A Game Theoretic Model of Exit, Voice and Loyalty in Africa’s troubled relationship with the International Criminal Court

Raphael Z. Mwatela, Halimu S. Shauri


Africa consists of the single largest group of member states to the International Criminal Court (ICC). This membership was stronger during the negotiations leading up to the adoption of the Rome Statute in 1998 that paved the way to the creation of this court. Lately, this support has waned and now the African bloc led by the African Union has become amongst the fiercest critics of the ICC. This has seen Burundi becoming the first country to officially pull out of the Statute. The key question is therefore why such a region which highly supported the creation of the court has developed a love-hate relationship with it? This paper employs the ideas by Albert O. Hirschman (1970) to develop a Game Theory model in understanding and explaining the Exit and Voice games of the African block, and come up with costs and payouts for these actions. The authors use qualitative data analysis of existing texts to develop logical propositions. It is noted that exiting the ICC for Africa is a costly option for both the ICC and Africa with minimal payout. The optimum act is for Africa to remain within the ICC and employ voice to push for reforms.

Keywords: International Criminal Court, Game Theory, Exit, Voice and Loyalty


Raphael Z. Mwatela, Ph.D Candidate, Central China Normal University Email: mwatelaraph@yahoo.com

 Halimu S. Shauri,  Associate Professor, Pwani University Email: hshauri@yahoo.com

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