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The new regionalism in Southern Africa Fredrik Sderbaum Department of Peace and Development Research Gteborg University ABSTRACT Drawing on the new regionalism approach (NRA) this article shows that Southern Africa is undergoing a deep transformation process. There are many regionalisms and regionalisations, which are all interacting with global, national and sub-national actors and processes. Regionalism in Southern Africa needs to be understood in relation to the transformation of the world and the global economy and to the restructuring (and crisis) of the nation-state. With regard to security regionalism, each country is interdependent with a regional security order and the major security threats are political, social, economic and environmental rather than military in character, and derive more from internal than external factors. Concerning developmental regionalism, it is often claimed that regionalism is a political response to economic globalisation - that is the return of the political and protectionism - and what is preferred depends simply on ideological position. This article suggests a more complex picture, inter alia highlighting that political, `formal' regionalism may also reinforce economic globalisation; that `spontaneous', market- and society-induced processes of regionalisation must not be neglected and should be related to economic globalisation and political regionalism. INTRODUCTION Southern Africa is clearly in a state of flux, and the region is being shaped by a great variety of dynamics. It is not only a pluralism of regionalisms and regionalisations, but these simultaneously interact in a complex game with other processes, such as globalisation, nation-/state-building and disintegration, which suggests that understanding will be enhanced by using the region as the main unit of analysis. The aim of this article is therefore, in an overview manner and a multilevel perspective, to analyse the origins, dynamics and consequences of regionalism(s) in Southern Africa in various fields of activity and combined. In doing so I will draw on the new regionalism approach (NRA), which has proved to be a useful, albeit open-ended, analytical tool for understanding the [75] dynamics shaping emerging regions elsewhere (see Hettne & Sderbaum in this issue; Hettne & Inotai 1994; Hettne, Inotai & Sunkel 1998, vol I-V). Given the recent development of NRA and the two-way traffic between theory and practice, it is assumed that the experience of Southern Africa will simultaneously contribute to further theory-building. The content of NRA should not be repeated here, but a few clarifications seems appropriate since the study of regionalism is both contested and emotionally loaded. The task at hand is to understand the transformation processes shaping Southern Africa in a historical, multidimensional and multilevel perspective, using an eclectic theoretical mixture of strands of international relations/international political economy theory, regional integration theory and development theory. [1] It is thus not the level of regional cooperation and integration per se which is in focus, but rather the `whys' and `hows' of regionalisms and regionalisations, that is, increasing and decreasing levels of `regionness' and to what extent Southern Africa is being `Southern Africanised'. There are two main overlapping ways of understanding regionalism: the role of the region towards the rest of the world and the internal dynamics of a particular region. Both are considered here. This aim does not imply that regionalism is a `good thing'. Although this may very well be the case, a regional world order is not necessarily to be preferred to a Westphalian or a globalised order, and regionalism may be the source of conflict, exploitation and de-development in some parts of the region. However, it is equally important to understand why and how a region disintegrates. The simple point of departure here is that regionalism is an interesting phenomenon which we need to learn more about. Furthermore, although the states (that is governments) are important actors in the process of regionalisation, and will be given due attention, it is necessary to transcend conventional state-centric, top-down, de jure perspectives of regionalisation - that is, the `formal' region - and take into consideration the non-state actors, bottom-up, de facto forces from the market and civil society - that is, the `informal' or spontaneous region. [2] The distinction is important because the various processes are not necessarily mutually reinforcing. By the same token, the ideology of regionalism should be distinguished from the process of regionalisation. Since there are many regionalisms and regionalisations, there are also competing definitions of regions, which makes it necessary to maintain some flexibility on the delineation of Southern Africa. This `problem' (for some analysts) will automatically disappear hand in hand with increasing or decreasing levels of regionness. The area covering the member states of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) - Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland - constitutes a rather sophisticated region in many important respects. However, it is fruitful to view Southern Africa in a wider perspective. A pragmatic and commonly used delineation, albeit changing over time, has been the member [76] countries of the SADC(C), plus South Africa before 1994. [3] Today it seems that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has reached (beyond?) the boundaries of `Southern Africa', and the inclusion of, for instance, Mauritius and Seychelles, but also Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania, in this group suggests a thin line towards East and Central Africa. From this perspective the SACU area can be understood as the minimum definition of Southern Africa, and SADC as the maximum. The article is outlined as follows. As a common point of departure, the main processes of change at various levels shaping Southern Africa as a region are briefly described. The analysis is concretised in the following two sections by a focus on security and developmental regionalism respectively. With regard to the former, the broadening of the security

agenda, the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security and regional interventions in the domestic affairs of some other states are elaborated upon. The analysis on developmental regionalism suggests that contemporary regionalism in Southern Africa needs to be understood in relation to the structural transformation of the global economy as well as the restructuring of the nation-state. The role of South Africa in Southern Africa is also elaborated upon. Finally, the strings are drawn together and the similarities and differences between security and developmental regionalism are considered. CHANGE IN AND OF SOUTHERN AFRICA The role of the regional factor in Southern Africa had already grown strong during the colonial era, although colonialism of course also divided the region. South Africa was very much at the centre of gravity, mainly as a result of the discovery of gold and diamonds in the late nineteenth century, and gradually intensified its efforts to transform the region to suit its own needs by way of labour migration, mining expansion, trade, transport and communication etc. When the process of decolonialism was initiated, one important line of division ran between the independent majorityruled states and a gradually disappearing block of the Portuguese colonies and the white minority-ruled states, led by apartheid South Africa. The apartheid conflict shaped much of regional relations and had a devastating impact not only within South Africa but on the other countries as well, especially Mozambique and Angola. External actors were also deeply involved in the region; that is, the superpowers and their allies, the rest of Africa, a large part of the rest of the world, as well as transnational corporations (TNCs), which reveals that apartheid and regional divisions could not be separated from the Cold War logic and other systemic processes. In fact, the simultaneous existence of apartheid and global bipolarity created a vicious circle of war, conflict, poverty and disaster. With regard to `formal' regionalisation schemes in Southern Africa, such as the Front Line States (FLS); SACU/CMA; SADCC, these were used mainly as instruments in the larger power struggle. The ventures were dominated by state[77] actors in a top-down manner, and the private economic actors and civil society were involved to the extent that they promoted the national interests of their home governments. This implied that South African-based businesses were penetrating the rest of the region, often with active support from the government, while the neighbouring countries tried (but failed) to resist increased dependency. With regard to civil society, human interaction and solidarity it was rather the other way around. The neighbouring states supported the liberation movement in South Africa while the apartheid regime tried in all possible and impossible ways to prevent them from doing so. In the broadest sense the `old' regionalism in Southern Africa could only be understood in the context of the ideologised climate of the Cold War and apartheid and `in terms of a series of oppositional positionings: inside/outside; black/white; us/them; good/evil; etc' (Swatuk 1996:3). Today bipolarity and apartheid (formally) are gone, which means that the region is in the process of being transfigured from an unstable, conflict formation towards something 'new', or at least different. In several respects, the changes are for the better, although we do not yet know what the outcome is. There is a complex mixture of interacting processes at various analytical levels. Since Southern Africa does not exist in a vacuum, the end of the bipolar Cold War structure does not mean that the global system forces have disappeared. On the contrary, in accordance with the old regionalism, the contemporary phenomenon must be understood in a global perspective, and the effects of transnationalisation and globalisation of trade, production and finance, the reorientation of development ideology and the (mainly) externally imposed structural adjustment programmes (SAPs), together with the hegemony of political and economic liberalism have a profound impact on regionalisation. Regionalism is also linked to the national level. As a project it must be understood from the perspective of the states and in the context of the restructuring of the nation-state. Regionalism can be an offensive instrument for facilitating the integration of the national economies (and the region) more closely into the world economy and exploiting the opportunities of globalisation, mainly through the generation of external and internal investment and trade. Regionalism is also to be conceived as a defensive strategy to organise and retake political initiative in an often hostile global economy and in order to avoid further marginalisation. Although contemporary processes of regionalism contain a strong political element, the new regionalism contrasts sharply with the old. The former is compatible with and reinforces the current globalisation of the world economy, and it is characterised by openness, interdependence and inclusiveness, whereas the latter was founded on an explicit competition with globalism, and the promotion of import substitution on a regional scale, protectionism, collective self-reliance and the reduction of dependency and exclusiveness. [4] As already indicated, regionalisation cannot be separated from processes within [78] the individual countries. One important aspect of this is that the economic policies and political systems have converged and become more similar during the last decade(s), mainly as a consequence of SAPs, economic reform programmes and the changed development ideology in general. These processes of policy convergence and homogenisation, `the elimination of extremes', have considerably improved the conditions for regionalism and regionalisation in Southern Africa. However, neoliberalism and SAPs favour unilateral development strategies, which somewhat paradoxically has led to regional disintegration, fragmentation, deindustrialisation and increased differences in the region. In addition, the SAPs and reform programmes are founded on the ideology of `the rolling back of the state', which reduces the potential not only for state-driven regionalism but also for market and society-induced integration, since the two depend on each other. These aspects will be further elaborated upon in the section on developmental regionalism. SECURITY REGIONALISM With the end of the Cold War together with that of apartheid, the two most important sources of insecurity in Southern Africa have disappeared. The conflicts in Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa and elsewhere in the region cannot be understood without taking into account the disastrous effects of the bipolar Cold War structure and apartheid. External powers, particularly the USA and TNCs, have kept on intervening in regional and national affairs, for instance in Angola, Congo and Mozambique, and they are likely to continue to affect and shape the region after the end of the Cold War and apartheid. This is rather 'natural' since the new (as well as the old) regionalism is (was) closely intermixed with the systemic forces at large. Nevertheless, as long as the regional and national security regimes serve

the major global power interests and their demand for natural resources and global stability, it is reasonable to argue that the room for manoeuvre has increased since the end of the Cold War. The patterns of regional security interdependencies have changed. Although real and potential conflicts, security threats and exploitation still exist, a large-scale inter-state war in Southern Africa is not foreseeable. The extremely strong military capacity of South Africa has given rise to tensions and there are also some minor territorial disputes between some countries, for instance between Botswana and Namibia over islands in the Chobe river. These and similar disputes may possibly escalate into conflicts and strategic interventions, such as a temporary closure of borders and high-level rhetorics, but Southern Africa is no longer to be understood in terms of the conventional power-security dilemma or other militaristic logic. In so far as intergovernmental relations are concerned, Southern Africa has been transformed from an explosive security complex towards a security [79] community with cooperative relations, that is, the level of regionness has increased. The Southern African states `respect', although perhaps don't trust, one another, which has clearly improved the potential for security. As elaborated on below, the states are cooperating in various ways and acknowledge that an increasingly interdependent international and regional system necessitates increased security cooperation as opposed to unilateralism and a military logic (Swatuk & Omari 1997:6). When moving beyond intergovernmental relations, Southern Africa is not of course a security community. The debate on regional security in Southern Africa is not so much concerned with intergovernmental regional relations but focuses instead on a broad set of mostly 'new' or previously buttressed security threats, such as population growth; the environment and the competition for scarce natural resources; mass migration; food shortage; drugs; disease and Aids; ethnocentric nationalism; crime and small arms proliferation; the crisis of liberal democracy; the role of the armed forces; poverty and economic marginalisation (Booth & Vale 1995; Cawthra 1997; Cilliers & Mills 1995; Ohlsson & Stedman 1994; Swatuk & Omari 1997; Vale 1996; Van Ardt 1996, 1997). As Solomon and Cilliers (1997:194) correctly point out: `Wider more nuanced conceptions of security therefore constitute a more adequate conceptual `fit' with the realities confronting Southern Africa.' The broadening of the security agenda is intimately related to the fact that the states can themselves be sources of insecurity. The internal domestic conflicts constitute some of the main sources of insecurity in Southern Africa. The most violent of the recent conflicts are those in Angola, Mozambique, Congo, KwaZulu Natal, but the situation is also potentially explosive in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, etc. In these contexts, order is upheld mainly with power and by the armed forces. Of course the population in the countries are most affected, but most conflicts have a more or less strong regional dimension. They spill over into neighbouring states in one way or another, thus causing regional instability, once again drawing attention to the interplay between the regional and the national. As Laurie Nathan (1993:5) has pointed out, each country is interdependent with a regional security order and `many of the major threats to the countries of the region are political, social, economic and environmental rather than military in character, and derive more from internal than external factors'. There is intense ongoing debate in Southern Africa - amongst states, civil society, NGOs, donors, academics and research institutions - on how to address the new security problems. One concrete outcome which deserves to be treated in detail is the SADC Organ for Politics, Defence and Security. SADC Organ for Politics, Defence and Security After lengthy discussions and several proposals that came to nothing, in June [80] 1996 the SADC leaders agreed on the establishment of the SADC Organ for Politics, Defence and Security (Van Aardt 1996, 1997). The organ is still in its infancy and much is yet to be settled. According to its founding declaration, the organ is to abide by the same principles as SADC, including the sovereign equality of all member states, the peaceful settlement of disputes, and the observance of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. It will operate at summit level, but also on ministerial and technical levels. The chairmanship of the organ should rotate on an annual and on a troika basis (in contrast to the three-year basis of the SADC chair). The organ is (likely) to function separately from other SADC structures and the SADC Secretariat. It is not clear whether the organ will require a permanent secretariat, but it seems that the country chairing the organ will perform the functions of the secretariat. One of the strengths and novel features of the SADC organ is its comprehensive and multisectoral approach to peace and security, which is based inter alia on military confidence, conflict prevention and resolution, political stability, home affairs, police and intelligence, foreign policy, social justice, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and minorities, as well as other problems that have regional implications, such as arms and drug smuggling, organised crime and migrant labour. The organ's purpose should also be understood in relation to SADC's other leg which focuses on regional economic development and integration. The objectives of the SADC organ can be structured according to table 1. SADC clearly has a long way to go before achieving these ambitions. Things are made even more difficult because the declaration establishing the organ was short on its formalisation and implementation. The institutional structure is still being debated. The existing Inter-State Defence and Security Committee (ISDSC) - originally launched within the structure of the FLS - provides a nascent coordinating and planning structure to start from (Van Aardt 1996, 1997). ISDSC is a forum in which ministers responsible for defence, home affairs, public security and state security meet to discuss issues relating to their individual and collective defence and security. It now includes all the SADC member states, and it functions effectively on a technical level, with a plethora of committees and sub-committees which meet as required or agreed, usually in the country chairing the committee concerned. The ISDSC operates fairly informally, with the country chairing performing the work of the secretariat. Most of the work is carried out by three subcommittees: defence, public security (policing) and state security (intelligence). The ISDSC represents a state-centric approach to security, and it remains to be seen if and how ISDSC will be integrated within the broader framework of the SADC organ (or perhaps vice versa). The SADC organ as such is also state-centric and designed to promote the national interests and enhance the political stability of the existing regimes.

Fears have been expressed in the security debate that the SADC organ cements a conventional security paradigm and authoritarian regimes [81] Table 1 The objectives of the SADC Organ for Politics, Defence and Security

SADC Organ for Politics, Defence and Security

Military/ Defence protect against instability from within or outside its borders Crime prevention close cooperation to deal with cross-border crime Intelligence close cooperation Foreign policy promote cooperation and common political value systems and institutions to deal with cross-border crime develop foreign policy and a joint international lobby conflict prevention, management and resolution Human rights develop democratic institutions and practices

develop a collective security capacity

promote communitybased approach

provide early warning

encourage observance of universal human rights encourage and monitor international human rights conventions and treaties provide early warning

conclude Mutual Defence Pact to respond to external threats develop a regional peacekeeping capacity

mediate in inter- and intra-state disputes and conflicts promote preventive diplomacy and mechanisms, with punitive measures as a last resort provide early warning encourage and monitor international arms control/ disarmament conventions and treaties coordinate participation in peace operations address extra-regional conflicts which impact on the region

(Malan & Cilliers 1997) [82] in the name of `stability' and `order', which may be counterproductive to many of the new security issues discussed above as well as positive peace, for example gender relations, social change, the rural poor and other marginalised groups in society. The doubts seem justified because there are no indications known to the author if and how the state-centric and militaristic approach to security inherent in the SADC organ should be transcended in order to integrate civil society and other relevant actors which peace ultimately depends on. Having said this, that governments acknowledge that they are interdependent on each other for security and seek to cooperate in order to collectively defend their security should not be underestimated. A common foreign policy framework is also being discussed, which would support the argument that international diplomacy increasingly will be conducted on a region-to-region basis rather than the more cumbersome and largely ineffective Westphalian state-tostate principle. In addition, some joint military training operations have also been undertaken in Southern Africa lately. Although it is unrealistic to expect that the stated objectives of the SADC organ for collective security and ultimately even collective defence will be realised in the foreseeable future, changes have materialised (Cawthra 1997; Solomon & Cilliers 1997). The regional interventions in the internal affairs of another state are also interesting phenomena. Regional interventions In the last few years several domestic conflicts have been `smoothened' or `solved' through external interventions by some of the SADC members. The first intervention was conducted in June 1994 when South Africa and the FLS members threatened to send forces into Lesotho to control intra-force fighting. Another example, referring also to Lesotho, is when the leaders of South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe successfully issued an ultimatum to the then king, Letsie III, when he unconstitutionally dissolved, the parliament and government. The same three leaders continued to follow developments and were reported to be prepared to take action with respect to the brief coup attempt in February 1996 (Anglin 1997:62). Another case in point is the strong pressure on the Renamo leader, Afonso Dlakhama, by a number of SADC governments in October 1994, when he threatened to withdraw from the elections in Mozambique. The goal was to ensure that the Savimbi syndrome was not repeated, that is, `the elections are only fair if I win'. By the same token, in October the year after, South African Deputy President Thabo Mbeki rushed to Mozambique in response to a rumour that Dlakhama was plotting a coup. However, Mbeki quickly established that it was just a rumour (Anglin 1997:61--62). Yet another intervention was undertaken with regard to the political situation in Swaziland where, since March 1996, the three presidents mentioned above - Mandela, Masire and Mugabe - have paid fatherly visits to King Mswati III to [83] caution him about continuing to resist popular demands for democratic reforms to his archaic monarchy (Anglin 1997). These examples are important because intervention in the affairs of another state challenges the conventional understanding of national sovereignty: a principle fundamental to the organisation of the prevailing Westphalian system. They illustrate that national boundaries are no longer sacrosanct. From a radical perspective the interventions may possibly be interpreted as that international actors are starting to think in terms of a new world order, although they do not quite know what kind of world order. From a more conservative standpoint, the interventions cannot `realistically' be explained as an abandonment of the national interest as the guiding principle, but perhaps as a joint pooling of sovereignty and an instrument to collectively secure the interests of the existing national regimes against political instability, national disintegration and domestic opposition. Furthermore, with the possible exception of Angola, the interventions have been undertaken by the strongest regional powers in the weakest countries of the region, and any

intervention in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and probably also Zambia is unforeseeable, which supports the argument that `power' and (military) `strength' still shape the region. Irrespective of what kind of principle and order will shape Southern Africa in the future, the interventions suggest that there might be a 'new' interpretation of sovereignty in the making, perhaps a balance between a 'new realism' and a post-Westphalian notion of national sovereignty, consistent with the NRA. Even if the 'new' (or perhaps the `old') realist rationality will dominate, there seems to be an emerging paradox in the sense that the objective on the part of the governments is to consolidate the states internally while the strategies to do so are centrifugal and challenge the Westphalian rationality they strive to uphold. DEVELOPMENTAL REGIONALISM [5] Regionalism in the field of economic development has certainly not been isolated from the global system level. Even though room for manoeuvre has increased in several respects since the end of bipolarity, global forces and structures have a strong impact on and in Southern Africa, perhaps even stronger than in the old world order, as exemplified by the current hegemony of neoliberalism, SAPs and `debt'. The question, however, is not so much what process is dominant, but how they relate and are constructed in relation to each another. Neither globalisation nor regionalisation can be approached in the singular form. Rather than dichotomising them in terms of economic globalisation versus political regionalism, it seems that we are dealing with different layers of globalisms and regionalisms which are engaged in a complex and multifold dynamic. Consequently, the analysis of both must be more effectively integrated into the analytical framework. There are different visions of what is and should be the relationship between [84] globalisation and regionalisation. Many observers and institutions argue that a closer integration of the Southern African economies into the global economy promotes economic development. It is claimed that regionalisation and globalisation should be made mutually reinforcing, that is regionalisation that prevents globalisation - the stumbling block - is not desirable. This is the `Washington view' of the new regionalism as opposed to the NRA (see Hettne & Sderbaum; and Odn in this issue). The Washington view is largely consistent with the cross-border initiative (CBI), which reinforces a specific type of outward-oriented regionalisation, with emphasis on external and internal liberalisation, particularly of trade barriers (CBI 1995). All observers do not advocate `liberalisation' as the main means of developmental regionalism. The states may favour certain aspects of liberalisation and the development of (regional) markets - the building block argument - but only to a certain extent. From the perspective of political leaders and most policy-makers development cannot be reduced to liberalisation. Those not trained according to the Washington doctrine acknowledge that a market cannot function effectively in the absence of a legal and guiding framework which can make the market function effectively, that is states and markets are interdependent. Although there are competing opinions on the preferred balance between liberalisation and the role of a legal and political framework for developmental regionalism, it should be recognised that there are relatively small differences between the various visions dominating the debate in Southern Africa. The old conception of collective self-reliance, delinking, dirigisme, protectionism and exclusiveness has been replaced by openness, inclusiveness as well as trade and market integration. As far as trade matters are concerned, there are relatively few arguments for protectionism on a regional scale, which was the case in the 1960s and 1970s. Even the advocates of a more interventionist regionalism, often within the framework of SADC, accept `globalisation' and `liberalisation' in many forms. Given the commitments agreed on under the WTO formula, the constraints of SAPs and the global economy in general, the debate centres mainly on the possibility of proceeding with regional trade integration at a faster pace compared to external trade liberalisation. The new, of course, is not independent of the old, but it is difficult to discover the protectionism the advocates of the Washington view are so obsessed with, when in fact liberalisation prevails on all levels and in all sectors. The debate on the preferred type of developmental regionalism overlaps very much the classical debate on the role of the state in economic development. The neoliberal paradigm with the rolling back of the state, the myth of free markets and liberalisation in all possible forms has dominated for the last two decades. If the current albeit embryonic trend in the field of economics and international political economy continues, with increased emphasis on the role of the state for development, the strength of the Washington view will gradually be reduced in [85] favour of a political economy approach to developmental regionalism, which is consistent with the NRA of this article. This relates to the question of what the driving forces of the regionalisation process are. As mentioned, the governments in Southern Africa have tried for a long time to direct and plan the process of regionalisation. For instance, the former SADCC was solely based on political and bureaucratic decisions, in accordance with the perceived national interest. State-led regionalism in Southern Africa, with the main exception of SACU/CMA, has been a political elite project which has tended to live a life of its own, often separated from market demands and civil society. During the last decade the role of political authority has been downplayed to the benefit of a strategy which is opening up to the demands of private economic actors and (possibly) civil society. Although the governments, of course, will continue to be crucial actors in the regionalisation process, they increasingly work together with and for the private sector. It is interesting to note that the private business community is included in the discussions and working groups of most schemes discussed in this article, that is CBI; Comesa; SACU; and SADC. Private economic actors are now getting more closely involved in sectors previously under the main jurisdiction of governments, such as transport and communications, energy and water. They are also executing and financing much of several important infrastructural projects in the region, for instance the Maputo and Beira corridors. It should be mentioned that the private economic forces have been reacting faster to the new situation than the states and the political actors. Many South African businesses have well-developed regional strategies, for instance in the field of beverages and brewery; commerce; transport and communication; mining; trade; banking; and the productive sectors. The states have signed cooperation agreements and protocols in various fora and sectors, but the process is (too) slow and inefficient. As a result the much-needed framework for promoting the market and society-induced processes of

regionalisation, for linking the top-down with the bottom-up, and for ensuring a more balanced regional development is still lacking. Towards a balanced regional development? Perhaps the most important question in the debate on developmental regionalism in Southern Africa concerns the distribution effects of existing and emerging patterns of interdependencies and various policy measures. According to one line of thinking, the dominating position of Southern Africa accentuates the existing asymmetries in the region. Ahwireng-Obeng and McGowan (1998) claim that market forces and private capital are now creating economically what the old apartheid regime failed to do politically some two decades ago, that is, a Constellation of Southern African Economies (Consae) instead of the old proposal of a Constellation of Southern African States (Consas). [6] Given the devastating historical experience in Southern Africa, there is [86] indisputably a real and perceived risk of further polarisation. There are some negative trends. For instance, the asymmetric trade pattern in the region is not sustainable in the long run. Several studies show, perhaps correctly, that free trade (without compensation) between South Africa and non-SACU SADC (and Comesa) members would result in polarisation in favour of South Africa (ibid; Holden 1998; IDC 1995). However, although the risks should of course not be ignored, there is also vast potential for a successful and mutually beneficial developmental regionalism in Southern Africa. If close to the end of this article, I am allowed to be somewhat provocative, it can be argued that too much energy and precious research capacity have been devoted to less important issues derived from a `bastardised' version of the orthodox theory of regional economic integration in general and trade integration within a comparative static framework in particular rather than the 'new' and to some extent `revitalised' theorising on economic integration (Robson 1993; 1998). These theoretical advances have specific bearing on the matter of polarisation versus mutually beneficial regionalism in Southern Africa. The limited space allows only mention of a few aspects (and some others should be clear from the previous section). First, new and revitalised theorising on trade integration has revealed that there is no convincing evidence that increased economic integration between partners of different sizes and levels of development leads to polarisation per se. Increased integration may or may not lead to polarisation. Krugman (1991; 1996) demonstrates that trade/transportation costs, sufficiently strong economies of scale and a large share of footloose industries can account for concentration of manufacturing to cores and peripheries of economic activity. According to this model the relationship between trade/transportation costs and output in the periphery is U-shaped (see Holden 1998; Petersson 1998). This contrasts with (or integrates?) the orthodox theory as well as conventional structural economics, and instead means that the level of integration is important if polarisation effects are to be avoided. Second, the formation of regional economic blocs is now being viewed in a global perspective with emphasis on exploiting the opportunities of globalisation and counteracting the present trend of economic and political marginalisation. It is not only that the political and social motives for regionalism are being acknowledged, but the narrow gains associated with trade integration and the (in)famous trade creation versus trade diversion dichotomy are transcended in favour of the broader gains of economic regionalism, such as avoiding the `costs of non-integration', achieving 'non-orthodox gains' and other dynamic benefits, for example the linkages between external and internal investment and trade generation as well as connection to production and employment creation, political-economicsocial stability and credibility, various types of economies of scale not accounted for in the orthodox framework, the development of infrastructure and other services as well as structural transformation leading to [87] improved utilisation, allocation and distribution of resources and capacities (cf Page in this issue; Hettne, 1994; Robson, 1993; 1998; Guerrieri & Padoan, 1989). [7] Third, the role of South Africa in Southern Africa is heatedly discussed (Baker, Boraine & Krafchik 1994; Maasdorp 1996; Mills, Begg & Van Nieuwkerk 1995). The history of regional relations and asymmetries must of course be remembered and Ahwireng-Obeng and McGowan (1998) are probably correct that the aggressive penetration by South African business in the rest of SADC and Africa is at the expense of local producers and manufacturers. However, if Southern Africa is viewed in a global perspective, and with regard to the high degree of security and developmental interdependencies which already shape the region positively as well as negatively, it is, at least in my view, dubious whether less cooperation and integration is the solution to imbalances in the region. It seems counterproductive to argue that regionalisation as such should correct the differences in levels of development in the region, which also derive from globalisation and national development. Of course regionalisation must be mutually beneficial and promote a balanced development, but fundamentally the question boils down to whether the relative strength of South Africa is to be seen as a challenge, an opportunity rather than an obstacle for sustained regionalisation. Reflecting on Southern Africa in a global perspective and regionalisation processes elsewhere, historically as well as currently, suggests that a `leader' or a strong core of countries is a necessary, but of course not sufficient, condition for successful regionalisation. Suffice it to consider only the most obvious examples in the world today, that is, Germany as an economic engine in combination with the German-French axis in the European Union (EU); the EU as a bloc with regard to Central and Eastern Europe; the role of the USA in the North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA); Japan as an economic powerhouse in East and South-east Asia; Brazil-Argentine in the Mercosur, etc. The main problem and challenge with this argument is that there is a thin line between a mutually beneficial and an exploitative hegemonic regime that cements a centre-periphery structure. But what is the alternative? Finally, the content of balance and mutual benefit is poorly addressed in the debate on regionalism in Southern Africa. That regional imbalances not only derive from regionalisation processes but may increase or decrease as a result of globalisation and national development (or crisis) is more or less overlooked. Furthermore, there is an almost naive belief in Southern Africa that regionalisation can be sustained on the basis of enlightened and mutual self-interest. This particular strategy of regional cooperation and integration, which is known as functionalism (and to some extent neofunctionalism) guides much of the contemporary debate in Southern Africa, especially within the framework of SADC. There is compelling criticism against functionalism as well as neofunctionalism in general and in Africa in

particular, which cannot be repeated here. [88] The important thing with regard to the polarisation question is that, in sharp contrast to what most observers seem to believe, functionalism tends to lead to increased instead of reduced imbalances. This is because, given inequalities at the start, functional cooperation based on voluntary participation, actor rationality and national self-selection does not contain any distribution mechanism which can ensure the regional good (unless by egalitarianism or as a special case). A functional order is always hierarchically accumulating power at the top and is therefore likely to reinforce existing asymmetries. It is this inherent weakness of functionalism that reinforces that regionalism in Southern Africa is evaluated according to short-term relative gains; perceived as a zero-sum or even negative-sum game; and that the issue of an equitable regional development has been reduced to a discussion on the number of programmes and new investment projects in various sectors or trading preferences allocated to each country. In essence, the functional strategy, which is the dominating logic of SADC cooperation, is not capable of solving the issue of a balanced development, it simply avoids it. CONCLUSION This article has tried to reveal the great variety of regionalisms and regionalisations shaping present-day Southern Africa, and that these simultaneously interact with other process forces, such as globalisms, interregionalisms, nationalisms and fragmentations from within. It is therefore difficult to say which dynamics and processes will be dominating in the future. The only clear (in)conclusion is that the future is complex, multidimensional and multilevelled. Southern Africa has reached beyond a `pre-regional' stage of regionness, and is something more than a `primitive region', that is, the first level of regionness. However, it is by no means an acting subject in its own right with a high degree of actor capability, the third and most sophisticated level of regionness. Southern Africa is rather at the intermediate level, where the crucial regionalisation process takes place. In so far as intergovernmental security relations are concerned it can be argued that Southern Africa has reached the stage of a security community. However, the region is a very `insecure' part of the world where new and previously buttressed conflicts and threats have emerged on the scene after the end of the Cold War and apartheid, often with a strong regional dimension. In the short run the future depends on whether the states manage to collectively develop the SADC organ as a framework for addressing the security threats, but ultimately on whether this state-centric approach to security can be transcended and civil society can be involved in a more constructive way. There are also examples of regional conflict interventions in some countries, such as Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique, [89] which might indicate the coming of a regional order, thus transcending the old Westphalian logic, or at least a new interpretation of national sovereignty. With regard to development, there are several different regionalisms and regionalisations taking place simultaneously, which are all quite different from the old regionalism. There are limits as well as possibilities and the future is particularly dependent on a positive outcome of the following two interlinked issues: whether the constituent actors manage to agree on a political economy approach to developmental regionalism, which ensures a mutually reinforcing relationship between states and markets/civil societies rather than the `Washington'-sponsored neoliberal paradigm, whereby regionalism is simply reduced to a second-best trade policy measure; and whether the role of South Africa can be constructively used to ensure a mutually beneficial rather than an exploitative and asymmetric pattern of regionalisation. It is interesting to note that the old as well as the new regionalism - security as well as developmental regionalism must be understood in a global perspective. But while the systemic forces up until the early 1990s effectively worked against developmental regionalism and reinforced the negative patterns of security regionalism in a vicious circle of war and disaster, the global context and current transformation of the world tend to reinforce and spur contemporary processes of regionalisation in Southern Africa. The new regionalism is also more `open', inclusive and designed to take into account the high level of interdependence in the world today. Furthermore, the old regionalism was not so intimately intertwined and shaped by processes within the countries as the current processes of both security and development regionalism, at least not in a positive sense. There are thus many interesting similarities between new security and developmental regionalism, one of the most interesting being that both are intimately intertwined `upwards' with the systemic forces and global level as well as `downwards' with the domestic processes of change and the restructuring of the state. Both explain why the new regionalism is likely to be more successful and lasting compared to the old phenomenon. The article also reveals what according to some readers may seem self-evident, but is nevertheless seldom recognised in the literature, namely that regionalism should not and cannot be understood as a `mystified' process beyond or separated from the interests of governments or the economic actors and civil society. On the contrary, the regionalisms and regionalisations merely reflect the ongoing transformation process of Southern Africa in a global perspective and the interests of the participating actors, external as well as regional. And since there are many different dynamics there are both centripetal and centrifugal processes at various levels. To conclude, if the process of regionalisation continues and intensifies it can be assumed that the conventional Westphalian understanding of national sover [90] eignty - with regard to security as well as welfare - will be replaced by a post-Westphalian rationality, which does not mean the end but rather the restructuring of the state in Southern Africa, ultimately as a constituent part of a Southern African region-state. NOTES [1] The NRA is based on that an interdisciplinary perspective is necessary but not sufficient for understanding the dynamics of contemporary processes of regionalisation. In my view, mono- and interdisciplinary studies should be combined. The levels of analysis approach is conventional within the discipline of international relations/international political economy, and if properly conducted it has the dual strength of transcending overemphasis on one particular analytical level as well as highlighting the interaction between the levels.

[2] See Sderbaum (1996) for an introduction to the `formal' regional cooperation and integration ventures currently in existence in Southern Africa. [3] The Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) was established in 1980 by Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Namibia joined in 1990. It was transformed into the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in 1992. Since then the following countries have also joined the organisation: South Africa (1994), Mauritius (1995), and the Democratic Republic of Congo and Seychelles (both 1997), which makes a total of fourteen member countries. [4] The transformation of SADCC into SADC reflects the changed nature of de jure, `formal' regionalism in Southern Africa during the last decade. In 1992 the sectoral and aid coordination approach of SADCC was changed into the much more ambitious SADC. Unlike SADCC's previous emphasis on collective self-reliance and the reduction of dependency from the world in large and apartheid South Africa in particular, together with an exclusive membership, the new SADC is much more open to the outside world, inclusive and emphasises both external and internal interdependencies as well as trade and market integration (SADCC 1992a, b). [5] Development regionalism is defined as the concerted efforts of state and non-state actors within a geographical area to increase the economic efficiency and development of the region as a whole and to improve its position in the world economy. [6] Consas was advocated by the apartheid regime in South Africa in the late 1970s. The aim was to increase the dependency of the neighbouring states on South Africa through economic penetration, and thereby reduce their interest in supporting liberation movements, in the same manner as the homelands within South Africa. It failed when the elections in Zimbabwe resulted in a Zanu victory, which meant that Zimbabwe became a front line state as well as a member of SADCC and not part of Consas. [7] A related innovation of the new thinking on economic regionalism is the recognition that the Eurocentric and unrealistic assumptions of orthodox integration theory do not apply in the industrialised world and certainly do not apply in the developing world. New analytical perspectives are based on more realistic assumptions, such as the presence of underdeveloped, distorted factor and goods markets and production structures, the presence of other market and government failures, high transportation costs, imperfect and asymmetric information and competition, externalities, bounded economic and actor rationality, the role of institutions and the fact that various public and common goods may not always be achieved. BIBLIOGRAPHY Ahwireng-Obeng, F & McGowan, P J 1998. `Partner or hegemon? South Africa in Africa: part one'. Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 16(1). Anglin, D 1997. `Conflict in sub-Saharan Africa, 1995-1996'. Southern African Perspectives, 62. Centre for Southern African Studies. University of the Western Cape. Baker, P H, Boraine, A & Krafchik, W (eds) 1994. South Africa and the world economy in the 1990s. Washington DC: The Brookings Institution. Booth, K & Vale, P 1995. `Security in Southern Africa: after apartheid, beyond realism'. International Affairs 19:285-304. Cawthra, G 1997. `Subregional security: the Southern African Development Community'. Security Dialogue, 28(2):207-218. CBI 1995. Cross-Border Initiative. Volume 2: Country Papers and Progress Reports for the Initiative to Facilitate Cross-Border Trade, Investment and Payments in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean. Co-sponsored by African Development Bank, European Commission, International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Cilliers, J & Mills G 1995. Peacekeeping in Africa. Johannesburg: Institute for Defence Policy & SAIIA. Davies, R 1992. `Integration or co-operation in a post-apartheid Southern Africa: some reflections on an emerging debate'. Southern African Perspectives, 18. Centre for Southern African Studies: University of the Western Cape. Guerrieri, P & Padoan, P 1989. `Integration, cooperation and adjustment policies'. In Guerrieri, P & Padoan, P The political economy of European integration. States, markets and institutions. Savage, Maryland: Barnes & Noble Books. Hettne, B 1993. `Neo-mercantilism: the pursuit of regionness'. Cooperation & Conflict, 28(3):211-232. Hettne, B 1994. `The new regionalism: implications for development and peace. Analytical framework, overview, and areas for research' in Hettne, B & Inotai, A The new regionalism. Implications for global development and international security. Helsinki: WIDER. Hettne, B, Inotai, A & Sunkel, O (eds) 1998. Studies in the new regionalism. Volume I-V. London: Macmillan. (Forthcoming 1998-1999.) Holden, M 1998. `Economic integration and growth in the Southern African region'. Seminar on `Old Order/New Border'. University of the Western Cape. IDC 1995. `Impact of trade liberalisation on intra-regional Trade in SADC', presentation to Workshop on SADC Trade Protocol organised by Department of Trade and Industry, Pretoria, June. Krugman, P 1991. Geography and trade. MIT Press. Krugman, P 1996. Development, geography and economic theory. MIT Press.

Maasdorp, G G (ed) 1996. Can South and Southern Africa become globally competitive economies? London: Macmillan. Malan, M & Cilliers, J 1997. `SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security: Future Development'. ISS Papers, 19. Institute for Security Studies. Halfway House. McCarthy, C L 1994. `Regional integration - part of the problem or part of the solution'. In Ellis, S (ed) Africa now. London: James Currey and Heinemann. Mills, G, Begg, A & Van Nieuwkerk, A (eds) 1995. South Africa in the global economy. Johannesburg: SAIIA. Nathan, L 1993. `With open arms': confidence- and security-building measures in Southern Africa. Paper prepared for Seminar on Confidence- and Security-building in Southern Africa, United Nations Office for Disarmement Affairs, Windhoek, February. Ohlson, T & Stedman, S J with Davies, R 1994. The new is not yet born. Conflict resolution in Southern Africa. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution. Petersson, L 1998. `Localization and integration between unequal partners: policy implications for Lesotho'. In Petersson, L (ed) Postapartheid Southern Africa. Economic challenges and policies for the future. London: Routledge. Robson, P 1993. `The new regionalism and developing countries'. Journal of Common Market Studies, 31(3):329-348. Robson, P 1998. The economics of international integration. London: Routledge. 4th ed. SADCC (1992a) `Towards the Southern African Development Community'. Gaborone: SADCC. SADCC (1992b) `Treaty of the Southern African Development Community'. Gaborone: SADCC. Solomon, H & Cilliers, J 1997. `Southern Africa and the quest for collective security'. Security Dialogue, 28(2):191-205. Swatuk, L 1996. `Power and water: the coming order in Southern Africa'. Southern African Perspectives, 58. Centre for Southern African Studies, University of the Western Cape. Swatuk, L & Omari, A H 1997. `Regional security: Southern Africa's mobile ``front line'''. Southern African Perspectives, 61. Centre for Southern African Studies, University of the Western Cape. Sderbaum, F 1996. Handbook of regional organizations in Africa. Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet. Vale, P 1996. `Regional security in Southern Africa.' Alternatives, 21:363-391. Van Aardt, M 1996. `Doing battle with security: a Southern African approach'. The South African Journal of International Affairs, 3(2), Winter. Van Aardt, M 1997. `The SADC Organ for Politics'. The South African Journal of International Affairs, 4(2), Winter. Fredrik Sderbaum Department of Peace and Development Research Gteborg University PO Box 700 SE-405 30 Gteborg Sweden E-mail: F Sderbaum


Security Theory in the New Regionalism by Robert E. Kelly in International Studies Review Volume
9, Issue 2, pages 197229, Summer 2007

The relevance of regional security theories has grown in the wake of the Cold War. The global system has more participantsis less Eurocentric with Third World states having greater autonomy and involvementand clearly unipolar, shifting the locus of conflict down from the global level. A new wave of regionalist scholarship has arisen in response. This review identifies this literatures central themes and suggested new variables. Its foundational and most contested challenge to international relations (IR) theory revolves around the autonomy of a regional level of analysis between the state and the globe. Accepting such autonomy, the literature broadly settles on three variables specific to regional structures. First, regional subsystems are porous. Intervention from above can overlay local dynamics. Second, proximity qualifies the security dilemma dramatically. Most states only threaten their neighbors, thus creating meaningful and distinct regional dynamics. Third, weak state-dominant regional complexes generate a shared internal security dilemma that trumps the external one. Regional organizations serve to repress shared centrifugal threats through pooled rather than ceded sovereignty.

The past 15 years have witnessed renewed interest in regions and regionalism. The end of the Cold War brought significant retrenchment of great power involvement from much of the developing world. After centuries of intrusion and meddling during colonialism and the Cold War, global regions are enjoying greater autonomy. New centripetal forcesunipolarity and globalizationcontest regional autonomy, but their frustration with regionalism is unclear. Globalization is encouraging a regional pushback. Nor has the establishment of unipolarity automatically constricted new space; primacy permits disinterest. In this environment, regions enjoy expanded, if still disputed, room and IR theory has responded with a wave of new regionalist thinking (Fawcett 1995; Hurrell 1995; Lake and Morgan 1997a; Hettne, Inotai, and Sunkel 1999;Mansfield and
Milner 1999). It builds on the previous flourish of regionalist theory that arose in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But the new

regionalism more successfully builds regional theory into IR. This essay reviews the central issues in the new regional security literature. The new regionalism is broad and explicitly terms itself multidimensional. It builds regions along a relevant dimensionsuch as shared environmental effects, regional cultural identities, or trade patternsrather than according to pre-existing cartographic entities. Whereas Raimo Vyrynen
(2003) has provided an overview of IR regionalism, this essay is intended to compare and contrast various models of

regional security from this new work and distill commonalities for the purpose of social science cumulation. 2 This review reports on a sustained and largely convincing theoretical effort to establish regions as a separate level of analysis, that is, between the state and the globe (the full international system). From the breadth of the literature, it is possible to distill three new variables to distinguish regional from global structures. First, regions are structurally open to intervention from above. Regional subsystems are not closed as the global system is. Second, geographic density qualifies the security dilemma. Threats are unevenly geographically distributed because most states do not have the power projection


capabilities of great powers. Locally intense security issues create separable regional dynamics. Third, a critical mass of weak states turns the regional security dilemma inward. Many states function poorly, and interstate war worries elites less than internal dissent. Regional organizations facilitate joint repression rather than integration.

This essay begins with the broad argument that has been made for a regional level of analysis in IR and then turns to specifics regarding new regionalist security theory. To set the stage, the earlier regionalist wave of scholarship is briefly discussed. It conceptualized the region as a subsystem of the larger international or primary system, embodied in an organization focused on regional integration. Next the essay describes the new regionalism of the 1990s2000s. Building within the frames set by the maturation of neorealism and neoliberalism in the 1980s, scholars such as Barry Buzan, David
Lake, Douglas Lemke, and Bjrn Hettne have downscaled extant IR theory to the region level, deductively treating regions

as parallel or mini-systems in which to try out traditional systemic theories. These approaches have generated two pushbacks. Third World area studies scholars like Mohammed Ayoob have rejected deductive downscaling as too abstract. They prefer inductively theorizing up from the reality of regional security. And Peter
Katzenstein has reasserted system-dominance over the subsystems; regions are actually local platforms for US primacy. In

the view of the present author, the neorealist systemic critique, somewhat elaborated by Katzenstein, appears the more important. If the dynamics of the primary system back up into the subsystems in extreme circumstances, can regions really be autonomous? Katzenstein argues that autonomy is really disinterest and neglect. Indeed, as he sees it, the fundamental challenge of regional analysis to IRs privileging of the primary system has not (yet?) succeeded.

Argument for Regionalism as a Research Enterprise in IR

Systemic Rejection of Regional Theory
Standard IR accounts give regionalism scant attention. Neither Kenneth Waltzs (1979) founding work, Alexander Wendts
(1999) response, nor the mature work that appears in the neorealist-neoliberal debates (Baldwin 1993) mention it much. IR

focuses on the global level, the system not the subsystem, for two reasons. First, historically, the globe has not been (in the language of old regionalism) subsystem dominant since at least Westphalia. William McNeill (1963: Chapter 13) has argued that there was a permanent closure of the global ecumene in 1492; serious rescission or delinkage is impossible. The planet is bound into one community. Liberals see the first inklings in globalization; realists in the emergence of one worldwide state system; neomarxists in the beginnings of the world economy. But all would agree there is no escape. Any regionalism will be brief, a reflection of systemic confusion that will work itself out. The old regionalism arose in the late 1960s and early 1970s as the American-led world order shook after Vietnam and Bretton Woods. Power transition theory reads the 1970s as the peak of the Soviet challenge. Balance of power theory sees a brief deconcentration before bipolaritys resumption in the 1980s. Liberals perceive global economic dislocation after the closure of the gold window. A similar critique holds for the new regionalism of the 1990s when the collapse of bipolarity lifted the pall of the Cold War overlay (Buzan and Waever 2003:61) on the Global South. Regions had space in the ensuing confusion. But just as the old


regionalism waned as the 1980s came on, so will the new regionalism fade as global forces once again make systemic dominance clear. After a period of dislocation, the world is settling into US-dominated semi-permanent unipolarity.3 The aggressiveness of the war on terror has generated a booming literature reading the United States as a revisionist hegemon imposing imperial domination. If the United States is an empire, can regionalism be meaningful? Liberals who see globalization tying the planet together faster, farther, deeper, cheaper (Friedman 2000:9) distinguish a similar, if less harsh, centripetal force. Globalization in most variants is reducing heterogeneity. Typical global-level IR theories read regionalism as a brief upsurge while system-level forces calibrate new equilibria. Second, analytically, a regional level of analysis adds new variables and characteristics. 4 It erodes parsimony and threatens to become a landfill. Buzan and Waever (2003:53, 478) have provided four key elements of essential structure in regions boundary, anarchy, polarity, and social construction. Waltz had only listed twoanarchy and the distribution of power whereas Buzan and Waever are adding two more, region-specific variables. Further, most regionalists accept that the openness to intervention from above, from the primary system, is also a structural characteristic. And, the area studies literature suggests that state strength, a unit-level characteristic, has structural implications; weak state-dominant systems have significantly different security dynamics. European critical theorists go further. They dispense with the structural language altogether, mixing normative with positive theory ( Hentz and Bs 2003). Vyrynen (2003:37, 39) speaks of imagined or cognitive regions that will free security studies from their territorial prison. Realists and other traditionalists reject much of this as confusing, scholastic, and awkward ( Miller 1998:752).The present review seeks to limit this proliferation to only three extra variables, but clearly regional theory has more moving parts.

New Regionalism and the Case for a Regional Level of Analysis

As the discussion above suggests, new regionalism faces an uphill battle. Centripetal forces in the worldunipolarity and globalizationand systemic prejudices in theory challenge post-Cold War regionalism. If the new regionalism buckles under this weight, regional analysis in general will appear as an occasional fad. Just as the old regionalism collapsed before resurgent systemic bipolarity and failed Third Worldism, so the new regionalism could collapse before hegemony and globalization. The coming decade will be crucial to this IR subliterature. If regions in the world do not establish dynamics that are meaningfully independent from imposing global/systemic forces, the new regionalism will subside. Regionalists make five arguments for the regional level of analysis; most recognize these as the foundational claims to be demonstrated against traditional IR theory (Buzan and Waever 2003:18; Fawcett 2003:2425; Hoogensen 2005:269, 270). First, most states worry more about their neighbors than about distant states ( Buzan and Waever 2003; Miller 2005: 241). As Lemke (2002)has observed, most states confront a punishing loss of strength gradient over distance. Power projection is a luxury of great powers. Systemic theory misses the limitations on threat extension facing the large majority of states. Although this theory may explain great power behavior, it simply ignores dozens of states and billions of people. IR is incomplete, not wrong. Highly limited threat potential means the security dilemma is uneven ( Buzan 1991). States are not free billiard balls but geographically fixed. Most can only bounce or knock into a few neighbors, so local dynamics will be much more intense for most states.


Second, when great powers do intervene in regions, much evidence suggests that local partners exploit external patrons to pursue local opponents (Acharya 1992a, 1992b; Hemmer and Katzenstein 2002; Lemke 2002). Overlay is not a one-way process, as clients can blackmail, flip-flop, hedge, or otherwise strategically manipulate patrons. African and Arab countries in the Cold War routinely jousted and toyed with supposedly dominant patrons. Kim Il Sung maneuvered China and the Soviet Union into competitive support for his expansionism. For decades, Israel has successfully prevented its reduction to a simple client of the United States through unilateral actions like settlement expansion or the 2006 Lebanon campaign. Systemic theories that see a simplistic one-way transmission of preferences from great powers to the rest miss the gamesmanship, squirming, and other autonomy-generating techniques small states deploy. Regions already have more autonomy than we think. Third, regionalism reflects the increasingly normative awkwardness of systemic overlay, that is, imperialism and colonialism. Even though great powers may have excessive power resources, there is a growing norm that small states and regions deserve space (Falk and Mendlovitz 1973;Buzan and Waever 2003:68; Pugh and Sidhu 2003). Fourth, sustained successful overlay has grown more challenging. The density of the socially mobilized Third World precludes semi-imperial ventures (Falk 1999:230, 245; Buzan 2000:6ff; Fawcett 2003:14; Vyrynen 2003:28), as the United States learned in Vietnam and Iraq and the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. And the publics of the major power have little interest and willingness in supporting such ventures (Buzan and Waever 2003:1011). Lemke (2002:52) notes that his regional theory requires great powers indifference to work, and that it does work suggests much great power retrenchment from the regions. Capabilities to resist, at least in home territories, have risen as willingness to intervene has declined. Regionalists will accept that subsystems are formally open and that overlay is a constant threat. But the costs of penetration have risen substantially in the populous, politically mobilized Third World. De-colonization and the collapse of bipolarity have set the regions free (Buzan and Waever 2003:19); de facto regional autonomy in security affairs is the new norm ( Lake and Morgan
1997a:67). Even the aggressive, supposedly neoimperial war on terror has run aground on politically activated, resistant

populations in Eurasia. Moreover,Katzenstein (2005:8), who argues for an American imperium of regions, cedes that nationalism and mobilization make outright hegemony impossible. The United States needs regional allies to cloak and translate its power. If a regional level of analysis was unwarranted in the imperial centuries after Westphalia, a restive periphery makes it so today. Fifth, and finally, regionalists reject too much insistence on parsimony as a doctrinaire blinder that leads to deep, indefensible mismatches between theory and reality ( Hentz 2003:78). Buzan and Waever (2003:69) find traditional IRs insistence on abstract, systemic theory an American social science prejudice that reifies American primacy and conveniently sidelines the study of other places. Eclectic theory avoids rigorously reductionist and highly implausible theory in the interest of elegant parsimony (Katzenstein 2005:8; see also Hemmer and Katzenstein 2002). David Shambaugh (2004/2005:
94) has written:

Both the logic and application of offensive realism in this case are, in my view, unsustainable. It is a classic example of an international relations theorist, who is not well grounded in regional area studies, deductively applying a theory to a situation rather than inductively generating theory from evidence. As a China specialist, I do not recognize the China that Mearsheimer describes.


Shambaugh captures regionalisms general concern that systemic IR is too abstract and distant to capture regional dynamics (Hentz and Bs 2003). At the cost of parsimony, regionalist models are intended to enrich IR theory and fit regional behaviors better. The region is a good middle level, between the state and the overly abstract system ( Hettne
2000:44ff). It captures the diversity of non-European experience and, done rigorously, may generate new theoretical insights.

For example, international organizations in weak state-dense environments reflect the concerns of weak-state elites. They are not primarily free trade areas or integrating EU-like bodies as established IR theory would predict. Instead, they serve to pool sovereignty to jointly repress shared internal challengers. Or, in exploiting regional systemic openness, the new regionalism finds regional powers recruiting from outside their system in order to trump local rivals. Standard IR theory would read this from the topdownas great power penetration and manipulation. These new facts challenge Waltzian parsimony with a retort that calls for greater accuracy and more sophisticated theory.

Regionalism and Philosophy of Science in IR

The above critique-and-response locates regionalisms paradigmatic roots in a prototypical clash about philosophy of science in IR. Like constructivists, the English School, areas studies scholars, and comparativists such as Shambaugh, the new regionalists dislike the standard rationalist, neorealist-neoliberal accounts of world politics (Baldwin 1993). They find them narrow, unwittingly Eurocentric, overfocused on the central system, and excessively abstract. The standard account universalizes many European templates ( Buzan and Waever 2003:2122). The state evolved in Europe as a universal form; the United Nations and European Union have become models for international organizations (IOs) everywhere. The historical data that inform the standard account are modern and Eurocentric too. History before 1648 and areas beyond the North Atlantic are rarely studied and, if so, they frequently become ciphers for systemic politics. Africa, for example, is little more than a competitive space for clashing great powers. How can one know, the new regionalism asks, if regions have their own dynamics if no one studies them much? As the Third World emerges from centuries of external control, it is increasingly apparent that our structural theories do not travel well. This argument descends from another systemic prejudicean interest in only the great powers (Lemke 2002:4). The standard account notes that systemic polarity sets the tone for the entire planet, but regionalism suspects that there are other motives. European critical theorists particularly see system justificationism in American scholarship buttressing primacy (Hentz 2003). If unipolarity is the central insight of IR today, then one need onlyquite convenientlystudy the United States. Less conspiratorial is the easy dismissal of the rest of the planet that systemic IR permits. Researching regions is empirically difficult and expensive; it upsets standing bodies of theory as well as places research expectations on scholars by significantly expanding the scope of the IR enterprise. It is theoretically, empirically, and methodologically simpler to reduce ones scope to a rotating roster of some 1015 states over just a few recent centuries. Nevertheless, regional analysis is more of a Lakatosian challengethat IR complete its mission by expanding its scope than a Kuhnian paradigmatic assault (Thomas 2003:640). It argues for decentralization not revolution. Small, peripheral, and regional states merit investigation too; billions live in the so-called periphery. And good, theoretically defensible insights such as the inversion of security dynamicsmay be uncovered. These insights can be integrated into the larger edifice and may be culled by initially bringing our systemic theories to bear on the regions.


This proposal is not radical. Regional security theorists take extant IR concepts and expand them. Most regionalism begins with states and IOs, explains rather typical IR concerns like the use of force, and uses accepted methods of quantitative and qualitative analysis. The first instinct of the regional theorist, as noted before, is to downscale extant IR theory to regions and not to devise dramatic new theory. Some of the most critical new work does argue for new actors (like NGOs or ethnic groups), regionalizing away the state, or the social construction of regions, but most adheres to geography, states, war, and similar established themes. This is a moderate, healthy response to the abstractness of the dominant models. Indeed, regional theory may occasionally oversell itself; Hettne (1999) speaks of the new regionalism ushering in a second great transformation. More likely is a rich, if temperate, Lakatosian improvement in IR theory.

First Regional Wave in IR: The Regional Subsystem

The first wave of regional scholarship emerged in the 1960s and continued through the early 1970s. The old regionalists identified two reasons for the awakening interest in regions; these themes tie the old to the new regionalism, which came to life again in the 1990s.

First, de-colonization brought a wave of new states into international politics and the UN ( Miller 1973a:53). Focus shifted away from the original holistic systemic approach of early IR theory ( Kaplan 1957). The latter appeared too broad and homogenizing to embrace the proliferation of problems and tensions that accompanied the dramatic expansion of the state system (Thompson 1973:90). Fragmentation of the system continued in the 1970s with the Third Worldism of the New International Economic Order (NIEO) and what Vyrynen (1984:35355) has called the rebellion of the periphery. Regionalism was a Southern movement to protect recent independence, nonalignment, and resist overlay. As with the new regionalism, a normative element of resistance to the center suffused this work ( Vyrynen 1986; Acharya 1992b:9, 15; Fawcett

Second, the European Community (EC) generated enormous interest in regional integration ( Haas 1971; Lindberg and
Scheingold 1971; Falk and Mendlovitz 1973:3). The EC (now the European Union) has served as a model for other regional

integration efforts and frequently motivates regional theorizing in IR (Wallace 1995). When the European integration effort slowed, so did its academic counterpart, as in the later 1970s and 1980s. When the effort accelerated, as in the 1960s and 1990s, so, too, did the academic response. For example, the writings of Ernst Haas (1958, 1975), who followed European integration for almost five decades, exhibit this academic fluctuation. Its demonstration effect on the rest of the world has been enormous. As the European Community came together in the 1950s and 1960s, other regional organizations such as the Organization for African Unity (OAU) and the Arab League attempted to mimic its efforts. De-colonization and EC integration generated interest in regional subsystems and regional integration, especially as a means for producing regional order. Within Morton Kaplans (1957)systemic framework, the notion of regions as subsystems emerged (Russett 1967). Subsystems maintain the systemic constraints of the higher international level, yet permit greater local specification of shared socio-historical characteristics to explain behavior ( Boals 1973:403). Definitional efforts have focused on received geographic notions like Africa or the Middle East.


The subsystem was, in Waltzs (1959) and J. David Singers (1961) terminology, a new level of analysis, one between the individual state and the international level. The subsystem shares structural characteristics with the international one. Louis
Cantori and Steven Spiegel (1973: 346350), for example, postulate that a regional subsystem has a polar configuration due to

power distribution as well as its own core and periphery. A subsystemic structural variable is its open nature, permitting external intrusion from the closed primary system above. Regions, like the international system, have their own international organizations and further subregions ( Miller 1973a, 1973b; Russett 1967: Chapters 6, 10, 11). The relationship of the subsystem to the primary system was modeled as a chandelier ( Schweller 1999:41) as evidenced in Figure 1. Regional subsystems were subordinate, and system dominance was insured by the possibility of external intervention (Boals 1973;Vyrynen 1984). There could be some transregional interaction as well, though that could be constrained by the primary system (Cantori and Spiegel 1973:352). Particular subsystemssubordinate, but with their own regional dynamicswere geographically identified in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia ( Binder 1958; Brecher
1963; Zartman 1967). Figure 1. Old Regionalisms Chandelier

Within these subsystems, there was much discussion of, and implicit hope for, some manner of integration ( Russett
1967; Falk and Mendlovitz 1973:7). The EC and neofunctionalism attracted scholars such as Karl Deutsch et al. (1957), Haas (1958, 1964), and Joseph Nye (1968a). Regionalism elided into neofunctional regionalization and the study of regional IOs,

much as it has in the new regionalism. A strong normative bent increasingly informed this work ( Mitrany 1968; Falk and
Mendlovitz 1973:1, 6). Integration was a tool to end the conflicts cropping up in the wake of de-colonization, so regionalism

was not simply an analytical approach, but a normative, order-bringing project, that is, regionalization. Regional organizations were, along the EC model, identified as the motor of such integration ( Miller 1973a). The identification of a regional organization, often committed to local integration, increasingly became a qualification for the identification of a subsystem (Russett 1967: Chapters 6, 7; Nye 1968b:vii, 1973; Falk and Mendlovitz 1973:34). Such organizations also resolved a growing problemthe definition of a regional subsystem. Research on subsystems labored with the problem of definition. Regions were, and remain, notoriously difficult to operationalize (Moon 1998:338). Even if one accepts a regional level of analysis, questions of boundary and composition crop up. The new regionalism resolves this problem by defining regions by their relevant dimensions. Intense interaction along a shared vector, not preexisting geographic or organizational categories, undergirds a new region. As Hemmer and
Katzenstein (2002:575) write, regions are political creations and not fixed by geography. But the old regionalism tried to

build holistic, macro-regions around traditional cartographic and geographic terms or by regional IOs seen through the lens of the EC (Fawcett 2005: 2728; Hurrell 2005:39). Such a practice has been undone by unanswerable boundary questions such as where does the Middle East end and Africa begin, is Asia a subsystem or is South Asia such a subsystem, and by compositional questions such as do the British Commonwealth or the NEIO constitute regions?


Little consensus has emerged around the answers to these questions. Russett (1967: Chapters 10, 11) in particular has made strenuous quantitative efforts at identification, which later research has failed to utilize ( Cantori and Spiegel 1973:336341). Moribund IOs, like the OAU, or noncontiguous groupings, like OPEC or the Non-Aligned Movement, have not generated the regionness (Hettne 2005) the EC did. Neofunctionalism looked for spillover and integration, but found instead clubs of dictators and decay (Haas 1964, 1971; Huntington 1968). Conflict over membership in particular subsystems and the definition of a region blocked the development of deeper theory on what might actually occur in the regions. Regions remained weakly conceptualized. The chandelier was a basic model, with vaguely geographic subsystems below or subordinate to a primary one. As in the new regionalism, the first instinct of the old was to downscale current IR theory
Kaplans (1957) system and Haas (1964) neofunctionalism. The fit was partial at best, and theory of specific regional

dynamics never quite took off (Lemke 2002:60). Definitional wrangling slowed the cumulation of knowledge, inhibiting the development of regional subsystems as a research program ( Hurrell 1995:333). By 1973, the debate had become so diffuse, regions so loosely defined, William Thompson (1973:98101) content analyzed the major work to identify core indicators of a region. He identified four master variables: (1) regular and intense interaction, (2) geographic proximity, (3) actor recognition of the subsystem as a distinctive area, and (4) a minimum of two actors. Significantly, the normative dimension around regional organizations, integration, and the system/subsystem dominance controversy ( Vyrynen 1984) were excluded in favor of the interactional characteristics that positivists in the new regionalism stress. Unfortunately Thompsons muchneeded paring down led to no accord. As integration in Europe and the NIEO faltered, Kay Boals (1973:399) condemned regionalism as pre-paradigmatic,Haas (1975) declared integration theory obsolete, and liberals like Nye (1973) turned away from regionalism to interdependence.

The Security Theory of the New Regionalism

World events in the 1970s and 1980s undercut subsystem security analysis. Dtente failed; indeed, the Reagan era initiated a dramatic return to bipolarity in the so-called second cold war. Simultaneously, Third World assertiveness collapsed under the failure of OPEC and the NIEO. The debt crisis and renewed Soviet and American external intrusion demonstrated just how system dominant international politics was. The need to consider regions as distinct from the primary system was no longer apparent. Security theory reflected these shifts. Neorealism elevated the primary system to overwhelming preponderance. Waltzs
(1979) groundbreaking effort made no mention of regional subsystems, nor did Robert Gilpins (1981) important elaboration.

Even neorealisms critics chose to focus on the international systemic level ( Krasner 1983; Keohane 1986; Oye 1986). But the sudden collapse of bipolarity swung the pendulum back. Abruptly the regions regained a measure of autonomy, and theory followed.

From Old To New Regional Security

A search for total, inclusive regions that encompass all factors of security, economics, identity, and integration characterized the first regionalist wave (Russett 1967: Chapter 11; Nye 1968a:xixvi; Cantori and Spiegel 1973:33740). As we have


observed, Thompson (1973) cataloged the wide disparity of regional indicators. His focus on proximity, geography, and interaction set up the current wave of security theory. But the effort to build holistic, subordinate systems proved unworkable. Contemporary regional studies broadly eschew the handwringing over definitions in favor of functionalism (Alagappa
1995:364; Vyrynen 2003). Cartography is a cul-de-sac. Andrew Hurrell (1995:333334) writes: the contemporary debates

remind us that there are no natural regions, and definitions of region and indicators of regionness vary according to the particular problem or question under investigation. Vyrynen (2003:25) has noted that our regional images are often based on unexamined and outdated metageographical conceptions of the world. The new regionalism intends to transcend cartography and build regions on a shared characteristic according to a functional demand. Multidimensionality expands the possibility of regions beyond simply politico-security axes. Regions may also be based on dimensions such as economic interactions (trade blocs in the international political economy regional literature), identity (regionness), environmental externalities (transnational communities of fate bound by ecological impacts), or other functionally relevant vectors (Fawcett 1995:4ff; Farrell 2005:8). Regions are a function of our theoretical purposes. We build them as we need them intellectually or politically ( Hemmer and Katzenstein 2002:575). Moreover, according to Vyrynen
(2003:26), a growing differentiation between physical (geographical and strategic) and functional (economic, environmental,

and cultural) regions[is] manifested in the new [methodological] divide between rationalist and constructivist research agendas regarding the process of region formation. To free security studies from their territorial prison, there is a need to search for imagined or cognitive regions ( Vyrynen 2003:37, 39). Multidimensionality and the implied cognitive turn Vyrynen advocates are contentious. Hettne and European and critical scholars have made the greatest effort (Hentz and Bs 2003; Farrell, Hettne, and Van Langenhove 2005). But the more formal, positivistic new regionalists have left security in its territorial jail. Proximity is a central pillar of the argument for a distinct regional level of analysis. States continue to wield force; in fact, geography heavily qualifies their reach. And postnationalism is a bridge too far. Buzan and Waever (2003:476) find jettisoning territory and the state premature, especially after 9/11. Benjamin Miller (1998:752) calls the constructivist criterion of regional identity and consciousnessproblematic and subjective.Lemke (2002) and Lake (1997) also stick with states and power projection. Cognitive multidimensionality is so wide that Thompsons (1973) master regional variables better track most of the current regional security theory. Like Thompson (1973) and Buzan (2000), Lemke (2002) and Lake (1997) retain geography through their insistence on proximity. But they do accept the new regionalisms functionalist focus on interaction and flows that bind, at the expense of the old regionalisms cartography. Some measure of density is required if a region is to be meaningfully carved out. So Africa is not a region if security flowsof threats or friendshipdo not demonstrably bind its entire expanse. Yet the new regionalisms stress on interaction density still returns security regionalism to geography; interaction is most likely among proximate states. Conceiving de-territorial regional security is challenging and, tellingly, most of the new regional security casework still uses typical territorial rubrics like Africa or Latin America ( Lake and Morgan 1997b; Hettne et al. 1999;Hettne,
Inotai, and Sunkel 2000; Buzan and Waever 2003; Hentz and Bs 2003; Farrell et al. 2005). Vyrynen (2003) also ties a method split to multidimensionality. New dimensions require new methodsa cognitive and

constructivist turn. Again, Hettne and affiliated critical scholars fit this best. Hettne (2000) is very interpretive; he sees large historical forces (the second great transformation) at play and makes philosophical arguments about regionalism displacing


the states. But the positivists work is rationalist and traditional. Buzan (1991; Buzan and Waever 2003) and Katzenstein (2005;
Hemmer and Katzenstein 2002) provide qualitative, diplomatic historical analyses with many comparative cases.

Conversely, Lemke (2002) is quite quantitative with little case narrative at all. Lake (1997)uses formal theory; he eliminates any hint of interpretive method by dropping history and geography altogether in favor of highly rationalist security externalities. The present author does not share Vyrynens perception of a method shift. Indeed, the security theory of the new regionalism appears to reject the nonterritorial, cognitive turn that Vyrynen and Hettne are suggesting. The following analysis tracks this split between the more positivist-formal (Buzan, Lake, Lemke) and the critical-normative (Hettne) theories. Whereas the positivists explicitly build on each other in traditional IR model-building fashion, Hettne
(1999) argues for a normative-critical IR focused on regionalization into international organizations at the expense of the

state. Both camps reflect and perpetuate the divide in the old regionalism. Thompson (1973) sought to build abstract regional theory; Haas (1964) and Falk and Mendlovitz (1973) pushed neofunctionalist, if not normative, integration theory. They are all joined by the shared theoretical impulse to downscale extant theory. Lake (1997) and Buzan (2000) bring Waltzian neorealism to the regions; Lemke (2002) downscales power transition theory; and Hettne (1999) tries out normative neofunctionalism. All will face a Eurocentric critique from inductivist area studies.

Buzan and the Regional Security Complex

From old regionalisms subsystem, regional security moved to a tighter, more identifiable focus in Buzans notion of a regional security complex (Buzan 1986, 1991: Chapter 5, 2000; Buzan and Waever 2003). Buzan has been the one to most thoroughly lay out variables distinct to regions that make local politics unique. Consciously building on neorealist-neoliberal models, his work reads as mainstream, positivist IR theory. Buzan (1993) downscales his historicizing variant of English School neorealism to regions and retains the traditionalist focus on the state and competition while reviving geopolitics. He does add new variables. Regions are dense. Security dilemmas are sharper among proximate actors with shared histories of interaction. Buzan and Waever (2003) elaborate nine distinct regional security complexes with contiguous states and conduct lengthy research to buttress their distinction. 5 This regional security complex theory forms the rich theoretical basis on which the rest of the literature, even critical and Third World area studies scholars, build ( Job 1992a:56; Alagappa
1995:363; Ayoob 1995:5659; Lake and Morgan 1997a:11, 1997b; Maoz 1997a:28; Hettne 2005:160).

The old regionalists responded to Kaplans (1957) theory regarding the system by downscaling it to look for subordinate, but structurally analogous, regional systems. Buzan (1993) does the same with Waltz (1979) and the IR literature built by his successors. Buzan and Waever (2003:4) freely admit that the regional level is compatible with andcomplementary to neorealisms structural scheme, but it contradicts the tendency of most neorealist analysis to concentrate heavily on the global structure. Despite flirting with constructivist possibilities for securitization, in practice Buzan and Waever present a fairly orthodox reading of security (Hoogensen 2005), stressing ideas of bounded territoriality and distribution of power that are close to neorealism and the significant opportunities for analytical synergy between RSCT [regional security complex theory] and neorealism (Buzan and Waever 2003: 4,481). Concepts such as swing power and overlay are clearly descended from prototypical neorealist notions (offshore balancers, imperialism); the state is the prime actor throughout Buzans work. Regionalism is to expand and enrich, not overturn, IR.


Like the new regionalists, Buzan and Waever (2003:43, 462)define regions specifically in functional terms of security;territorially coherent subsystems [are] defined by interlocking patterns of securitization. Buzan initially accepts Vyrynens (2003) functionalist, not physical, definition of region. He and Waever (2003: Chapters 413) note in their case work how regions can expand and contract. But Buzan (1991:190) qualifies functionalism with accumulated history recurrent patterns of amity and enmity among neighbors. Lateral interactional pressures build historical patterns over time among contiguous states, which, in turn, build distinct regions in commonly accepted geographic areas. Like the old regionalists, Buzan settles on traditional, contiguous, macro-cartographic spaces like South Asia or North America as regional security complexes. The history of Buzans work on the level of analysis question culminates in the assertion that regions are actually the most important level among four levelsdomestic, region, inter-regional, and global (Buzan and
Waever 2003:47, 50, 463).

Regional security complexes are mini-anarchies (Buzan 2000:4), plus several new variables unique to regions. The present authors distillation of three new master variables for regions begins with the proposals of Buzan and Waever (2003). They retain anarchy and polarity. They note the possibility of intrusion by external powers; this notion will be formalized here as openness. Further, they add the boundary, which differentiates the [regional security complex] from its neighborsand social construction, which covers the pattern of amity and enmity among units ( Buzan and Waever 2003:53). For purposes of integration and to assuage the systemic fear of spiraling variable proliferation, these two ideas will be bundled here into proximity. Local patterns of amity and enmity, whose limits are determined by power projection, set the relevant boundaries of the regional security complex. Buzan and Waever (2003:2025) also introduce the notion of state strength, which made little appearance in Buzans (1991, 2000:3) earlier writings. But they are unsure how to proceed. Regional security complexes require strong states that can project amity or enmity toward others, so weak state areas, for example, in Western Africa and the Horn, are unstructured protocomplexes (Buzan and Waever 2003:xvi, 62). Regional security complexes are traditional, state-based military-political complexes that are qualified and delimited by these new variables (Buzan 2000:19), or, anarchy, plus the distance effect, plus geographical diversity ( Buzan and Waever
2003:46). Geographic density generates interdependence. Security interactionflows of threats or friendshipis more

locally intense. Over time, patterns of amity and enmity arise from these regular transactions. History and geography are typical English School characterizations of the security dilemma for states in a locality; the globe is not rightly integrated in security terms (Buzan and Waever 2003:43). Buzan retains the notions of geographic proximity and interdependence from Thompson (1973), but combines them with later, more formal postulates of neorealismthe security dilemma and anarchy (see also Jervis 1978; Glaser 1997). Anarchy formally places all states in competitive relationships with one another. Yet those relationships will be more acute among geographically proximate states (Buzan 1991:191). States are immobile, and most cannot project power over long distances. As such, states are much more threatening to their near neighbors than to others. The security dilemmas geographical unevenness creates intense local histories. The same cluster of states will interact with each other again and again through time, creating patterns of amity and enmity (history). For analysts of Third World regional security complexes, involving states with only local power projection capabilities, Buzans work is a more useful analytic tool than the abstract neorealist model.


To rebuff the global focus of neorealism, Buzan (1991:198) develops the notions of overlay and penetration (see also Buzan and Waever 2003:46, 61). The 1980s, the period of neorealisms maturation, were characterized by strong tensions between the two superpowers with planet-wide reach. The security dilemma did not (apparently) diminish as distance increased. Any regional security complexes were so penetrated from above that systemic dynamics overlay local ones (Buzan 1991; Miller and Kagan 1997). Furthermore, given the enormous consequences of nuclearized bipolarity, the superpowers security dilemma subsumed most of the regional ones. Buzans model is graphed in Figure 2.
Figure 2. Buzans Regional Security Complex (RSC)

Regional security complexes fit neorealisms focus on the primary system. It accepts system-dominance, but once the Cold War overlay retracted, regional dynamics re-emerged. Overlay is not eradication. Particularly now, as the primary system appears to be settling into static unipolarity ( Mastanduno 1997; Wohlforth 1999), regional security complex theory complements neorealism by applying it to newly emerging subsystems. Although the regional security complex dilutes neorealisms parsimony with area studies and comparative politics, it does bolster the theory for an era when regional conflicts will concern analysts more than unipolar passivity.6

Lake and Security Externalities

Lake and Morgan (1997b) apply neorealism more directly. They use the language of regional security complex theory but

break substantially with the retention of geography and history. They are cool to the notion of subsystems and reject the need for territorially coherent regional security complexes ( Buzan and Waever 2003:462). Lake (1997) strips out English School historicism to present a rationalist or systems theory. Instead of geographically and historically distinct regions, he builds them around shared security externalities. Local geographic density is unnecessary, because what really matters are flows of threats (or friendships) that bind states, regardless of their location. Regions are not simply little international systems ( Lake and Morgan 1997a:7)a claim made by the old regionalism, Buzan
(2000) and Lemke (2002). Instead, they form regional security complexes around shared security externalities. Lake (1997:4849) defines a regional system as a set of states affected by at least one transborder but local externality that

emanates from a particular geographic area. If the local externality poses an actual or potential threat to the physical safety of individuals or governments in other states, it produces a regional security system or complex. Lake dispenses with all the geographic, cultural, and historical ties that have undergirded the usual efforts to identify distinct subsystems or regional security complexes ( Russett 1967; Buzan and Waever 2003:185439). Using a new regionalist functionalism, he escapes the constant confusion over which countries belong to which regions by interpreting a regional security complex as issue-specific. Those countries affected by a particular security externality belong to a regional security complex focused around that externality.


Local externalities that produce threats to physical safety bound the set of interacting states that constitute regional security systemsIt is the limited scope of such externalities that differentiates regional systems from the global system ( Lake

Lake has replaced regionalisms varied interests in geography, history, interdependence, and other variables with sub-global threats. Proximity is just a function of technology, not territorial contiguity. Patterns of amity and enmity may rise in a regional security complex, but they are derivative. Regional just means anything less than global. Only the subglobal limits of power projection among some states define a regional security complex. Those states no longer need to be contiguous (or have much shared history) to generate security interdependence. Geography is out, because some states, which are not adjacent or quite close, may nonetheless be a part of a regional security complex. Lake (1997:5051) cites US involvement in the Middle East. While retaining the regional security complex concept, he breaks significantly withBuzan and Waever (2003:78
82). Lakes revision is graphed in Figure 3 around a specific security externalityNorth Koreas intermittent nuclear weapons

program.7 NK and SK in this figure refer to North and South Korea, respectively.
Figure 3. Lakes Security Externalities

Lakes formulation sidelines the foundational and operationalization issues raised earlier. He does not need to establish a level of analysis, because regions are wholly functional. Any shared threat can bind a collection of states into a region. Troublesome questions that sidetrackBuzan (2000)for example, how much overlay might succeed today or whether a norm against imperialism protects regional autonomydisappear. Questions of boundary and composition are easythe reach of the threat determines who is in and out. Technological shifts, national growth, and other changes can alter power projection capabilities. Hence contiguity and patterns of amity and enmity are unnecessary extras. What matters is interaction regarding a threat. Lake and Morgan (1997a, 1997b) want to dispense with all the tortured efforts to list variables describing regions as scholasticism and get to actual issues. Ironically, Lake (1997) channels Vyrynens (2003) argument for nonterritorialized regions and security studies, but does so with states and the traditional tools of neorealism. Externalities are emanations of threats or dangers from one state that stretch far enough to contact another. If regional complexes congeal around them, then geography is simply space and cartography is just received opinion. North Koreas missile ranges (purportedly) now include the US West Coast. Hence, the United States has now been sucked into a security complex with North Korea, which is neither contiguous to the United States nor proximate, as Buzan (or Lemke) define it. If that dyad shares history (little beyond the peninsular stand-off), it comes from flows of threats not density or interdependence. Geography, density, multidimensionality, regionness, and other new regionalist add-ons obscure the issueconflict from extended threat. Fearful interaction overrides the rest.8 Despite the rationalist paring down of regions to the raw security issues, Lakes revision has had weak legs. Even the casework in the edited volume (Lake and Morgan 1997b: Chapters 914) hews to accepted cartographic notions like Africa or Southeast Asia. Theoretically it is a cul-de-sac, because it so strips the notion of region that it raises the question of whether


there can be regions at all. Tellingly, Lake does not argue for a regional level of analysis. He imports neorealism on the regions but then jettisons any regional characteristics. If regions are just subglobal-issue networks, we have moved so far from the intuitive notion of region that the regional operationalization problem becomes scholastic again. Of the three variables presented earlier, Lake accepts the firstopennessbut in such a way that it almost loses its meaning. Buzan accepts openness when he sees regional security as local complexes in which great powers can intervene as outsiders. Lake would make great powers into direct participants in myriad regional complexes according to threat perception. By that measure, great powers, and especially a superpower like the United States, would be a part of almost every regional complex on the planet. Lake also so bends proximity that it becomes any flow that does not involve global reach. And he says nothing about state weakness. By Lakes definition, as Buzan and Waever (2003:80) note, one can find thousands of regional complexes based on almost every sub-global threat perception. This multiplicity of regions rings of Vyrynens
(2003) multidimensionality and explains why Buzan pulls back from a wholly de-territorial vision. It seems analytically


Lemke and Third World Power Transitions

If Buzan downscales Waltz and balance of power to the region, then Lemke (2002) does the same for Organski (1968) and power transition theory. Like the other downscalers, Lemke (2002:52) begins from the notion that regions are parallel smaller international systems. General theory can be imported, mostly unadulterated, to the regions, and Lemke tries to do so with power transition theory. He shares the regionalist desire to expand the geographical base of IR beyond the West and to account for nongreat powers (Lemke 2002:14). Accepting the regional level of analysis, Lemke (2002:52) observes that if great powers do not interfere, the local hierarchies are hypothesized to behave according to the model. The multiple hierarchy modelassumes great power indifference. When local leaders interests vary dramatically from the global hegemons, intervention becomes more likely, but Lemke finds general and frequent disinterest, especially under unipolarity. Instead of subsystems or regional security complexes, Lemke (2002:49), as a power transition theorist, speaks of local hierarchies. He unearths 23 separate mini-hierarchies under the larger global one (contemporary American primacy). The primary image of this multiple hierarchy model is a pyramid of power with the global hegemon at the top. These hierarchies have the same structural characteristics as the global one, but for the openness variable. Leaders dominate a status quo, whereas challengers rise. These challengers signal their dissatisfaction through military build-ups and launch wars to overturn dominance if their chances are good. A regional twistwhich also buttresses the notion of the region as a distinct level of analysisis the possibility of recruitment of outsiders to aid in overturning the local hierarchy. As discussed earlier, openness need not mean one-way traffic of overlay; cagey locals may also sell their regional hegemonic bids to extraregional allies. One of Lemkes 23 local hierarchies is the Korean peninsula. Both sides have marketed their causes to external patrons. Lemke offers a hybrid, semi-historical model of regions mixing the ideas of Buzan and Lake. He accepts Buzans
(2000) proximity, understood as contiguity. Lemkes hierarchies are grounded in territorially adjacent states. Like Buzan,

neighboring states threaten each other with greater intensity; states have a relevant neighborhood ( Lemke 2002:71). As most states are militarily weak, most interstate threat projections are even more limited than Buzan suggests. Lemke


fractures the planet beyond Buzan and Waevers scheme of nine nearly continental-sized regional security complexes. Eight of Lemkes 23 separate hierarchies are as small as dyads, like the Koreas or Chile and Peru. Lemke also tries to capture some of the interactional intensity Buzan tags with patterns of amity and enmity. All states in a Lemke hierarchy must be able to reach each other, so there is some shared history to help set them more clearly apart from each other. All of Lemkes regions have existed for at least 30 years; three in South America have existed for 130 years. By contrast, Lakes strictly rationalist regional security complexes do not require this level of intense interaction; any threat can kick up a complex. Lemke does, however, retain Lakes rationalist definition of a region as bound around threat understood as sheer power projection. If pressed, history and geography are secondary drivers in this model. But threats are usually geographically contained among smaller states, so the resultant security geography violates traditional expectations. Lemke finds regions like the Northern Rim of the Middle East, the Central Lowlands of Africa, or North KoreaSouth Korea. The model generates such miniaturized regions because rather than examining actual interactions, Lemke focuses on the ability to interact, or the presence of opportunity (Thomas 2003:639). States suffer from a punishing loss of strength gradient over space (Lemke 2002:7072). The ability to project declines steeply over distance for most states. Also like Lake (1997), Lemke (2002) provides a rationalist, ahistorical boundary for regional complexes: a loss of more than 50% of military power across the distance from one national capital to another. A reduction in power projection by more than 50% between capitals pulls the respective states out of a regional complex. Using transportation infrastructure, projection in past conflicts, and even travelogues of explorers, Lemke builds individual hierarchies around this gradient. Like Lake, regions are based on the capability for military interaction. Lemke (2002:60) explicitly laments the difficulty of operationalizing regions and using the notion of hierarchies rather than complexes alleviates the definitional issue. But unlike Lakes strict rationalism, Lemke realizes that most threats do not go too far beyond ones neighbors and that this does generate a distinct local nexus. Hence, a regional level of analysis can be real, which Lake almost eliminates, and separate local hierarchies can be identified. Lemke accepts variants of the three variables distilled in the present review. His theory requires great power indifference, thus he accepts regional openness to penetration or overlay. He accepts the second toointensification of the security dilemma under proximity. The loss of strength gradient formally restates Buzans insight that security dynamics are uneven because of geography. Lemke and Lake may strip out history and interaction in favor of strict power projection, but the notion of local intensity is similar for all three. This last statement buttresses the present authors assertion that the uneven security dilemma is a new variable.

But Lemke (2002:176181), like Buzan, struggles with weak states. Like Buzan, his model erodes in environments of endemic state weakness; to his credit Lemke admits this problem. Most awkwardly, his model of regional war prediction, based on regional power transition, generates an African peace ( Lemke 2002:161). It is correct that interstate war is rare in Africa, but clearly violent conflict is not. This prediction is empirically awkward, almost a nonfinding, and precisely the sort of outcome that drives the inductivist, area studies pushback. Lemke (2002:175) hints at the importance of state weakness, as Buzan does, but ultimately neither can do much with it within their frameworks. The African peace is also a normatively


uncomfortable outcome. This prediction opens the door for a sharp critical theory revision of regionalism away from positive theory.

Critical Theory and Regional Integration

Critical theorists (Hettne et al. 1999, 2000; other Hettne-edited volumes from the United Nations University New Regionalism series9; Hentz and Bs 2003; Pugh and Sidhu 2003; Farrell et al. 2005) resent the normative disinterest of the Anglo-American positive theorists discussed so far (Buzan [and Waever], Lake, Lemke). If, they believe, IR theories generate findings like an African peace, then IR is normatively flawed. IR should be developing frameworks regarding regional order and integration that respond to the realities of violence and dislocation in the postoverlay Third World. However, the critical theorists still share the downscaling impulse of the positivists. They import a normative neofunctionalism to considerations of regions that views regionalization as a means for engaging in conflict resolution and resistance to global threats. This critical theory literature styles itself as new regionalist. The positivists discussed above are aware of the notion, but do not mine the distinction as Vyrynen (1984, 1986, 2003), for example, does. The positivists are fairly comfortable picking up where Thompson left off in 1973 and improving on old regionalisms initial research with the improved tools of the neorealistneoliberal tussle of the 1980s and 1990s. By contrast, critical theorists are engaged in a major break with traditional IR. Security regionalism is not the formal search for analytical models, but for theories of regionalization (Lhteenmki and
Kknen 1999; Farrell 2005; Stadtmeller 2005). Variables and levels of analysis scarcely interest these theorists; instead,

regionalism [has] a strategic goal of region-building, of establishing regional coherence and identity ( Farrell 2005:8). These scholars are consciously breaking the mold of security studies ( Hentz 2003). A normative desire for regional integration drives this work. A regional order mitigates two problems emergent from the retraction of the Cold War overlay: local disorder ( Pugh and Sidhu 2003) and the possibility of new penetration ( Falk 1999). In effect, regionalism will help to pacify chaotic geopolitical spaces like Bosnia and Central Africa. Regional order will also provide resistance to hegemonic centripetal forces such as US primacy and neoliberal globalization. Hettne (1999:xix), probably the most prolific expositor of this position, speaks of an ideology of regionalism; that is, an urge for regionalist order. At his most fulsome, Hettne (2005) speaks of regions integrating local IOs and replacing states in a post-Westphalian world of regions to counteract the US war on terror. He ( Hettne 1999) views this as a second great transformation. Order is achieved by re-conceptualizing regionalism as regionalization and cooperation. Regionalism is a policy and project whereby states and nonstate actors cooperate and coordinate strategy[to] create an interlocking web of regional governance structures such as those already found in Europe (Fawcett 2005:24). In this way, the critical theorists add a normative element missing so far, changing the theoretical apparatus from variants on neorealism toward liberal institutionalism and constructivism ( Hurrell 1995). The old regionalism wrapped a normative interest in third party conflict mitigation into neofunctional integration theory using the European Community as a model ( Hurrell 2005:39). The new regionalism carries this forward with a parallel normative interest in integration through various order-bringing schemes, usually culminating in a regional organization.


Critical theorists routinely elaborate stages or a continuum of regional order. The stages are linear and tend to culminate in a regional organization or regional security community. Kaisa Lhteenmki and Jyrki Kknen (1999:21415) find that proximate states come to share a local identity (regionness) from which can emanate a regional organization and later a regional security community. Louise Fawcetts (2005:24)arc from soft to hard regionalism ends in a regional IO. Hettne (1999:xxi,
2000:58) alternately anticipates regional security communities or regional organizations at the end of regionalization. Fulvio Attina (2004:11) sees a regional ordering continuum that peaks in a regional security partnership.

These integrationists are divided over the strength of regional organizations. The normative downside of overlays retraction is that systemic powers will not intervene to help troubled regions. The critical theorists are schizophrenic regarding Northern involvement in regional organizations. On the one hand, overlay means imperialism or, at the least, informal domination. The end of the Cold War released regional organizations to be regional conflict managers, not just tools of great power influence (Fawcett 2003:16). Writers like Falk (1999:228), Hettne (2005:153ff), and Stadtmeller (2005)118) are normatively excited about the prospect of regional self-determination and stabilization through regional groupings. Regionalism is viewed as serving progressive values like multilateralism and global governance. Conversely, Michael Pugh and Waheguru Sidhu (2003) as well as Alex Bellamy and Paul Williams (2005) fear that retraction means abandonment and ghettoization. Spaces of the world such as Bosnia, Haiti, and Somalia may simply be forgotten. Hence, much of the effort to theorize regional organization looks to relationships with the UN. The fear is that the great powers may burden-shed development and peacekeeping to regional organizations and the UN. Not surprisingly, large powers like regional organizations when they handle the unruly periphery and dislike them when they become a pushback mechanism against intrusion (Pugh 2003:40; Katzenstein 2005:24). This split over the coherence of regions drives the second concern of critical new regionalismresistance to centripetal pressures. Hettne and his European colleagues want regional organizations to be bulwarks against globalization and US hegemony. This concern draws from the regional international political economy literature, which is split over whether preferential trade areas are stepping stones toward a global multilateral trade order or bulwarks against globalization with the retention of some local autonomy (Mansfield and Milner 1999). Hettne and the critical theorists adopt the latter idea and translate it into a mixed security/economics language. Regionalism becomes a means to fend off American-dominated economic hegemony and security unipolarity. (This last statement demonstrates how the new regionalism is multidimensional; regional organizations serve not just economic but other purposes.) This so-called defensive regionalism (Farrell 2005:16) counters systemic hegemonic regionalism (Acharya 1992b). The critical theorists know that regions are open. They fear Katzensteins (2005) model of hegemonic regionalism in which regions are so porous that the great powers can easily re-intrude or even use regions as platforms to project power. Acharya speaks of an autonomous regionalism, and the critical theorists argue vociferously for it. Regionalism as project and policy serves two functions: first, to resist American primacy and, second, globalization. The two frequently elide. Hettne makes the most robust claims. Regionalism aims to make the world more multipolar and protect pluralism from unipolarity ( Hettne
1999:7, 21). The future of world order is at stake in the coming contest between EU-style, post-Westphalian liberal

institutionalism and US neo-Westphalian unilateralism (Hettne 2005:285; less apocalyptic in Fawcett 2003:27). Regionalism shows similar promise in resisting globalization and the homogenization it brings ( Falk 1999:233ff; Hettne 2000:45; Sideri
2000; Bs 2005:210).


Figure 4 ties together the many strains of these critical theorists proposals. Inevitably the critical theorists do rely on

theoretical foundations despite their open disappointment with the conservatism of the positive theorists. This makes some cumulation with the positivists possible. Critical new regionalists accept the basic chandelier model of hierarchic world politics. They accept the openness variable proposed earlier; indeed, they fear it. Regions have less innate autonomy than Buzan argues is therehence, the strong need for regional integration. Without pooling resources for pushbackmost easily accomplished through the formalism of an IOthe center will simply overlay the periphery. The hierarchic arrangement of world politics normatively demands regional organizations. The regionalism of the critical theorists also informally accepts the variables of proximity and intensity proposed in this essay. Their focus on regional organization betrays an acceptance of contiguity. The positivists founded regions on intense local flows of threat. The critical theorists invert the argument to the same purpose: flows of amityexpressed as integration in local IOsbuild regions. They generally operationalize regions around geography and IOs. But this is only partially, implicitly theorized; the lengthy operationalization issues that bedevil Buzan and Lemke are generally absent. Finally, the critical theorists, like the positivists, are downscalers, so they fumble with state weakness. Hentz (2003:14) and Hettne (2005:163) flirt with the notion that regionalization might be easier among weak states because the member states are already so artificial. But, actually, weakness often breeds the oppositeparanoia over state security (Ayoob 1995:24). This deductivist impulse turns area studies scholars against them, even though the critical theorists share much of the formers normative concern for reducing Third World conflict and protecting its autonomy from centripetal pressures.
Figure 4. Critical Theorys Defensive Regionalism

Inductive Pushback: Regional Security in the Third World

Area studies scholars seek regionalist theory less detached from empirics, particularly in the Third World. Hentzs and Hettnes answer to state weakness is an obvious effort to prop up neofunctionalism, not theorize weak-state realities. Or, an African peace is, to paraphraseShambaugh (2004/2005:94), the ungainly product of deductively forcing events into a theory rather than inductively fitting theory to the actual practice of violence in Africa. In these examples, Third World states are read into frames devised from above. Downscaled theorizing blinds investigators to the real drivers of events by predetermining what they should find. Part of regionalisms Lakatosian moderation is its willingness to carry extant tools deductively down into the regions. But downscaling presents an irony. Much of the empirical and normative thrust of the new regionalism is grounded in a rejection of Eurocentrism in IR. Regionalism opens IR to the diversity of global political experience in contrast to the reification of modern European history. Deductive downscaling clearly does not do this; ironically it brings universalized concepts out of European history into the regions. Constructivist, comparative politics, and Third World scholars and historians ( Ayoob
1986b, 1995; Palmer 1991; Wriggins 1992; Alagappa 1993, 1995; Maoz 1997; Shambaugh 2004/2005) will hardly be surprised,

therefore, that Lemke sees power transitions in the regions too, or that critical theorists find regional integration paralleling


the European Union. New regionalisms full promise demands empirical research beginning in Third World realities and building theory inductively up. Beginning without Eurocentric, modernist prejudices may unveil new facts to support new or emended theory. Doing such research is difficult because many traditional IR markers are suspect. Inductive work might easily slide into narrative without some guiding concepts. Yet, Third World area studies scholars such as Ayoob (1992, 1995, 1999) have generated enough new facts that new theoretical insights have emerged. Specifically Ayoob and others have noted the centrality of state strength. Several of the downscalers, especially Buzan (1993, 2000), have picked this up as well. But Buzan is unsure what to do with this notion. Weak states do not fit well in Buzans scheme that considers regional security complexes as essentially mini-anarchies, so they become hazy proto-complexes. AndLemke (2002) openly notes that his theory stumbles when weak states fill his regional hierarchies. The downscalers broadly retain IRs disinterest in unit characteristics. By contrast, those engaged in inductive research are ready to build new theory based on the wide prevalence of weak states. Two shifts in regional security ground the argument being made in this essay that state strength is the third new variable we may distill from the regional security literature. First, in an excellent demonstration of theoretic extension and renewal in the social sciences, Ayoob (1992, 1995) and Brian Job (1992a, 1992b) re-worked the traditional security dilemma, viewing it as an internal one. Endemic state weakness shifts the focus of security from interstate, lateral pressure toward intrastate, centrifugal challengerssecessionists, terrorists, militias, and others. Second, regional organizations in weak state-dense environments serve state-building. Downscaled neofunctionalism would expect integration, free trade, spillover, domestic tussles over the loss of sovereignty, and similar EU-like issues. Yet, Third World regionalism reinforces individual sovereignties. These IOs pool the low capacity of weak states for the purposes of joint sovereignty defense against internal challengers.

Weak States and the Internal Security Dilemma

Unencumbered by IRs tendency to black-box internal state characteristics, Third World area studies scholars are free to look more widely and build theory upward. Their most important theoretical advance has been the growing perception that weak or failed states radically affect regional security complexes and regional orders ( Ayoob 1986a, 1989, 1992, 1995,
1999; Weiss and Kessler 1991; Job 1992c; Miller 2005). Where the units involved in regional security complexes are radically

internally dysfunctional, the traditional logics of structural IR theory do not seem to capture the real security tensions in these regions. The recurrent emphasis on this point motivates the distillation of it in the present essay as one of the new regional structural variables. A region populated by weak states will be structurally different from strong state systems in the North-West (Ayoob 1995:13); in critical mass, this unit variable will have regional systemic effects. Predominantly weak-state systems will focus on what Job (1997:180) terms the internal security dilemma. The greatest threat to the Third World state comes from its meager roots and legitimacy in the civil society beneath it, not from other states. This notion profoundly restructures regional security dynamics from interstate to intrastate conflict. So Lemke (2002) may find an unexpected interstate African peace but he has deductively overlooked the real story.


Miller (2005:243) notes that the notion of state strength (or coherence) is a different and separate concept from the realist

notion of state power or capabilities. Robert Jackson (1990:29) defines weak, or quasi-, states as those lacking. positive sovereignty(which) is not a legal, but a political attributethe sociological, economic, technological, psychological, and similar wherewithal to declare, implement, and enforce public policy both domestically and internationally. It is the distinctive overall feature of a developed state. Consequently it is a stronger characteristic of some states than of others. Quasi-states struggle to extend their writ across physical territory; countries like Somalia or Afghanistan exist on maps but not as actors. Ayoob (1995:4), Holsti (1996:97), and Miller (2005:234) formalize missing stateness around three dimensions. A strong state enjoys reasonably broad popular legitimacy, functioning coercive capacity (loyal police and military), and infrastructural depth (a capable bureaucracy). Few Third World states have these qualities of stateness and so they face regular internal crises. Most important is the first descriptor: strong states have deep roots in civil society and command high constitutional allegiance. The Third World state, as Ayoob (1995:4)notes, faces competing loci of authority. Miller (2005:230) speaks of a state-to-nation balance or congruence. Competing sub-groups with loyalties to other identities urge secession or otherwise view the regime as an alien imposition. Building congruence between the state and the civil society is the long-term project of nation-building.10 Even many Second World states do not command much allegiance. Although endowed with strong coercive capacities and adequate infrastructure, most suffer from severe legitimacy problems. As the Cold War ended, these otherwise imposing states crumbled seemingly overnight. Many of the successor states are still weak states. Ayoob (1995: Chapter 2) and Job
(1992b)suggest that such states are in the early process of nation-building with a consequent stress on the domestic, rather

than international, use of force. Without the substantial popular legitimacy of strong states, many weak states face continual challenge to their positive sovereignty from within. Ethno-tribal secessionist and irredentist movements are common in much of the Global South as are other sovereignty-rejecting militias, terrorists, warlords, and traffickers. During the Cold War, communist guerillas stressed weak states across this same Global South; today Islamist insurgencies threaten states in the Muslim world. Nation-building that involves reducing these centrifugal challengers into subservience is difficult, dangerous, and expensive. This internal security is much more important than the external. War is a luxury rickety postcolonial states can scarcely afford. First they must get their own house in order. Hence, Ayoobs (1995) and Lemkes (2002) finding that interstate war in the Third World is rare. The traditional mechanics of the security dilemma are there but are placed on hold, especially when proximate states face similar internal challenges.11 Both dilemmas exist, however, and weak states near strong states find themselves in a punishing security environment.12 But without resolution of internal issues, war is doubly dangerous. Wars make domestic turbulence dangerous to frail regimes. Even victory is threatening. Conquered populations worsen the legitimacy crisis, and flimsy institutions lack the infrastructural and coercive capacity to dominate further, potentially unruly territory. Most Third World states do not seek conquest of their neighbors, but rather their cooperation on similar internal threats. Lakes
(1997) security externalities could be re-imagined as internalities. Internal flows matter more, especially when they


synergize with rickety neighbors own internal flows. State elites have a common interest in avoiding external conflict in order to concentrate pooled efforts on their domestic security internalities.

Regional Organizations in the Third World: Serving Intrastate Security

Inductive IR generates another theoretical insight that puts downscaled theory on its head. Against the critical and neofunctional expectations of regional integration, weak-state regions actually generate regional IOs that reinforce, not erode, sovereignty. Ostensibly interstate conflict managers, economic trade areas, or IOs like the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) actually exist for tacit elite collaboration to quell their common intrastate challenges.

From state weakness flows the internal security dilemma and from that, in turn, the sovereignty-reinforcing IO. Proximate states with analogous internal security dilemmassimilar sets of centrifugal pressuresare likely to coalign to jointly repress and buttress claims of sovereignty. Not surprisingly, shared concerns shape the quality of regional order. If the central local security issue is not interstate war but state fragility, then regional security efforts are more likely to turn on the suppression of internal dissent than interstate conflict management. Regional security organizations do not pool sovereignty so much as amass it for joint, coordinated repression. Weak-state regional IOs are mutual sovereignty reinforcement coalitions not integrationist regional bodies like the European Union. The joint strategy regionalizes not sovereignty but domestic conflict and elite pushback.

Buzan and the positivists are the target of the internal security dilemma critique. Critical neofunctionalism is the next downscaling target. Its focus on the processes of integration turns attention toward the character of the units. Scholars of Third World security note consistently that state strength determines the extent and nature of regionalism. The critical theorist sees state weakness creating a normative need for integration; regionalism becomes a project and a policy. But weak states do not follow this deductivist advice to replicate the European Union. Instead the area studies work finds that they coalign to serve common statist interests. Weak states do not integrate into IOs as the critical theorists hope; they do the opposite. As Ayoob (1995:4) has noted, weak states obsess about sovereignty, so even their IOs reflect this concern. The inductive research on Third World regionalism finds regionalization without integration (Bach 2005:184). Transnational links between regime elites to bolster one anothers security characterize such regional security complexes. Organizations such as the OAU/AU (African Union), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) have strict nonintervention norms and officially sanctioned external intervention is very rare (Acharya 1992a,b; Alagappa 1993; Bremmer and Bailes 1998;McMillan, Sokolsky, and Winner 2003; Attina 2004; Shambaugh
2004/2005; Hills 2005). They are ostensibly created for security or economic purposes, yet their real purpose is to collectively

resist similar internal enemies.13Amitav Acharya (1992b:89) has observed how weak Third World IOs are when functioning as the ostensible external pacts they claim to be. The Arab League tried to be an anti-Israel bloc, but its real purpose was to solidify weak, illegitimate elites. Israel easily overcame its unintegrated members. Julius Nyerere purportedly remarked that the OAU exists only for the protection of African heads of state (cited in Alagappa 1995:385). Suzanne Nossel (2007) writes of the SCO:


Chinese President Hu Jintao declared that the SCO is focused on separatism, extremism, and terrorism, problems that are of concern everywhere from Africa to Europe to Washington, and it has brought together military leaders to plan counterterrorism exercises. But, in practice, the organization has behaved as a front for authoritarian regimes. Uzbekistan violently suppressed a political demonstration in May 2005, massacring hundreds of unarmed protesters. But, although the SCOs charter commits members to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, the SCOs secretary general rejected calls from human rights advocates to condemn the bloodshed, declaring that the organization does not involve itself in the internal affairs of its member states. The regional security complex characterized by the internal security dilemma is modeled in Figure 5.
Figure 5. Sovereignty-Reinforcing Third World Regional Security Organizations

Figure 5 illustrates the perplexing effects the internal security dilemma brings to regional security theory and, by extension,

regional IOs. In it, elites cooperate to promote their collective internal security ( Leifer 1989:1; Ayoob 1995:6165). In the traditional, external security dilemma, security externalities wash across borders, generating shared security concerns. Yet, the internal security dilemma suggests that such externalities wash only as far as the state borders. Because so many states in Third World regional security complexes share common internal challenges, the constituent states elites collectively have little interest in exploiting them internationally. What might otherwise be externalities become internalities. Containing those internalities is hard to achieve alone. Pooling sovereignty and other attributes of state strength bolsters all the members of the IO. It is collective action for an end wholly unforeseen by downscalers because of the desire to black box unit variables.
Neil MacFarlane and Thomas Weiss (1992) set the more sober organizational tone on the continued failure of regional

organizations at local conflict management. Although such weak organizations as the OAU or Organization of American States (OAS) not surprisingly failed, even the European Unionfinancially and institutionally well-endowedfailed in Bosnia. In a scathing verdict, MacFarlane and Weiss (1992:11) write: The institutional capacities of regional organizations are extremely feeble, so much so, that they have not been able to carry out mandates in peace and security. The so-called comparative superiority of organizations in the actual regionsfamiliarity with the issues, insulation from outside powers, need to deal with acute issuesare more than offset by such practical disadvantages as partisanship, local rivalries, and lack of resources. They conclude that regional peacekeeping and other more complicated forms of conflict monitoring will not devolve to the regional arrangements of Chapter 8 of the UN Charter because regional IOs are not meaningful external conflict managers.

Muthiah Alagappa (1993, 1995) and Alan Henrikson (1995) reach a gentler if similar conclusion. Both find a role for regional

organizations as part of a wider network of security efforts. Alagappa (1995:387) writes,


On its own, regionalism will be ineffective in insuring the security of participating countries. It has to be viewed as part of a package that includes self-help, regional and global balances of power, alliance with extra-regional powers, and the UN collective security system. Alagappas conclusion reflects the low position of most regional security complexes on ladders of regional order posited/hoped for by many critical theorists. With the striking exception of Western Europe, most regional security complexes are still dominated by the balance of power or regional great power concerts. 14 If this was not visible to the early regionalists, perhaps because most Third World states had not been independent for more than one or two decades, today it is very apparent. Most Third World states ameliorate their attenuated external security dilemma without intense cooperation. At best, some states may join subregional organizations and so pool their bargaining power for intraregional security disputes. Among others, Black Sea Economic Cooperation, the Association of Caribbean States, and the South African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) have had limited success in this domain ( Tow 1990: Chapter 3; Bremmer
and Bailes 1998; Hook and Kearns 1999). But inclusive regional organizations have generally reproduced regional tensions

within their structures rather than ameliorated them through neofunctional integration. In the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, India and Pakistan continue their standoff. In the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Nigerias neighbors are resisting its hegemonic efforts. 15 These tensions often doom the organization to irrelevancy. Indeed, Miller (2005) finds, directly contradicting neofunctionalist/critical hopes for regional integration, that regional conflicts can only be brokered by hegemonic intervention. He calls for overlay, because ostensible local conflict managers are paralyzed. As a result, some regional organizations characterized by relative consensus have explicitly not sought to become regionally inclusive in order to maintain their efficacy. 16 The inductivist pushback sharply rejects the deductivist impulse to replicate systemic theories in mini-systems. Its important theoretical revisions, based in rich casework, have added a third variablestate weaknessto future analyses. But it does accept the validity of the regional level of analysis. Indeed, scholars such as Buzan, Lemke, Hettne, and Ayoob all agree that regions enjoy enough autonomy to warrant distinct investigation. Given this powerful challenge, it was perhaps inevitable that systemic theory would pushback at the foundation of the regionalist challengein effect, at regional autonomy.

Systemic Pushback: Hegemonic Regionalism

The focus here will be on Katzensteins (2005)world of regions in American imperium, but he is not alone. The openness variable that all the regionalists accept presents a constant danger of overlay. The critical regional theorists normative drive to read regionalism as regionalization responds to a deep fear that unipolarity and globalization are centralizing forces reducing regions and weak states before American primacy. Like realists who reject regions autonomy from the central system, the most pessimistic critical theory already sees the triumph of American power over regions. 17 The war on terror particularly drives this fear (Falk 1999; Hettne 2000, 2005; Fawcett 2005:27). The area studies literature reflects the fear of hegemonic regionalism at the expense of autonomous regionalism ( Acharya 1992b). Miller (2005; Miller and Kagan


1997) theorizes regional conflict reduction through external great power intrusion. Because Third World regions are so

prostrate and dysfunctional, overlay, not integration, is necessary for peace.

Katzenstein (2005) takes the new regionalism seriously. He reconstructs systemic theory after the strong regionalist progress

made in the literature surveyed here. Rather than a blithe neorealist dismissal, he revives Figure 1 to dispute in particular the resistance image of Figure 4. Instead of Figure 4s multipolarity, Katzenstein (2005:37,43) observes a hub-and-spoke system like that in Figure 1 with the United States at the center. System effects flow downward, invalidating the sustained delinkage or resistance of the critical/neofunctional approach. Katzenstein accepts the variables of openness and state weakness, but he creatively uses them against the foundational claim that regions are a distinct level of analysis. Regions are not just open, they are porous ( Katzenstein 2005:22). And with many weak states, they become even more so. In a similar fashion to Miller (2005), Katzensteins hegemon finds it even easier to intrude when locals are weak. State weakness powerfully tempts outsiders to intervene. Openness and state failure erode regions rather than bolstering their distinction. Hegemony overwhelms regional organization. Katzenstein accepts some of the regionalist project. The recession of the Cold War has created space and social mobilization of Third World populations makes intrusion from above tougher ( Katzenstein 2005:4, 8). Regionalism does show signs of post-Westphalian integration (Katzenstein 2005:42). Yet in a semi-realist revision of dependency notions of hegemony, he sees the United States coordinating critical regions through nodal states in a hub-and-spoke model. Japan and Germany transmit and cover American influence in their critical regions. If Latin America or Africa is enjoying freedom from intervention, it stems from hegemonic disinterest, not real autonomy. Top down unipolarity erodes a regional level of analysis. The nodes represent overlay in the postimperial era. Direct overlay is harder, so these friends/allies/subjects serve to mask, soften, and repackage American influence in a locally acceptable manner. Regions are platforms for the transmission of US power and cultural tropes. Katzenstein terms the US world order an imperium. Washington coordinates the nodes for its own purposes. If a region does not have a node, it is likely because of American disinterest not failure. Only one needed node, in the Middle East, is missing.

Katzenstein (2005) sees six regionsEurope, East Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and South Asia. Regions are

products of the hegemon, not internal dynamics. In this way, the operationalization question that plagues the new regionalist work is eliminated. Katzensteins regions reflect the US militarys division of the world into six unified combat commands. The two most critical regions are Europe and East Asia. Germany and Japan serve as nodes. Africa, Latin America, and South Asia are less relevant and have no node. The United States does need a node in the Middle East that the Iraq war could generate. Katzensteins imperial or top-down regionalism is graphed inFigure 6.
Figure 6. Katzensteins Imperial Regionalism


This challenge is painful for the new regionalism. Katzenstein (2005) does grant regions an existence that systemic theories dismiss but does not grant them much autonomy of action. The system is still system-dominant as Kaplan (1957) argued decades ago. Regions are not levels of analysis or actors, but tools of the dominant state at the global level. This is nuanced systemic theory that takes account of regions in a sophisticated way. But it still challenges much of the regionalist edifice developed here. The hegemon creates regions, not lateral interaction among a regions constituents or local IOs, much less imagined or identity-based communities. The internal dynamics of intense interaction that worried the old regionalists and Buzan are irrelevantas are the regional resistance projects sought by Hettne and the critical scholars. Hegemonic regions are a nonconfrontational, somewhat cloaked way for the United States to project influence rather than a way to protect against US control. Intrusion is common, whether soft (US bases around the planet) or hard (the Iraq War). So if hegemonic indifference is necessary for a regional theory (as Lemke claims), then regionalisms explanatory power decays. Hegemonic regionalist models like Katzensteins upend much of the new regionalism and are its most fundamental challenge.

The new regionalist security literature is robust but disparate. Several theoretical fissures will shape the future output of this research enterprise. First, positivists looking to build IR theory for the regions in an explicit, formal manner collide with a loose web of constructivists, critical theorists, and normative institutionalists seeking to aid regions with conflict and threats. Buzan, Lake, Lemke, Ayoob, and Katzenstein reflect the abstract, value-free, scientistic, Anglo-American manner of social theory. Further, they accept the most basic neorealist IR framesuch as territoriality, the state, war and violence, the balance of power. Hettne and the critical theorists are more European in focus. Their social theory is less formalized because it is focused on ends not process. Regionalism is a project and a policy, not an analytical frame. Bringing order, not explaining war again just with different variables, is the point of regional theory.

A second cross-cutting divide pits deductive theory that downscales standing bodies of theory against an inductive impulse to build theory from the data. Buzan, Lemke, and Hettne take theories down to the regions that were built for the system. Because of that theoretical conservatism, the present author considers new regionalism Lakatosian and not Kuhnian. But part of the normative appeal of the new regionalism is the well-known Eurocentric bias of IR. When Lemke and Hettne simply look for regional power transitions and EU-style IOs, disappointment is inevitable. Regionalism seems less original and creative than its promise. When regionalism urges IR to complete itself by looking beyond the North-West, Ayoob and the inductivists are pushing the regionalists to more seriously break with standing IR theory. And to their credit, the inductive work has found new facts that have fed new theory.


Finally, lurking behind these two challenges is the running problem of regionalist interaction with systemic theory. Katzenstein complements regionalist work by taking it seriously, and his critiques are powerful. If the new regionalism does lapse as a fad, as the old did, then regionalist progress in the philosophy of science dispute over the feasibility of a regional level of analysis will unravel. Powerful centripetal forces in globalization and the US war on terror give systemic theories like Katzensteins plausibility. Certainly the United States acts as Katzenstein (and Miller) describe. The rapidly expanding literature on the United States as an empire would simply dismiss regional autonomy.

The three variables that the present author has proposed in this essay are distillations from across the literature and not formally presented anywhere (although Buzan comes close). The purpose here was to flag common insights, to distill from the many models and arguments several shared points of view. The figures illustrate the evolution and continuity of thinking as do the variables. The intent in extracting and tracing them across the writings of a number of prominent scholars was to tighten their focus and firm-up a wide-ranging body of work. Recapitulating, the three variables are:
Openness. From the old regionalist interest in subordinate systems through Katzensteins imperial regionalism, all have noted how regions can be penetrated from above by pesky great powers. Regional autonomy turns on this openness not being exploited too frequently. An empirical question for future research would pit Buzans and Lemkes assertion this overlay is declining against Katzensteins and Millers that intrusion is quite common. 2. Proximity. Most of the new regionalists fall back on geographically intense interaction to found regions. Clearly it is a central variable, but it has not generated similar definitions. Buzan finds nine regional security complexes whereas Lemke finds 23 local hierarchies. Lake would create as many regional security complexes as there are nonglobal security externalities. Critical neofunctionalists find regions in IOs, which Third World area studies scholars, in turn, reject as misconceived. Perhaps most important in this debate is the work of Buzan and Lemke. Having devoted the most energy to the operationalization question, their incongruity is a blow to the new regional security literature because it creates room for systemic theorists to write off the operationalization issue as scholasticism. Hegemonic regionalism is easy; the imperium makes the regions. Future research cannot escape the nagging question that regions are not reliably operationalizable (Moon 1998; Vyrynen 2003; Hoogensen 2005). 3. Weak states. That Buzan and Lemke both acknowledge state strength suggests that the Third World area studies pushback has been successful. But its emendation of regional theory is not complete. Hettne (2005:163), for example, tried to read state weakness as support for integration. Clearly such an interpretation is inaccurate. Future research will need to build better regional theory around the reality of weak-state dense environments. The work on regional IOs acting as sovereignty reinforcers not eroders is an example of such creative scholarship. Future research could also develop an empirical measure of weak-state density. Miller, Ayoob, Job, and others note how an abundance of weak states can turn the security dilemma inward, but what about mixed strong- and weak-state complexes like the Middle East or Southern Africa?




This research agenda is all the more pressing because the post-Cold War period is the first with potential regional autonomy and poses an historical watershed for IR theory. When the world community closed after 1500, the regions lost their distinctiveness as European imperialism spread its regional security complex world-wide. The European regional system was exported to as many other regional systems as feasible. (This activity was not actually overlap, but rather intrusion.) A few large powers, like the United States and Japan, stood outside the widely distributed European subsystem. The international system was disparate and regionalized. The primary system was effectively a regional system writ-large (Buzan
and Waever 2003:15). With the partial exception of Great Britain, there were no powers with the global reach the

superpowers would have later. The Cold War period involved a fuller, more truly global system; it had superpowers, not just great powers. As the regional subsystems were freed of the European system by de-colonization, Cold War overlay replaced European intrusion. The division between regional systems and the global or primary one on top of it was more distinct than ever (Barraclough 1964:
Chapters 3, 4). For 40-odd years, regional security complexes were alternately inflamed or restrained by the bipolar overlay

(Stein and Lobell 1997). Now that, too, has dissipated. Today, globalization and unipolarity challenge regional space, but not as thoroughly as past intrusion and overlay. The United States has not governed as the extremely intrusive hegemon one would have expected from a Soviet victory. Even the war on terror will not likely expand into anything like American global empire; the Iraq War has gone too badly for that. The Bush Doctrine may not survive the Bush Administration. Unipolarity is looking like American aloofness rather than dominance. Such a position may give the resurgent regions room to be relatively distinct and autonomous within a closed international system for the first time in history. Regional security promises to be more interesting than it ever was before and, perhaps, even unique. The burden on IR theory to explain regional systems will likewise increase. Footnotes

2 Maoz (1997:2, 42 fn. 3) notes how little conceptual work on regional security has actually accompanied the new interest in regions. Whereas Vyrynen (2003) has provided a broad view of the new regionalism, this essay explicitly responds to Maozs concern for the formalization of regional security theory.

3 Personal conversation with Randall Schweller.

4 Much of the following derives from editorial comments from Randall Schweller on an earlier version of this paper.

5 These regional security complexes are North America, South America, Europe, post-Soviet space, Middle East, Southern Africa, Central Africa, South Asia, and East Asia (Buzan and Waever 2003:xvi).

6 This is not meant to suggest that we are entering a period of subsystem dominance. If William Wohlforths (1999) analysis is even partially accurate, then the United States is so preponderant that the subsystems are not serious rivals. However, given the great


power quietude of unipolarity and the relative indifference of the unipole to many regional conflicts beyond terrorism, it seems likely that the interests of IR and other analysts will follow the action to the regions.

7 The difficulty of graphing the Middle East, Lakes (1997) example in his article, points to a problem with his reconceptualization of security externalities. How can his inclusion of the United States in the Middle Eastern regional security complex be accurate, when no state-driven security externality from that region reaches the United States? US intervention in the Middle East is better understood as overlay or external intrusion in an open subsystem. North Korea would have been a wiser choicehence Figure 3 given its pretensions to nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology.

8 The title of Buzans 1991 book is People, States, and Fear. 9 http://www.padrigu.gu.se/forskning/contents.html 10 As Rupert Emerson (1963:107) has observed: everywhere in the world, nations have been shaped from diverse and hostile communities which have been brought into a common framework over the centuries, often through living together in a superimposed state. It may be that Africa is, belatedly, in the process of molding nations in the same way that they have been molded elsewhere.

11 In fact, Ayoob (1995: Chapter 7) argues that the external security dilemma must be added to the internal one in the Third World, thereby doubly handicapping such states. By contrast, Job (1992b) contends that the internal security dilemma mostly trumps the external one in Third World regional security complexes, particularly given the low frequency of interstate compared with intrastate war in the Third World since the end of bipolarity.

12 Weak states do, of course, exist at the global level, but structural IR theorys parsimonious refusal to include domestic politics is more defensible there. At the global level only strong states may compete for the great power status that permits them to participate in fashioning the entire international system. States crippled by their internal security dilemma cannot effectively compete in the more strenuous external security dilemma of the entire, closed, planet-wide system. This fact also explains the extraordinary power position of strong states, such as Israel or South Africa, in regional security complexes of mixed weak and strong states.

13 The new regionalism is explicitly multidimensional. IOs are widely seen to play a variety of roles even when formally economic in tone. The authors covered here broadly concur that ostensibly economic IOs, such as NAFTA, ASEAN, and the European Union, frequently play a shadow security role as well as an identity-based one for the more constructivist-minded (Mansfield and Milner 1999:601, 610;Vyrynen 2003:31; Hills 2005:95; Hurrell 2005: 45; Katzenstein 2005:2324).

14 The suspicion is that this is due to what Ayoob (1995:24) calls Third World elitesobsession with sovereignty. As the NorthWestern states slowly jettison the Westphalian system, most Third World states are just entering it and their elites insist vociferously


on its norms. Regional order requirements to cede sovereignty, much less integrate, are highly suspect, while the attenuated external security dilemma provides little countervailing pressure.

15 ECOWAS might actually be considered a subregional organization if the OAU/AU is taken to represent the whole Africa region. The definitional problem that continues to plague regional studies in IR is apparent here. The area studies insight that regional security complexes are reflected in regional organizations rather than ameliorated by them holds for ECOWAS.

16 ASEAN did not admit Vietnam until 1995 (Alagappa 1995) and continues to hedge on Japan and China for this reason. 17 The author thanks Ted Hope for the trenchant observation that extreme versions of critical theory focus so much on power relations that they mirror realism. Realism describes the system as it is, whereas critical theory unmasks the ideology shielding the real power structure. In the end, the analyses are parallel, only with a normative addendum from the critics. In the case of regionalism today, both realists and critical pessimists see the triumph of American-dominated hegemonic regionalism (Acharya 1992b).


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