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Rising powers and the horn of Africa: conflicting regionalisms*


Rising powers are evolving centres for varieties of conflict as well as development. With a focus on the complexities of the Horn of Africa, we juxtapose Jan Nederveen Pieterse1on what is rising – States? Inter-regionalisms? Diasporas? Economies? Companies? New technologies? – with the late Jim Hentz2 on non-traditional security (NTS) challenges on the continent. NTS factors include fragile states/ungoverned spaces, migrations and viruses, which continue to undermine contemporary state and governance structures inside and around Africa. In turn, NTS challenges demand alternative and creative ways to address them. We show how the Horn of Africa illustrates all these and other emergent factors in differing proportions over time, including the diversity of diasporas, both intra- and extra-regional. Further, we argue that rising powers internal and regional transnational tensions could impact human security for the foreseeable future. Thus, affecting the prospects for meeting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Global South.

Keywords: Africa, BRICS, conflict, development, Inter-regionalism, Rising powers, NTS, SDGs


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