Accepted paper:

Borders within/of "New Regionalism": The case of West Africa

Authors:

Pedriye Mutlu (Istanbul University)

Paper short abstract:

The paper is mainly concerned with the theoretical debate on the "New Regionalism" by focusing on "borders" through West African example and aims to place this debate within its historical context.

Paper long abstract:

This study investigates the handling and transformation of "borders" in West Africa, through the "New Regionalism" discourse from a political economic perspective. It argues that the concept of borders, deployed by various actors, regional and global, aims to facilitate the integration of African markets into the global economy through Regional Economic Communities. The paper takes cross-border cooperations, developmental corridors and spatial development initiatives as its launching points. These efforts, being the main targets of "new regionalism" discourse, rest heavily upon international borders of Africa. Thus, the paper is mainly concerned with the theoretical debate on the "New Regionalism" by focusing on "borders" and aims to place this debate within its historical context. The paper aims to discern the actors taking part in both bottom-up and top-down dynamics. Such that, it investigates the role of the state in institutional regional experiences as ECOWAS and UEMOA, the role of public-private partnerships, the private actors within development corridors and questions the aims and interests of these actors.

panel P032
Capital politics: The political economy of African regional organisations