Go to AfricaBib home

Go to AfricaBib home AfricaBib Go to database home

bibliographic database
Previous page New search

The free AfricaBib App for Android is available here

Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A question of intervention: American policymaking in Sierra Leone and the power of institutional agenda setting
Author:Cook, Christopher R.ISNI
Periodical:African Studies Quarterly (ISSN 1093-2658)
Geographic terms:Sierra Leone
United States
Subjects:foreign policy
civil wars
foreign intervention
External link:http://asq.africa.ufl.edu/files/Cook-Vol10Issue1.pdf
Abstract:This article is an examination of American foreign policy towards Sierra Leone in 1999 and 2000. It aims to contribute to the literature on Sierra Leone while shedding theoretical light on types of humanitarian intervention. It seeks to answer two questions about American policy: First, why did the Clinton White House become involved in this particular West African civil war? Secondly, what factors led the US to give financial and logistical help but not military aid? These types of limited interventions have usually been ignored by American foreign policy scholars. To understand Sierra Leonean decisionmaking, the article examines four key policy decisions using primary interviews with Clinton officials and looking at internal documents from the White House, Defense and State Departments. The author contends that a theory of international institutional agenda setting can best describe American policy. This argument explores how constructivist norms (i.e. human rights and sovereignty) are transmitted, magnified or mitigated by international institutions. By bringing neoliberal institutional literature back into constructivism it can be shown how 'institutional identity' influences and shapes State policy preferences - not only in decisions to intervene but in shaping the size and scope of UN peacekeeping mandates. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]