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Complex Regionalisation in the Wider Black Sea Area

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posted on 04.03.2013, 12:10 by Mukhtar Hajizada
This thesis provides a case study analysis of regionalisation in the wider Black Sea area as a contribution to the study of regionalism. Taking 1992 as the starting point, interviews, official documents and personal observation are used to analyse the integrative processes by focusing on the areas of regional security, institutionalisation, intraregional trade and the role of the EU. Confrontation and cooperation are inter-related, and security imperatives and the lack of a sense of (security) community affect the efficiency level of the regional institutions and prevent increased regional cooperation. Nevertheless, the EU has enhanced a sense of community in the wider Black Sea area (WBSA) although mainly in the western part of it. Previous studies on regionalism have mostly dealt with regionalisms among allies or countries that seem to genuinely interact as partner countries, rather than examining the regionalist project of a group of states including adversaries with political-military problems between themselves. This thesis is thus original in focusing on a strange phenomenon that cooperation is going on at the same time as tension and conflict between states. A further sign of complexity is that many of the instances of cooperation such as economic are going on outside the remit of the regional organisations which have been established – such as the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. As this regional arrangement resembles an example of regional integration but cannot easily be analysed by the customary approaches of regionalism, the idea of ‘complex regionalism’ is proposed to denote the complex interplay among the participating actors in the WBSA. The summary contribution is to show that it is still possible to have regionalisation of states where some of them simultaneously engage in conflicts with each other, although this is likely to stunt the process and the extent of regional integration.



Henderson, Karen; Moran, Jonathan

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University of Leicester

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