The Role of the Regional Factor in West Africa

  • Fredrik Söderbaum
Part of the The New Regionalism book series (NERE)


The contemporary international system is characterized by a deep transformation process. The end of the bipolar Cold War structure has given rise, directly or indirectly, to a tremendous amount of changes all over the world at all levels. In this regard, the mosaic of countries commonly referred to as West Africa constitutes no exception, and the region is characterized by a complex mixture of various, partly reinforcing and partly contradictory, processes of structural change, the most important being globalization, region-alization and fragmentation from within (Keller and Rothchild, 1996; Shaw, 1993; Shaw and Okolo, 1994; Swatuk and Shaw, 1994; Zartman, 1994). In accordance with most other parts of the world, regionalism has attracted more attention in West Africa during the last decade. Although there is an intense debate on the form and content of regionalism in West Africa, today many analysts and policy-makers emphasize its importance for ensuring peace and development.


Regional Organization Regional Security Soft Regionalization West African Country Trade Integration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© The United Nations University/World Institute for Development Economics Research, Katajanokanlaituri 6B, 00160 Helsinki, Finland 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fredrik Söderbaum

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