Toward a Structural Theory of War in Africa
This essay offers the outlines of a systemic explanation of war in Africa, treating the African state system as the underlying cause of conflict. The essay lays out the logic of structural theory and how it applies to Africa, focusing on the constituent parts of the African state system. Specific attention is paid to three unique aspects of the African state system: juridical statehood, neopatrimonial politics, and strained center-periphery relations. These elements combine to create conflict zones that are characterized by wars across states. This essay provides an explanation for how the Africa weak state system conditions the propensity for war in Africa and the nature and durability of those wars.