The article seeks to contribute to discussions about international institutional complexes, in particular how they emerge and form functional niches. Testing the premise that competition between international institutions guides functional niche selection, the International Food Safety Complex (IFSC) is characterised and examined in light of the experience of Southern Africa. Institutional competition is shown not to be a necessary precondition for functional niche selection; rather, cooperation can also be a starting point. Related to whether competition or cooperation win out are the timing of and absolute demand for the international institutional complex. The final section looks at the impact of the structure and function of the IFSC on building food safety regulation in the Southern African region. A single case study of South Africa offers some insight into the opportunities and challenges that exist in the African region.

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South African Journal of International Affairs

Mukumba, C. (Chenai), & Hornsby, D.J. (2011). The international food safety complex in Southern Africa: Cooperation or competition?. South African Journal of International Affairs, 18(2), 235–256. doi:10.1080/10220461.2011.588830