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Games Regional Actors Play: Dependency, Regionalism, and Integration Theory for the Global South

  • Sebastian Krapohl (University of Amsterdam)
Wednesday 10 May 2017
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague
Room 2.19


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About the lecture

Regional integration in the developing world is in a state of flux: waves of enthusiasm are often followed by waves of stagnation or even disintegration. Prevailing integration theories suffer from an inherent Eurocentrism and cannot be applied to developing regions, because they implicitly rely on intraregional economic interdependence as a major driving force for regional integration. In contrast, in his article Dr. Krapohl starts from the empirical observation that intraregional economic interdependence is low and dependence on extra-regional economic relations is high in the global south. Thus, the aim of regional integration in developing regions is not so much the liberalization and regulation of intraregional trade, rather an effort to improve the regions’ competitiveness on the global market. Well integrated world regions may attract more extra-regional investment inflows and negotiate better access to extra-regional export markets, but the regional member states also compete with each other for their respective shares in extra-regional investment and trade. Sometimes, individual member states – especially the dominant regional powers – may do better in this competition if they act unilaterally and strive for privileged economic relations with extra-regional partners. As a result, the respective member states are likely to defect and to destabilize regional integration. Case studies of regional cooperation and unilateral defection in MERCOSUR and SADC confirm that regional powers like Brazil and South Africa defected from regional integration during the last 15 years in order to protect their privileged positions. In contrast, ASEAN is not dominated by a single regional power and economic integration has proceeded due to the gains that all member states enjoyed from extra-regional cooperation within the ASEAN+3 framework.

About the speaker

Dr. Sebastian Kapohl is an assistant professor of International Relations at the University of Amsterdam in the Political Economy and Transnational Governance research group. Sebastian Krapohl studied Political Science at the University of Bamberg, the London School of Economics and the European University Institute. Before he got the position in Amsterdam, he was Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant and Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Bamberg and he substituted the Chair of Contemporary History at the University of Mannheim during the academic year 2011/12. Sebastian Krapohl has published a book with Palgrave Macmillan and several articles in international journals like the Journal of European Public Policy, the European Law Journal, the European Journal of Political Research and the Journal of Common Market Studies.

About the seminars

Diplomacy and Global Affairs (DGA) Research Seminar Series is a series launched by the Research Group on Diplomacy and Global Affairs at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs. The seminars of internationally acknowledged guest researchers and faculty members deal with current research topics in diplomacy, international relations, global affairs, and political economy broadly conceived and target a broad audience through their interdisciplinary focus.

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