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Region-Building: Vol. I: The Global Proliferation of Regional Integration

Ludger Kühnhardt
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 512
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    After two centuries of nation-building, the world has entered an era of region-building in search of political stability, cultural cohesion, and socio-economic development. Nations involved in the regional structures and integration schemes that are emerging in most regions of the world are deepening their ambitions, with Europe's integration experience often used as an experimental template or theoretical model. Volume I provides a political-analytical framework for recognizing the central role of the European Union not only as a conceptual model but also a normative engine in the global proliferation of regional integration. It also gives a comprehensive treatment of the focus, motives, and objectives of non-European integration efforts. Volume II offers a unique collection of documents that give the best available overview of the legal and political evolution of region-building based on official documents and stated objectives of the relevant regional groupings across all continents. Together, these volumes are important contributions for understanding the evolution of global affairs in an age when power shifts provide new challenges and opportunities for transatlantic partners and the world community.

    eISBN: 978-1-84545-838-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. [Map]
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)
    Ludger Kühnhardt

    This study is about region-building and its role in today’s world order. As any glance at a map reveals, regions constitute geographical realities around the world. But regions are also mental realities conceived and shaped by notions of culture, identity, and material interests. Regions are political, as their delineation and inner order are never developed without the influence of political norms and actions. Regions are markets, no matter whether these markets are integrated and shaped in a cooperative, competitive, or protectionist way. Regions are home to people and to their history. Regions might experience their future—and endure it—as...

  6. Part I Framing the Issue

    • 1 Globalization, Regionalism, Integration: Politics and Identity in the Age of the Market
      (pp. 11-39)

      During the nineteenth and twentieth century, the world has experienced state-building on a massive scale. The number of recognized sovereign states around the globe has increased dramatically, from 55 in 1900 to 205 in 2010, 193 of them being UN member states. The project of nation-building has produced mixed results while the term was largely attributed to postcolonial efforts in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Many sovereign states, without being home to coherent nations, have joined the global community after their respective colonizing powers had left. In the late twentieth century, the phenomenon has been experienced in post-communist Europe, too....

    • 2 Emulating the European Union? The Incomplete Model for Democratic Region-Building
      (pp. 40-70)

      When the European Economic Community (EEC) was founded in 1957 through the Treaties of Rome, nobody would have seriously thought of a global role for Europe. A thirty-year period of civil wars had left Europe in ruins. Moreover, the continent was divided and its Western part under heavy pressure from expansionist communist regimes under the totalitarian leadership of the Soviet Union. The Marshall Fund aid program of the United States and the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) had reversed American policies toward Europe: the US was to stay committed to Europe’s recovery and security. Under the protective...

  7. Part II A Global Survey

    • 3 Latin Americica and the Caribbean: Between Regional Identity and Continental Aspiration
      (pp. 73-159)

      It has been called “the most politically advanced integration process in the Americas.”¹ Certainly, it is one of the least known. The Central American Integration System (SICA, abbreviated from its Spanish title Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana) is torn between the claim of supranational integration based on rule of law and political and economic union, on the one hand, and on the other the realities of dire poverty, structural impediments to development, and weak, if not fledgling, democracies in most of its member states. It is also burdened by a long history of failed integration in Central America and sometimes...

    • 4 Asia: Regional Integration in a Continent That Isn’t
      (pp. 160-229)

      The Bangkok Declaration of 8 August 1967 was clear and unambiguous: “The Association represents the collective will of the nations of the region to bind themselves together in friendship and cooperation, and through joint efforts and sacrifices, secure for their people and for posterity the blessings of peace, freedom, and prosperity.”¹ The founding document of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) declared cooperation in “common interest areas” as its main objective. Three main purposes for the founding of a regional architecture in Southeast Asia were outlined:

      To bring about regional peace and stability.

      To abide by law and respect...

    • 5 Africica: Renaissance through Region-Building?
      (pp. 230-297)

      Since 1950, world economic production has more than quadrupled and global trade has risen seventeen-fold. The only continent by and large unaffected by this enormous socioeconomic progress has been Africa. Even worse, on the whole Africa has suffered a stark deterioration in living standards. Its 850 million people (770 million in sub-Saharan Africa) in fifty-three countries produce a GDP of $1.5 trillion (by comparison, the EU GDP is $456 trillion), which translates into a per capita income of $1,842 (EU: $24,249). Thirty-three African countries are low-income countries with a GDP per capita below $905. Only 2.7 percent of world trade...

    • 6 Pre-Integration in the Pacific Ocean
      (pp. 298-322)

      It may seem as if the concept of sovereignty could not have any other meaning for the island countries in the Pacific Ocean than to maintain member state status in the United Nations. More than a dozen tiny states, often consisting of several hundred islands and atolls, stretch over a huge territory bigger than the European Union. The tyranny of distance is coupled with demographic limitations. In each of the Pacific island countries in the waters between Australia, China, the United States, and the Pacific coast of Latin America, small numbers of people are living on such scarce resources as...

    • 7 De-integration in Eurasia
      (pp. 323-343)

      On 8 December 1991, the then presidents of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine met in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha Natural Reserve, fifty kilometers north of Brest, and signed the Agreement Establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). They announced that the CIS (in Russian: SNG, Sodruzhestvo Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv) would be open to all former republics of the Soviet Union and other nations sharing the goals outlined in their agreement. The dissolution of the Soviet Union had accelerated since Estonia’s unilateral declaration of sovereignty in November 1988. The failed coup d’état against Mikhail Gorbachev, the president of the Soviet Union, in August 1991...

    • 8 Non-Integration in Regions with Geopoliticical Tension
      (pp. 344-388)

      Northeast Asia is a paradoxical region. Its economic dynamism provides global stability, but its geopolitical conflicts generate global uncertainty. No other region in the world is vacillating between a truly twenty-first–century aspiration to define, master, and promote globalization based on technological achievements, and nineteenth-century geopolitical parameters coupled with an irritating set of “leftovers” from twentieth-century regime controversies over totalitarian rule and strategic antagonisms defined by the Cold War era. While substantial energy has been spent to develop recommendations for viable mechanisms of regional integration in Northeast Asia—including the valuable distinction between economic regionalism, political regionalism, and security regionalism¹...

  8. Part III Context and Implicication

    • 9 The European Union in the Global Prolififeration of Regional Integration
      (pp. 391-421)

      The European Union is a work in progress. Most of the literature dealing with the European Union concentrates on the developments inside the EU. Likewise, the main focus of political and other actors within the European Union is on the internal evolution of EU governance and policy matters. This is natural, as the internal development of the European Union is their prime responsibility and center of reflection. But it does not devote sufficient reflection to the global role of Europe and the perception of the EU around the world. The perception of the EU, its global impact, and its worldwide...

    • 10 Democraticic Governance, Regional Groupipings, and World Order
      (pp. 422-450)

      In spite of backlashes and shortcomings, region-building continues across the world. Often, a confusing overlap of terminology blurs a clear-cut analysis of strength and weaknesses of the respective processes. Yet based on a cross-continental empirical study of the main region-building processes, one can identify the most obvious reasons that explain the underlying dynamics and inherent causes of continuous regionalization, regionalism, and region-building:

      Intuitive commonalities. Common features of identity due to geographic proximity, overarching cultural patterns, and shared historical memories are at the root of region-ness. Turning these markers of identification into region-building strategies has generated a wide array of possible...

    • 11 Perspectives for Democraticic Region-Building
      (pp. 451-464)

      The study of region-building tends to be heavily focused on the building process and on the elaboration of hair-splitting definitions of region, region-ness, and regionalism. The study of regional integration has developed into a subdiscipline of international relations but often falls short of including the perspectives, methods, and questions arising from the fields of comparative governance and political theory. An approach combining these three fields makes the most sense, helping to enhance our knowledge and analytical competence in assessing region-building. Region-building will succeed only if it is lastingly recognized by its constituent parts. These are the member states of each...

  9. Bibliography
    (pp. 465-486)
  10. Index
    (pp. 487-490)
  11. About the Author
    (pp. 491-492)