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The post–Second World War period has seen a boom in regional organizations. They emerged to maximize the collective gains and are often based on the principle of proximity and affinity among their members. Regional organizations are formed to serve the following purposes: to promote human rights and democracy, to provide security and safeguard territorial integrity of member countries, and to secure economic alliances through trade and economic cooperation for rapid development. In addition, some regional organizations are established for more general reasons, such as to preserve cultural heritage (e.g., the Arab League and Organisation of Islamic Co-operation) or to address environmental issues (e.g., the Arctic Council is organized around environmental protection of the Arctic region).

Although in general parlance “regions” are considered to be contiguous geographical ...

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