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The peacemaking effectiveness of the African Union in Darfur

Nora Sophie Lietzmann
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Nora Sophie Lietzmann
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Open Panel

Abstract

Studies causally connecting formal characteristics of international organisations with their peacemaking effectiveness seem plausible and are widely useful to understand the dynamics of some particular organisations, yet offer little room for transferability. However, recent research maintains that not only the mandate and degree of institutionalisation determine the peacemaking effectiveness of international organisations, but both the consistence of the member states’ interests with the organisation’s mandate and mechanisms, and the normative congruence among the members. While the African Union’s response to the Darfur conflict has been criticised at many levels, it remains unclear to what extent the failures are attributable to the organisation. In search of explanations for peacemaking effectiveness of international organisations, this paper assesses whether the African Union contributed to the de-escalation of the Darfur conflict, and what factors account for its effectiveness or lack thereof. The analysis considers output, outcome, and impact of the organisation’s actions; examines under which conditions the African Union’s membership mandated the Commission to act; and seeks to highlight the internal and external aspects of the organisation’s political process concerning the Darfur intervention.