This article describes and explains the Southern African Development Community's difficulty in establishing a common security regime and its failure to play a useful peacemaking role. The malaise is attributed to three major problems: the absence of common values among member states, which inhibits the development of trust, common policies, institutional cohesion and unified responses to crises; the reluctance of states to surrender sovereignty to a security regime that encompasses binding rules and decision-making; and the economic and administrative weakness of states. These are all national problems that cannot be solved at the regional level. Paradoxically, the challenge of common security in southern Africa is less a regional than a national challenge.
Journal of Southern African Studies (2006) 32 (3) 605-622 [doi: 10.1080/03057070600830755]