This study addresses civil society's role in shaping regional security governance in ECOWAS. In particular, it looks at the politics of inclusion and exclusion of specific sectors of civil society and tries to understand what this may mean for the democratisation and ultimately, legitimation, of regional governance in West Africa. In addressing the growing participation of civil society in ECOWAS, the tendency has been to focus on its scope, rather than on the implications of such expanded engagement for democratisation. Scholars have also examined regionalism from statist perspectives that ignore non-state dimensions and how these shape state-led regionalisms. While the role of non state armed groups in West African conflicts is well documented, there is little evidence that scholarship has dealt effectively with the role of civil society in designing and maintaining regional peace and security architectures in West Africa. It is this gap that this study hopes to fill.