Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Regional Integration (Supranational)
Mary Anne Madeira & James A. Caporaso
When examining the macrostructure of the global system, three observations appear highly salient. Politically, the world is organized into 200 or so sovereign nation-states, each an aspiring zone of exclusive authority. Economically, there is a single though differentiated world economy, especially since the decline of the global socialist bloc. What lies in between these states and the world economy are numerous international institutions, many of them organized on a regional basis. Regional integration refers to the process of increasing political and economic cooperation among states in close geographic proximity to each other. The growth in the number of regional organizations is dramatic. While numerous regional organizations were reported to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in the 4½ decades after World War II, an even more dramatic growth spurt has taken place starting in 1992. While the number of new regional organizations leveled off, that level remained This ...