Journal of Social and Political
ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)
ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)
Published: 04 May 2022
Internal Capability of the State Matters in International Relations: Evidence from East African Tri-national Border Zone
Olang Sana, Chweya Ludeki
University of Nairobi (Kenya), Kenya School of Government (Kenya)
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Keywords: External Capability, Internal Capacity Nation State, Security
The realist theoretical perspective suggests that the ‘inside’ of the state is not a critical variable since, unlike the anarchical international system, the domestic arena entails a sovereign entity in form of a government which is able to exercise effective authority, secure compliance from citizens, and guarantee internal order. However, studies continue to expose a litany of states especially in the developing world, whose weaknesses can be attributed to domestic antagonism. Consequently, the states face external security threats due to such internal incapacity gaps. This article draws data from Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan to demonstrate that internal capacity of states matter in international relations. The study establishes that the three states have been unable to establish effective authority over the pastoral Turkana, Karamojong and Toposa who reside in their respective territorial jurisdictions and this weakness has a corresponding effect on the ability of the state to promote its national interest, which is mainly security. The article therefore, argues that while realism still remains a compelling theoretical perspective for conceptualizing security in the international system, it could be strengthened by paying attention to the domestic variable.
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