What is it about?

The article assessed the foreign policy and intervention roles of Nigeria and South Africa in Africa, given their status as regional powers, and the regional complexes within which they operate. Drawing references from a plethora of conflicts they have intervened, I argued that structural realism, given its emphasis on the material structure of power and the pursuit of relative gains, is a useful theoretical framework to assess their FP and intervention behaviour in Africa.

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Why is it important?

The article makes a contribution to the literature by illustrating the value of structural realism as an international relations (IR) approach within which the intervention behaviour of these two African states can be analysed. It bears mentioning however that while structural realism points to the fact that the pursuit of relative gains may be behind the normatively-clad role conceptions of states, foreign policy cannot be reduced to the pursuit of relative power alone.

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This page is a summary of: The foreign policy and intervention behaviour of Nigeria and South Africa in Africa: A structural realist analysis, South African Journal of International Affairs, January 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/10220461.2019.1588158.
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