Regional Cooperation: A Tool for Addressing Regional and Global Challenges
This paper explores the usefulness of regional cooperation in addressing regional and global challenges, with a focus on global public goods for trade, knowledge, peace and security, financial stability, global commons and communicable disease control. It develops a four-step framework, which seeks, first, to acknowledge that regionalism has become increasingly complex and heterogeneous in the context of globalization; second, to distinguish between different types of regional cooperation mechanisms; third, to show that effectiveness and sustainability of regional cooperation are contextually specific, but also dependent on institutions; and, fourth, to pinpoint the specific regional and global goods that regional cooperation is to supply. Applying the framework to these global public goods shows that a coherent way of dealing with them could constitute a global public policy, that they are interlinked and mutually supportive, that the contributions from regional cooperation are essential, that the underlying institutional structure for regionalism is uneven and underdeveloped and that providing global public goods requires specific policy measures. Global, regional and national levels should exploit the specific comparative advantages of regional cooperation for each global public good.