SADC has a poor record in advancing peace and security in Southern Africa. Many identify poor policy frameworks and weak technical capacities as the major obstacles. Laurie Nathan goes beyond these easy explanations in his important new book on SADC. Absence of common democratic values and reluctance to surrender state sovereignty are key factors preventing SADC from making progress according to this book. This article argues that Nathan overstates the case and that there are real prospects and potentials for making further progress in regional cooperation. The lessons from the history of European integration also points to the important role of regional leadership. South Africa, in coalition with other likeminded countries, may still be in a position to move the SADC project forward.
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