International Relations is a vibrant field of significant growth and change. This book guides students through the complexities of over 40 central concepts and core theories, relating them at all times to contemporary issues and debates.

Each concept is divided into five sections to allow rapid familiarization with the topic and provide signposts for further exploration:

Core questions to address; Definition; Theoretical perspectives; Empirical problems; Core reading and useful websites

In addition the major theories are covered by six-part entries that give a 360 degree view of the strengths, weaknesses, applications and methodologies of each one:

An introduction to the core questions; Overview and background; Methodologies; Empirical application; Central criticism; Core reading and useful websites

Clear and highly readable, Key Concepts in International Relations is an essential guide for students on politics and international relations courses.

Regional Integration

Regional integration

1. Core Questions Addressed

  • What or who drives regional integration?
  • To what extent is European governance different from governance within nation-states?
  • Under what conditions can supranational governance be legitimate?

2. Definitions

Regional integration is the process of establishing a degree of supranational authority beyond the nation-state within a particular geographical region – that is, where the governments of nation-states decide to hand over some decision-making capacity to a new, higher level of governance. We speak of a supranational authority as opposed to intergovernmental cooperation (which we find on all sorts of issues) if decisions taken on the supranational level take direct effect, or have the status of law within the member states of the regional body. In contrast, in intergovernmental arrangements, any binding agreement needs to be ...

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