Why have the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) struggled to establish a viable security regime? Why has SADC been unable to engage in successful peacemaking? And why has it defied the optimistic prognosis in the early 1990s that it would build a security community in Southern Africa? Exploring the formation, evolution and effectiveness of the regional security arrangements, Nathan examines a number of vital and troubling questions: He argues that the answers to these questions lie in the absence of common values among member states, the weakness of these states and their unwillingness to surrender sovereignty to the regional organisation. Paradoxically, the challenge of building a co-operative security regime lies more at the national level than at the regional level. The author's perspective is based on a unique mix of insider access, analytical rigour and accessible theory.