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The present day erosion of the nation-state is most often linked to globalisation and the overwhelming influence it has had on the economic, social and political policies of these units. Governments are often portrayed as being at the mercy of transnational actors whose only loyalty is to their profit making abilities.


In this sense regionalism is seen to provide a buffer against the run away train of globalisation, yet, as we shall see in many ways regionalism's aims quite often run parallel to those of globalism.
Keohane and Nye (2000) define globalism as the "state of the world involving networks of interdependence at multicontinental distances."1 Regionalism, on the other hand, can be defined as the move by two or more states towards greater political, economic and social integration. Oman (1999) claims that it can be a "process, driven by the same microeconomic forces that drive globalisation or it can be a process, driven by political forces, which may in turn be motivated by security, economic, or other objectives."2 Both globalism and regionalism have the ability to stretch over the economic, social and political institutions of a country.
The definition of regionalism has changed over the last twenty-five years. Dutta (1999) claims that since the end of the Cold War "regionalization has become more economic than political. ...
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