Securitization is arguably the most successful theoretical framework to analyse security beyond the military confines with the nation state as the dominant actor within the international system. Amongst the critical voices, securitization has become the gold standard for analysing emerging challenges, such as migration, terrorism, human security, intra-state and cross-border issues, as well as environmental challenges. Yet, despite its broadening agenda, the framework has also been accused of a Western bias with a Western political context and democratic governance structure at its heart. This article aims to re-conceptualize the framework in a way that suits a non-Western context better, notably by re-conceptualizing the securitization–neo-patrimonialism nexus in Africa, which gives us significant new insights into non-Western political contexts. It analyses the securitization processes among the political elites in a neo-patrimonial statehood. It further stretches the conceptualization of securitization into African statehood, characterized by a blurred line between the leader and the state.
- West Africa