The Effectiveness of Regional Integration Agreements

01 October 2020 → Ongoing
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • International economics
social networks Regional Integration
Project description

As a growing number of countries are turning away from global initiatives like the World Trade Organization, intra- and interregional agreements are an increasingly important feature of the new world order. Understanding these systems of regional integration has become a prerequisite to grasping the configurations of global governance fully. The goal of this research project is to shed further light on the interplay between these global, regional and local level. To that end, we will bring together different databases on the characteristics of global and regional systems of governance. The point of departure is UNU-CRIS’ Regional Integration Knowledge System 2.0, which at present only includes multilateral agreements (that count more than two member countries). The information in this database will be merged with other projects that have encoded the contents of agreements, and its scope will be expanded to include bilateral trade and investment treaties as well as on the interaction between different agreements. This database will then be used to identify and describe the overall structure of institutional agreements and how that has evolved. To that end, we would use a multi-layered network model that would give an overall view of the institutional integration within and between different regions, as well as reveal how changes in membership interact with the type and contents of agreements. In addition to their academic relevance, the results of this analysis would help policymakers understand the picture of the changing patterns in institutional integration around the world.