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International Research Journal of Arts and Social Sciences

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A review of regional approaches in dealing with security issues

Abstract

Ukertor Gabriel Moti

States have looked to their immediate and near neighbours as well as key external or regional powers as potential sources of threat or of protection. Therefore, rather than at the global or local level, the region is where most post-1945 success in achieving security arrangements has been experienced. The paper seeks to provide an assessment of the level of regionalism that has developed in the three regions of Europe, Asia Pacific and West Africa where regionalization has developed the most, but importantly on different degrees. It uses Bjorn Hettne and Fredrik Soderbaum’s ‘New Regional Theory’ to assess the level and direction of regionalism that has occurred in these regions since the end of the Second World War and in the post-Cold War era in the case of Europe and Asia Pacific. It is argued that the development of regionalism is dependent on the support of the regional great power(s); the extent of reciprocity that exists in the relations of the states in the region; and, the level of strategic reassurance that exists among these states. It concludes that Regionalization has emerged in the three regions through similar processes. They all established precedents for cooperation in non-security issues first (ie the EU, ASEAN and ECOWAS) before extending cooperation to security issues (ie NATO, the ARF and the East Asian Summit, and ECOMOG). However, the degree of regionalism that has developed in each region is significantly different.

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