The article discusses the salience of different theories of regional security integration through the prism of the experience of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). It tracks the region's progress from a hostile security complex to a nascent security community and asks what strategy for security integration should be employed to continue this positive trend. Although Southern African leaders seem to prefer a collective security strategy à la NATO, the common security approach of the OSCE is more appropriate: most of the region's security threats are domestic and lack of capacity warrants an incremental, decentralised process focused on the weakest SADC members. The current state-centric approach, which tends to conflate the security needs of regimes with those of the population as a whole, will not further the cause of building a security community in Southern Africa
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