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How ECOWAS Lost Its Way
An inability to stand up to constitutional coups—most recently in Togo—has undermined the bloc’s credibility.

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In a recent article, Jessica Moody discusses the failure of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to effectively respond to constitutional coups in the region, which has undermined the bloc's credibility. The article highlights cases in Senegal, Togo, Benin, Guinea, and Ivory Coast, where leaders have manipulated laws to extend their terms, leading to widespread unrest and violence. ECOWAS's lack of action in response to these violations of democratic norms has weakened the bloc's legitimacy. Moody argues that the recent democratic win in Senegal may provide a lifeline to ECOWAS, but the bloc will need to reform itself and stand up to leaders who seek to abuse their power in order to survive.