External Agency in the Greater Horn of Africa: A Comparative Analysis of Non- Regional Powers’ Engagements from the Cold War Era to Present

Conveners: Ambass., Dr. David Shinn (The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA);
e-mail: dhshinn@earthlink.net, Dr. Alexander E. Zhukov (Institute for African Studies, Moscow, Russia); e-mail: zhukovhisci@gmail.com

The panel will prioritize the term Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) which includes eight countries in the northeastern part of the continent (Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda) and is often preferred to a commonly used Horn of Africa while discussing international politics in the region. Since the end of World War II, the Greater Horn has been one of the most conflict-ridden areas in the world. The inter-state relations in the region have been long characterized by a plethora of border-, land- and water-related disputes, many of which were created by colonialism, and negative historical memories that were further complicated in the post-colonial era and exacerbated by external interventions from within and outside the region. Given the region’s strategic location at the crossroads of major land- and waterways and the availability of various natural resources in the GHA, this area has long attracted the attention of many extra-regional forces. This explains why the political decision- making in the post-colonial Greater Horn of Africa has constantly revealed a high degree of involvement from outside the region. In view of the complexity of extra-regional agency in the GHA politics, we believe that it is necessary to ‘map’ it in space and time by combining a historical perspective with a structural approach that would analyze political involvement ‘from the outside’ as a system of interdependent factors. With this consideration in mind, the proposed panel will include two subpanels focusing on two different periods of time. Both subpanels will place a special focus on the international dimensions of major inter- and intra-state political crises in each of the periods in question: e.g., The Eritrean secession conflict 1962-1991, the
1977-1978 Ogaden war between Somalia and Ethiopia, the 1978-1979 war between Uganda and Tanzania, the second civil war in Sudan (1983-2005), the Somali civil war since 1991, the Ethiopia-Eritrea border dispute since 1998, etc. We particularly welcome contributions analyzing both the structure and agency of recent extra-regional involvements in the Greater Horn, e.g. its role in the U.S.-led war on global terrorism, other Western states’ engagements in security- related issues, the growing economic presence of emerging powers from the East (China, India, Russia), etc. The session will also prioritize the discussion of Third World agency which often remains neglected in the academic discourse on the GHA politics. This includes, in particular, the ongoing political and economic engagements of Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other states in Asia, Middle East and North Africa [MENA].