Mapping Intervention Practices of ECOWAS and the African Union: Methodological and Practical Challenges

Jens Herpolsheimer & Skollan Elisabeth Warnck (SFB 1199)

Publication Date

December 2020


Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag




Working Paper


African peace and security developments are mostly mapped as conflict dynamics. In contrast to this dominant trend, this working paper addresses the methodological and practical challenges inherent in mapping multiple, (non-)military intervention practices of African regional organizations. Based on a comprehensive review of official documents of the African Union and ECOWAS, the authors discuss strengths and weaknesses of their approach and identify several directions into which it could be further developed. In doing so, new empirical and theoretical insights on African Peace and Security emerge.

About the Authors

Dr. Jens Herpolsheimer (SFB 1199)

Jens Herpolsheimer studied African Studies in Leipzig, Bordeaux, and Lisbon. Subsequently, continuing research initiated during his master’s, he worked on cooperation dynamics at the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP). Since 2016, he is a researcher at the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB 1199) “Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition”, at Leipzig University. In this context, he has completed his PhD, focusing on intervention practices of African regional organizations and their spatializing effects. Since January 2020, Jens Herpolsheimer is a postdoctoral researcher at the SFB 1199, studying the practices of inter-regionalism between different actors at African regional organizations and the European Union. These issues reflect his more general research interests, among other things, including the politics and practices of peace and security in Africa, Lusophony, and comparative regionalism.

Skollan Elisabeth Warnck (SFB 1199 & Graduate School Global and Area Studies, Leipzig University)

After completing her Bachelor in Media Science and English Studies at Tuebingen University, Skollan Elisabeth Warnck studied Global Studies in Leipzig and Roskilde in her Master. In 2019 she was awarded the CRC 1199 Pre-doc fellowship and, following her interest in regionalism, African peace and security, and critical Geography, she started her PhD in November 2020 at Leipzig University. In her dissertation she engages with questions of mapping African regional organizations’ intervention practices both methodologically and theoretically.