The ambiguity of US foreign policy towards Africa

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Abstract

Since 9/11, the American policy towards Africa has been strongly influenced by national security interests and in particular by the fight against international terrorism and Islamic radicalisation. Traditionally, the American Africa policy has been the result of bureaucratic policymaking with the Pentagon and the State Department playing prominent roles. The paper argues that in the current century, evangelical Christian lobby groups have gained increasing influence on policymaking on Africa. Because policymaking has been influenced by a number of different actors, the American Africa policy may appear incoherent and ambiguous if judged narrowly on the expectation that it only aims to take care of US national security concerns and economic self-interests. The paper concludes that Africa was important to the United States during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama because of the combination of strong security interests and strong domestic lobby groups that have pressured to place Africa on the US foreign policy agenda.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThird World Quarterly
Volume38
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)2097-2112
ISSN0143-6597
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2017

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