Developing Countries and Regional Economic Cooperation

By M. Leann Brown | Go to book overview

1 Introduction

Over the past 30 years, less developed countries 1 have established several regional economic organizations to address their poverty, underdevelopment, and external dependency. Economic imperatives and the rationales for cooperation intuitively seem sufficient to ensure that national political leaderships would engage in the give and take necessary to achieve their stated goals. Yet, the historical record reveals a faltering pattern for most regional cooperative efforts. At best, they have experienced uneven results; many are now defunct. Why is this the case?

During the 1940s through the 1970s, functionalist and neofunctionalist theorists identified a plethora of factors that may contribute to the success of economic cooperative schemes during their startup, operational, and output phases. However, even the most successful integration effort among advanced industrial countries, the European Communities, was buffeted by the economic upheavals of the 1970s and early 1980s. Regional economic integration efforts among developing countries were even more severely affected. Despairing of achieving progress via regional strategies, many developing countries turned their energies to lobbying for reform of multilateral institutions in such futile efforts as the call for a New International Economic Order.

The international political economy of the 1990s provides qualitatively different challenges to national economies and their governments. Global interdependence is more pervasive and complex than ever before. Advanced industrial countries suffer from structural rigidities that foster the decline of formerly mainstay industries and chronically high unemployment. Trade competition is fierce, and volatility plagues global

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Developing Countries and Regional Economic Cooperation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Explaining Regional Economic Cooperation: The Case for a Cognitive Framing Model 13
  • Notes 39
  • 3 - The Andean Case: The 1976 Chilean Decision to Withdraw from the Pact 43
  • Notes 68
  • 4 - The Ecowas Case: Nigeria's 1983 Decision to Expel Allen Workers 73
  • Notes 95
  • 5 - The Asean Case: The 1977 Philippine Decision Concerning Sabah 99
  • Notes 122
  • 6 - Conclusions and Policy Recommendations 125
  • Notes 142
  • Appendix 145
  • Bibliography 155
  • Index 169
  • About the Author 175
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