Examples of regional economic integration include the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Corporation), NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Association) and the EU (European Union). This is just a few of the many regional economic arrangements currently proliferating across the globe. Regional Integration Arrangements (RIAs) are becoming increasingly prevalent in a modern context; what are the effects of regional integration on political actors' Do RIAs promote multilateralism or are they stumbling blocks, as opposed to stepping stones, to collective action' Seeking to address these concerns and many more with respect to the increased prevalence of RIAs in an era of globalization, the following will explore regional integration and multilateralism in a comparative context. Using an analysis of regional integration, organizational growth and multilateralism within the EU, this essay will determine whether multilateralism is hindered or facilitated through regional integration. We begin first, however, with a concise overview of the modern globalization phenomenon.
Globalization is an international phenomenon with important geopolitical ramifications. ...
Events from the late 1960s reverberated in the Communist world and finally came to a head in the 1980s with total economic and political collapse. The Soviet sphere, coupled with the former Yugoslavia, provide the best examples of this phenomenon. Additionally, the end of the Cold War has had important implications for the already precarious states of Africa and has coincided with the emergence of Asian economic "Tigers": a global economic shift towards emerging East Asian powerhouses.
Globalization, as it exists today, rests largely on the shoulders of neoliberal economics and the global entrenchment of capitalism as the dominant economic system in the world. Neo-liberalism, the belief in laissez-faire economics, was best articulated by Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom and Ronald Reagan in the United States in the 1980s. US President Ronald Regan famously remarked "government was not the solution but the problem"1. Neo-liberals put all of their faith in the distributive capabilities of the invisible hand of the free market, and believe that business was inherently good and that government bad. The government was longer interested in the provision of welfare but existed to stimulate the capitalist economic market. The United States under Ronald Reagan was thus described as the "greatest of the neo-liberal regimes" (Hobsbawm 1994). Accordingly,
The essence of neo-liberalism, its pure form, is a more or less thoroughgoing adherence, in rhetoric if not in practice, to the virtues of a market economy, and, by extension, a market-oriented society. While some neo-liberals appear to assume that one can construct any kind of 'society' on any kind of economy, the position taken here is that the economy, the state