive free trade agreement which was to be finalized in 2017, and was eventually agreed upon in March 2018. Other steps are to follow, implying deeper integration with respect to movement of people, education and financial deepening, among others. It seems as if the European model of integration is seen – consciously or by implication, and mostly uncritically – as a role model for African economic integration. This is not least because the EU has supported African integration efforts in the past in different forms, i.e. conceptually as well as materially. That said, it is by no means clear whether and if so, to what extent the European integration can be easily applied to African countries and their citizens. In addition, it is not obvious that it should. Indeed, many African policymakers and scholars raise doubts about the EU’s function as role model. They argue this with reference to historical analogies as well as institutional and cultural differences between the two continents.

Against this background, there is a need to carefully analyse the implications of more than sixty years of European integration. However, In addition, other continents’ (including African) experiences for the nascent African integration process have to be studied. Although it seems as if the European experience dominates the discussion, there is much potential to learn from integration processes all over the globe. African integration can very much benefit from a thorough study of integration successes and failures in Europe, Asia and Latin America as well as in Africa itself. A necessity for such an analysis is a multi-disciplinary setting that explicitly considers an African perspective. An ideal form to bring together different – and probably rather diverse – experiences, is a book project in combination with an international conference organised by the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA), where research results will be presented and discussed with a wider audience. Based on this conference, the book chapters shall be drafted by the scholars, either single authored or co-authored.

The Themes of the Conference and Book

The planned international conference and book will highlight the significant similarities and differences between integration paths in Africa and other continents and thereby help policymakers to understand the mutual lessons from different integration experiences. It will provide opportunities for an informed and nuanced discourse on interdisciplinary perspectives, empirical findings and policy implications between non-African and African scholars, political office-bearers, policymakers in government, and representatives of international bodies. The book consists of three Parts.

The timeline is the following.:

  • This Call for papers (CfP) is particularly directed at young African scholars of different social sciences* interested in and doing research on the topic.
  • Deadline for proposals will be *February 15, 2021*. Successful authors will be informed by *April 1, 2021*
  • They will be invited to the international conference to be held in September 2021 (between 13 and 15  September 2021) for the selected authors, at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
  • The draft chapters will be presented in this workshop. The conference will be organised and financed by MIASA. There is the additional option of consultations for the authors with editors and experts on September 16 and 17, 2021.
  • The organisers will invite experts in the field to act as discussants for the papers.
  • Between the workshop and April 1, 2022, the authors will prepare matured drafts of the papers, which will be commented by the editors within six weeks.

The full call can be accessed here. Please send an abstract of 1,000 words and a brief CV by February 15, 2021, to Andreas Freytag, indicating the Chapter you would like to write and your willingness to participate in the international conference in Stellenbosch, South Africa, from September 13-15, 2021.