Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Compliance among weak states: Africa and the counter-terrorism regime


This article examines levels of compliance with the counter-terrorism regime in Africa, where weak states might have been expected to conform. Instead, even under American pressure, some governments have seized the anti-terrorism rhetoric while others have been more reluctant. A comparative analysis of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda demonstrates that domestic political factors largely explain this variation; compliance is highest in countries with the least democratic institutions and minimal mobilisation of domestic constituencies. Aid dependence and the perception of a terrorist threat also play a role. To the extent that popular pressures in transitional democracies reduce compliance, the article raises questions about the legitimacy and effectiveness of the counter-terrorism regime.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Eric Rosand , ‘Security Council Resolution 1373, the Counter-Terrorism Committee, and the fight against terror’, American Journal of International Law, 97:2 (2003), pp. 333341

Rosemary Foot , ‘Collateral damage: human rights consequences of counterterrorist action in the Asia-Pacific’, International Affairs, 81:2 (2005), pp. 411425

Beth Elise Whitaker , ‘Exporting the Patriot Act? Democracy and the ‘War on Terror’ in the Third World’, Third World Quarterly, 28:5 (2007), pp. 10171032

Christopher C. Joyner , ‘The UN and terrorism: rethinking legal tensions between national security, human rights, and civil liberties’, International Studies Perspectives, 5:3 (2004), pp. 240257

Eric Rosand , ‘The UN-Led Multilateral Institutional Response to Jihadist Terrorism: Is a Global Counterterrorism Body Needed?’, Journal of Conflict and Security Law, 11:3 (2007), pp. 399400

Beth A. Simmons , ‘Compliance with International Agreements’, The Annual Review of Political Science, 1 (1998), pp. 7593

John Mearsheimer , ‘The False Promise of International Institutions’, International Security 19:3 (1994–95), pp. 549

Anne-Marie Slaughter , ‘International Law in a World of Liberal States’, European Journal of International Law, 6:4 (1995), pp. 503538

Xinyuan Dai , ‘The Conditional Nature of Democratic Compliance’, Journal of Conflict Resolution, 50:5 (2006), pp. 690713

Darren Hawkins , ‘Explaining Costly International Institutions: Persuasion and Enforceable Human Rights Norms’, International Studies Quarterly, 48:4 (2004), pp. 779804

Kendall W. Stiles and Adam Thayne , ‘Compliance with International Law: International Law on Terrorism at the UN’, Cooperation and Conflict, 41:2 (2006), pp. 153176

Raimo Väyrynen , ‘Funding Dilemmas in Refugee Assistance: Political Interests and Institutional Reforms in UNHCR’, International Migration Review, 35:1 (2001), pp. 143167

Jimin Zhao , ‘The Multilateral Fund and China's Compliance with the Montreal Protocol’, Journal of Environment and Development, 11:4 (2002), pp. 331354

Jeffrey Haynes , ‘Islamic Militancy in East Africa’, Third World Quarterly, 26:8 (2005), pp. 13211339

William Rosenau , ‘Al Qaida Recruitment Trends in Kenya and Tanzania’, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 28 (2005), pp. 110

Abdelkérim Ousman , ‘The Potential of Islamist Terrorism in Sub-Saharan Africa’, International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, 18:1 (2004), pp. 65105

Felicitas Becker , ‘Rural Islamism during the ‘War on Terror’: A Tanzanian Case Study’, African Affairs, 105:421 (2006), pp. 583603

Beth Elise Whitaker , ‘Reluctant Partners: Fighting Terrorism and Promoting Democracy in Kenya’, International Studies Perspectives, 9:3 (2008), pp. 254271

Volker Krause and Eric E. Otenyo , ‘Terrorism and the Kenyan Public’, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 28 (2005), pp. 99112

Godwin R. Murunga and Shadrack W. Nasong'o , ‘Bent on Self-Destruction: The Kibaki Regime in Kenya’, Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 24:1 (2006), pp. 128

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Review of International Studies
  • ISSN: 0260-2105
  • EISSN: 1469-9044
  • URL: /core/journals/review-of-international-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 8
Total number of PDF views: 85 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 354 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.