Occasional Paper

Dependency, Instability and Shifting Global Power Influences and Interests in African Foreign Policy in the 21st Century

“Given the multiplicity of nations involved there is not one African foreign policy
but many, reflecting diverse interests, weaknesses, strengths and national histories. The challenge of an introductory paper such as this is to reflect that diversity as well as those areas in which interests and attitudes coincide. In some arenas, African foreign policies
demonstrate great similarities; in others they diverge across critical fault lines. Just as Russians, Chinese and Americans can have very different perceptions of the sources of risk in global affairs, African states also diverge, between themselves and with traditional powers, in their understanding of threats and of how and where foreign policy efforts should be directed. The paper focuses on the incentives and goals that inform African foreign policy, factors that constrain the influence or execution of the continent’s foreign policy and certain fault lines that result in key policy differences for certain groups of states.”