International Journal of Political Science and Development

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International Journal of Political Science and Development

Vol. 2(4), pp. 58 67, April, 2014

DOI: 10.14662/IJPSD2014.018

 ISSN: 2360-784X

Full Length Research

Dilemmas of collective action: Explaining East African regional integration and cooperation


Stephen M. Magu


1000 Regent University Dr, Virginia Beach, VA 23462. Email: smagu@regent.edu.  Phone: 2025944499


Accepted 22 April 2014




East African countries have a long history of regional cooperation through institutions. Regional cooperation predated independence, and intensified with the formation of the first East African Community (EAC). The EAC was operational between 1967 and 1977 and was later revived in 1999. Cooperation was not always been flawless, reforming economies, governance and implementation of the EAC Treaty has been rocky. No member state has utilized referenda to validate their positions, despite stated actions in ‘public interest’. This research applies the theoretical assumptions of Domestic Audience and Prisoner’s Dilemma approaches to evaluate two instances where Tanzania cooperated with the other partner states, and two non-cooperation instances. Just as do great powers, developing countries contend with dilemmas of cooperation and the threat of audience costs, given the potential effects of different stakeholders.

Key words: Game Theory, regional alliances, cooperation, domestic audience, East African




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