What is the impact of regional integration?


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What is the impact of regional integration?

  1. 1. What is the impact ofregional integration?Regional Integration among Development Countries from a social constructivist point of view Elisabeth Kaneza
  2. 2. Overview Introduction Social Constructivism in IR- Main ideas of soc. constructivism Case Study: Regional integration- Definition of „integration“- 4 stages of regional integration- Definition of cooperation- Regional Integration among Developing Countries (RIDC)- Impact of RIDC on member countries Conclusion Suggested questions for the discussion Bibliography
  3. 3. Social Constructivism in IR International system exists as an intersubjective awareness among people International system consists in thoughts and ideas Since ideas can change, the system itself will change
  4. 4. Main ideas of Social Constructivism Social construction of realityHuman relations, social structures consist ofthoughts and ideas (Wendt) Understanding or verstehen„Subjective understanding is the specificcharacteristic of social knowledge“ (Weber) View of the state„States are artificial creations“ (Vico)
  5. 5. Video: Let Africa trade with AfricaSource:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f9aZrWdnFc&feature=player_embedded#!
  6. 6. Case Study: Regional integration‘European integration has a transformative impacton the European state system and its constituentunits […] in the process agents’ (states and elites)identity and subsequently their interests andbehaviour have equally changed’ (Christiansen etal., p.529)
  7. 7. The fallacy of transposition European integration served as model to developing countries Misunderstanding of regional approach: integration vs. cooperation Underestimation of special conditions in Europe
  8. 8. Definition of „integration“ Integration is a process aiming at abolishing discrimination between local and foreign goods, services, and factors
  9. 9. 4 stages of integration1) Free Trade Area (FTA) ->removing barriers2) Customs Union ->common external tariff3) Common market ->mobility of goods and services4) Economic Union -> harmonisation of nat. economic policies
  10. 10. Definition of cooperation Cooperation includes concerted actions aimed at lessening discrimination in certain areas of common interest
  11. 11. Regional Integration among DevelopingCountries (RIDC)- Regional integration seen as conducive to economic development- Main argument: positive effect of infant industry protection in a regional union on quality control, marketing techniques and other prerequisites for later success on world markets (training ground argument)- Voting power due to politically collective bargaining
  12. 12. Impact of RIDC on member countries „Spill-over“ from the economic to the political arena Production of international collective goods, i.e. regional security Formation of common objectives by neighboring countries (consensus building) Consensus building can lead to mutual regimes of norms and rules or concrete agreements Restraints in national unilateral policy making/loss of sovereignty Adjustmet of production structures and policy reforms
  13. 13. RIDC unsuccessful? „RIDC has more or less failed…“ (Inotai, 1986) Approx. 10% intraregional trade in AU „South-South“ trade did not offer a viable alternative to trade with industrialised countries RIDC cannot be a substitute for domestic economic policies
  14. 14. Conclusion (1) Social Constructivism stresses the importance of ideas and thoughts as preconditions for social construction Regional integration cannot be explained with realist notion of states‘ (materialist) interests RIDC encouraged economic policy reforms However, envisaged trade benefits and welfare were not achieved Move away from integration, towards cooperation
  15. 15. Conclusion (2) Focus on common interests or joint production of public goods (education, research and development (R&D), infrastructure, evironment) Cooperation has the benefit that it‘s not externally imposed Initiative for policy reforms comes from within the participating countries Remaining challenge: successful regional coopeartion needs stable macroeconomic and political environment
  17. 17. Suggested questions for the discussion1) Do the gains from intraregional trade have the potential to be a substitute for foreign aid?2) Should the European Model be exported to developing regions?3) Why trading with the region at all?
  18. 18. BibliographyHopf, T. (1998). The Promise of Constructivism in International Relations Theory.In International Security, Vol.23(1)Inotai, A. (1986). Regional Integration in the New World Economic Environment.Budapest: Akademiai KiadoJackson, R. (2006). Social Constructivism. In Jackson, R; Sörensen, G. (2006).Introduction to International Relations. Oxford: Oxford University PressLanghammer, R.J.; Hiemenz, U. (1990). Regional integration among developingcountries: opportunities, obstacles and options. In Kieler Studien, Vol. 232Schimmelfennig, F. (2003). The EU, NATO and the Integration of Europe: Rulesand Rhetoric. Cambridge: Cambridge University PressWendt, A. (1992). Anarchy is What States Make of It. In InternationalOrganization, Vol.46(2)