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So far, so functional? Examining functional and counter-functional dynamics in authoritarian regional cooperation

[working paper]

Stoddard, Edward

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Corporate Editor Freie Universität Berlin, FB Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften, Otto-Suhr-Institut für Politikwissenschaft Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
Abstract Regional cooperation, once largely the preserve of democracies, is now seen in many regions characterized by autocracy. Indeed, authoritarian leaders increasingly cooperate regionally, above all to augment the resilience of their regimes. While the output from this cooperation differs considerably from liberal-democratic regionalism, the experience of European integration nevertheless sheds light on an important underlying dynamic within this growing autocratic cooperation. Indeed, as with early and mid-stage European regional integration, authoritarian regionalism is driven by functional demands arising from the limited access nature of their regimes. However, countervailing ideational dynamics (such as the increasing salience of identity and legitimacy issues), which affect regional cooperation, are present in many cases. These counter-functional dynamics largely pre-date regionalist efforts but appear to be exacerbated by regional cooperation. This paper examines the interplay between functional demands and counter-functional dynamics in the context of ‘protective regionalisms’ in Eurasia, the Gulf, and West Africa. As global politics becomes more polarized, with regionalism seen as a source of strength for authoritarian states, the dynamics and underlying logics of such projects become increasingly important.
Keywords West Africa; Persian Gulf; authoritarian system; regionalism; regional development; regional integration; cooperation; political control; securing of power; domination; legitimation; economic cooperation; functionalism
Classification Political System, Constitution, Government; International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy
Free Keywords Counter-Functionalism; Cooperation Theory; Eurasia
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
City Berlin
Page/Pages 31 p.
Series KFG Working Paper Series, 68
ISSN 1868-7601
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications