Rethinking and Theorizing Regional Integration in Southern Africa
Posted: 10 Jun 2015 Last revised: 1 Aug 2015
Date Written: June 8, 2014
Regional integration studies is characterized by, and normally understood as, a combination of inquiries from various disciplines. Conventionally, integration requires the amalgamation of political and economic policies. Yet, integration projects transcend political and economic cooperation and might even require harmonization of laws and principles. Scholars from legal, economic, and political sciences have studied and engaged in intra- disciplinary conceptualization of integration. Some of the theories that developed in relation to integration schemes in the developed North reflect socio-economic, political and historical factors of the North, casting doubt on the applicability, value, and consistency of those theories to integration schemes in southern Africa. Hence, this article is an attempt to conceptualize integration through a multidisciplinary analysis in order to proffer a broader conception of integration that encompasses local and regional emancipation movements in Africa in general, and in southern African countries in particular.
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