Southern Africa is likely to experience more social unrest in the foreseeable future. That is one of the conclusions in this policy dialogue, which provides an overview of political and economic developments relevant to regional peace and security in Southern Africa. While the region continues to experience isolated armed conflicts, and while developmental backlogs present a major risk to regional stability in the long run, currently the most acute source of instability stems from governance deficits, which in the past decade have prompted crises in many of the member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). SADC’s institutional framework for regional peace and security has proven ineffective because SADC leaders have prioritised national sovereignty over the enforcement of democratic principles. The institutions have little capacity as they lack material and political support. The governance deficits and SADC’s lacklustre conflict management may in the long run arrest development in Southern Africa.