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Furthermore, in what ways have the various initiatives associated with the MDC impacted upon issues of gender relations in general and the empowerment of women in particular? Its success or otherwise and the processes engendered by the various projects within the MDC ambit are thus of crucial importance. The New Regionalism Approach A large number of frameworks and theories, both old and new, are available for the study of regionalism. The research field, or at least its research output, is dominated by mainstream and conventional theories of regional co-operation and integration, such as neo-realism, functionalism, neo-functionalism, institutionalism and economic integration theory.


  • The Political Economy of Regionalism.
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However, these frameworks need to be challenged for a number of reasons. One of their weaknesses is that their positivistic logic of investigation results in a concern with the methodology of regionalism rather than a systematic concern for the socio-economic circumstances and historical context in which regionalism occurs.

This weakness is closely related to the fact that these theories are developed first and foremost for the study of Europe. When this geographic focus is transcended the main focus is placed on North America and the Asia-Pacific. Apart from the narrow empirical selection, the problem lies, generally speaking, in that the same underlying assumptions and conceptualisations—such as the notion of unitary states, the regulating influence of regional organisations, trade and policy-led economic integration and so on—that stem from a particular reading of European integration influence the description and prescription of regionalism in the rest of the world.

Critical studies are also, it must be said, simply ignored e. This volume adopts what has become established as the new regionalism approach NRA. Hettne et al. As Mittelman points out: The new regionalism approach NRA is an important advance of the different versions of integration theory trade or market integration, functionalism and neo- functionalism, institutionalism and neo-institutionalism, and so on …[A]ll of them are deficient inasmuch as they understate power relations and fail to offer an explanation of structural transformation. In some ways a break with this tradition, the NRA explores contemporary forms of transnational co-operation and cross- border flows through comparative, historical, and multilevel perspectives Mittelman, The NRA starts from the proposition that in order to understand regionalism today it is essential to realise that we are dealing with a qualitatively new phenomenon, which is taking place in a new context and with a new content.

With regard to context, the new regionalism needs to be related to the current transformation of the world: regions are not formed in a vacuum. Here globalisation is a key to further understanding. Globalisation and regionalisation are intimately connected, and must thus be understood within the same framework, together shaping the emerging world order. The content of the renewed trend towards regionalism changing the world today has also been altered radically.

While the old regionalism was often imposed, directly or indirectly, from above and outside, in accordance with Cold War power structures, the new regionalism often emerges from in accordance with regional peculiarities and problems. As a consequence, the new regionalism is a truly world-wide phenomenon, taking place in more areas of the world than ever before. Furthermore, the old regionalism was generally specific with regard to objectives and content, with a particular focus on free trade arrangements and security alliances, whereas the new is resulting from a more comprehensive and multi- dimensional societal process.

These types of regions are what we refer to as micro-regions. Often, especially in Political Science and Economics, regions have been taken as pre- given, defined in advance of research, and frequently simply seen as particular interstate frameworks.

According to the reflectivist perspective built upon in the NRA, regions are seen as social constructions and social settings created by state and non-state actors for a host of different reasons. Contrary to the mainstream and problem-solving concern with more or less fixed and static definitions of regions, the NRA is more eclectic and more focused on the processes and consequences of regionalisation in various fields of activity and at various levels.

These are the processes through which regions are being made and unmade. The NRA suggests by no means that regions will be unitary, homogeneous or discrete units. There are no natural or given regions, but these are constructed, deconstructed and reconstructed—intentionally or unintentionally—in the process of global transformation, by collective human action and identity formation. Regionalism is a heterogeneous, comprehensive, multi-dimensional phenomenon, taking place in several sectors and often pushed by a variety of state, market, society and external actors both within and outside formal regional organisations.

It should be evident that the NRA looks beyond state-centrism. From the perspective of NRA, regionalism is more comprehensive and dynamic than inter- state action. States are not the only regionalising actors, and market, civil society— as well as external actors—are deeply involved in processes of regionalisation, including its political dimensions. Potentially, state actors create regionalisation in order to achieve private goals and promote particular vested interests rather than broader societal interests.

The Political Economy of Regionalism: The Case of Southern Africa

As a result, regionalisation will not necessarily be harmonious or beneficial to all participants. On the contrary, under certain circumstances it can be exclusionary, exploitative, and also reinforce asymmetries and imbalances. What regional actors do depend on who they are, their worldviews, who other actors are as well as the quality and quantity of their interactions. Before moving on it is apposite to make some conceptual clarifications.

In a more narrow and operational sense, regionalism represents the body of ideas, values, and concrete objectives associated with a specific regional project that an identifiable group of actors wish to realise. This is the urge by any set of actors to reorganise along regional lines in any given area.

Regionalism in this particular sense is usually associated with a formal programme and often leads to institution-building. Furthermore, regionalism ties agents to one specific project that is clearly limited spatially or socially but not necessarily in time Hveem, Regionalisation is the actual process of increasing contact, exchange, co- operation and integration within a given region sometimes referred to as the outcome.

Regionalisation may be caused by regionalism, but it may also emerge regardless of whether there is a regionalist project and regionalism ideology or not Hveem, In fact, it should be recognised that regionalisation may occur unintentionally, without actors necessarily being conscious of or dedicated to it.

Likewise, the rhetoric and ideology of regionalism may not always have much practical significance to the reality of regionalisation. Too often there is a belief that regional integration is fundamentally different, compared to regional co-operation, and that there even may exist a conflict between them Christiansen, Regional co-operation is more open-ended and less demanding, referring to the fact that actors may co-operate in order to achieve common objectives in one area, in spite of conflicting interests and objectives in another. Bringing in Micro-regionalism In the field of IPE the macro-region has been the most common object of analysis.

Even though many frameworks in the research field to some extent also including the NRA often acknowledge the pluralism of regions, the main concern has been with the macro-regions rather than micro-regions. In our view this has lead to an under-emphasis of the heterogeneity and pluralism of regionalisation as well as micro-issues on the ground. In response, this volume seeks to bridge the rift between macro-regionalism and micro-regionalism, drawing attention to their close relationships rather than their differences.

Sometimes the state has more autonomy from social forces and at other times the global market penetrates more deeply than in others. What work that does exist, particularly on Africa, is limited to single case studies e. There is thus a serious gap in the literature as studies on micro-regions promises to be an important field of research in most disciplines within the social sciences in the future.

Indeed, the study of micro-regions in Europe, the so-called Euro-regions, is a rapidly growing field of research. The basic point of departure for this volume is that it is important to recognise the emergence of the same phenomenon in Africa as well. These micro-regions may or may not fall within the borders of a particular nation-state. Micro-regionalism is often constituted by a network of transactions and collaboration across national boundaries, which may very well emerge as an alternative or in opposition to the challenged state, as well as to formal state regionalisms.

However, as illustrated by the concepts of growth polygons, growth triangles, development corridors, spatial development initiatives, cross-border regions etc. Perkmann and Sum, ; Mittelman, Furthermore, there is a clear possibility that in the future these micro-regions may increasingly co-ordinate their activities or even integrate. But once again, the relationship between actors and processes at various levels is seldom linear or evolutionary but rather contradictory and disparate.

The NRA, Globalisation and Uneven Development It is important to consider the external factor in the analysis of various forms of regionalism. Obviously, no single definition of globalisation can encompass all the various permutations and features associated with this catch-all word across time and space. Indeed, the concept is quite eclectic, describing global economic integration and political, social, cultural, ecological and gender-wise outcomes. Yet, we can talk about the making global, as opposed to territory-specific including regionalisation , of a wide variety of things, both social and economic, implying the widening in scope and deepening of a variety of economic and political though the two cannot be separated processes.

It is crucial to understand that there exist many different ways to look upon the relationship between globalisation and regionalisation. According to the NRA, globalisation and regionalisation are intimately connected, and must thus be understood within the same framework, together shaping the emerging world order as well as the regions as such Hettne et al. To browse Academia. Skip to main content. You're using an out-of-date version of Internet Explorer. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies.

The Modise Network - South Africa’s Political Economy - 11 May 2019

To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Regionalism and Uneven Development in Southern Africa. The Case of the Maputo Development Corridor Ian Taylor. The Case of the Maputo Development Corridor.

Though the formation of micro-regions is by no means new phenomenon, in the context of globalisation and regionalisation they are increasingly often cross-border in nature rather than contained within the boundaries of a particular nation-state, the conventional understanding of a micro- region. Since the mid- s the so-called Spatial Development Initiatives SDIs and development corridors have emerged as the most distinct and probably also the most interesting form of policy-driven micro-regionalism in South and southern Africa.

Areas identified by the SDI programme and this includes the MDC are those with unrealised economic potential due to a range of historical and political reasons, primarily due to the legacy of apartheid Jourdan, A key component of the SDI paradigm is to move away from the protected and isolated import-substitution approach of the past towards one guided rather by international competitiveness, regional co-operation and a more diversified ownership.

In this way the SDI programme is expected to contribute to other key policy areas such as international competitiveness and the wider regional economic integration project as advanced by the Southern African Development Community SADC. Thus, the SDIs programme is explicitly connected to perceptions that in an era marked by globalisation, liberal forms of macro- and micro-regionalisation are a crucial means by which states may come together and tap into the globalisation process in order to maximise their pulling power with regard to international capital.

Though part of a wider regional and global process, the SDIs in general and the MDC in particular can thus be seen as concerted attempts by state-society elites to reconstitute micro-regional spaces along lines favoured by private enterprise, particularly externally-oriented fractions of capital, with an eye to the global market. The implications of the above is that it is important to situate the MDC within the wider national, regional and global context within which their promoters find themselves.

Indeed, the MDC project may be seen as part of a larger phenomenon whereby countries and regions are opening themselves up to the global political economy in a strategy predicated on the gamble that by locking into the globalised world, benefits will surely accrue. The elites within the region most certainly share this view. One problem with the considerable number of studies on southern Africa is that such analyses are in the main state-oriented and concentrate on national developments. This volume aims to be an advance on this situation as it draws in regional and cross-border issues and processes, situating the micro-region within the wider regional and global political economy.

Furthermore, there exist many studies of regionalism in Africa and southern Africa, both old and more recent. It is difficult to dispute that state-centrism was a major flaw of old regionalism studies. Bach, ; Hettne et al. It is our conviction that focusing on micro-level regional processes—on micro-regions themselves—helps overcome this difficulty. Frequently, top-down activities merely grant state legitimacy over processes that have long-existed and that are least obligated to what administrations may or may not pursue.

This introductory chapter seeks to do the following.

Fredrick Söderbaum

The next two sections describe the historical background to the formation of the MDC and the stated objectives and major projects of the MDC respectively. The third section outlines the purpose of this book. The fourth rather comprehensive section discusses and defines the overall theoretical framework guiding the analysis in the volume, namely the new regionalism approach NRA. Finally, the structure of the book is described. The process however began in August when the Ministers of Transport of Mozambique and South Africa, Mac Maharaj and Paulo Muxanga respectively, met to set in motion a plan to establish a developmental axis between the port of Maputo and the industrial centre of South Africa Gauteng.

This process can be seen very much as an attempt to reconstruct a cross-border relationship and micro-region that had effectively existed since at least the industrialisation of the area around present-day Johannesburg since the late s. Indeed, the geographical area pointing up north from the eastern part of South Africa to Mozambique and Swaziland has constituted a historical regional space with the Maputo corridor as one core for the people of southeastern Africa for centuries McGregor, Since ancient times there has existed a migratory and trading tradition through and across this geographic space.

With the brutal incorporation of the peoples of this micro-region into capitalist colonial economies, many of these long-standing patterns were formalised by the Europeans as a means of control. After the so-called pacification campaign carried out by Portugal in Mozambique in , an accord was signed to regulate the influx of labour to the mines in the Transvaal in This arrangement allowed White South African capital to exploit Black Mozambican labour through various agreements with the metropole, often against the wishes of the local Portuguese.

Such arrangements made Mozambique a regional conduit and effective labour reserve for the minerals-based industries in South Africa Smith, This process not only locked southern Mozambique and the Johannesburg environs together, it served to crystallise an already nascent micro-region. Importantly, the agreement gave the WNLA exclusive rights to recruit Black labour in southern Mozambique in return for directing Going in the opposite direction, hundreds of thousands of Mozambicans travelled to work as migrant labourers in the minerals industries along the Witwatersrand, as well as others finding work as agricultural contract workers Niemann, 9.

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Thus, it should be clear that migration was a crucial component of this special and asymmetric corridor see Baptista- Lundin and Taylor, chapter 8. After independence the new Mozambican government put in place a planning apparatus designed to foster national territorial integration, for instance upgrading the North-South highway. This however was thwarted by the civil war with Renamo and South African sabotage. The MDC and corridor strategies in general can thus be seen as a revitalisation of past development strategies advanced by Maputo Sidaway, This being so, the historical corridor is larger than just Maputo as an end- station.

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SAGE Reference - Comparative Regional Integration and Regionalism

Agricultural products have long been brought in from other parts of Mozambique and sold in Maputo, and revenues are used to buy goods in South Africa and Swaziland and other neighbouring countries, to be sold back in Maputo see Baptista-Lundin and Taylor, chapter 8; Van den Berg, This movement and trading has created a never-ending cycle of new types of business, hawking, trading and interaction, increasing the flow of people along the corridor. In this way Maputo attracts people from all over Mozambique and neighbouring countries, with many people staying on in Maputo to join the increasingly informal market, often connected to a regularly or daily crossing of borders to buy products for sale, both in Maputo and further afield.

Various attempts have been made to regulate and control borders, smuggling, informal trading, hawking and migration, but people have often found other ways to get around these restrictions. In fact, the insurgency by Renamo simply intensified and opened up further space for informal cross-border linkages and trading networks, which centred around Maputo but at the same time permeated the whole micro-region McGregor, This cross-border interaction has been further intensified by another important trend that emerged when the socialist experience was abandoned in Mozambique and the old safety net provided by the state gradually disappeared Simpson, ; Abrahamsson and Nilsson, Despite attempts albeit erratically to provide some form of economic incentives to agriculture Cravinho, , many people left this traditional occupation and entered the market sector, mostly in the cities Kyle, In commerce had already surpassed agriculture as the main occupation for women in Maputo Little and Lundin, The informal market expanded to all corners of the country as well as linking up with neighbouring countries, marking the beginning of the institution of mukhero, a largely informal movement of people, mostly women, buying and transporting all types of goods, vegetables, fruits, clothes and small home appliances, between Mozambique and South Africa and Swaziland, to buy products to sell on the informal market Baptista-Lundin and Taylor, chapter 8.

Initially it was mainly a question of acquiring agricultural products to supply a market in need, because the situation of war had cut the roads to Maputo from the countryside. Later on, other products were incorporated into the mukhero. In summary, it was upon such historically rooted and extensive cross-border if informal initiatives that the MDC sought to build upon, in a wider attempt to restructure the micro-region along certain, more guided, lines. To rehabilitate the primary infrastructure network along the corridor, notably road, rail, port and dredging, and border posts, with the participation of the private sector in order to have minimum impact on the fiscus.

To maximise investment in both the inherent potential of the corridor area and in the added opportunities which infrastructure rehabilitation will create, including the provision of access to global capital and facilitation of regional economic integration. To maximise social development, employment opportunities and increase the participation of historically disadvantaged communities; and 4.

To ensure sustainability by developing policy, strategies and frameworks that ensure a holistic, participatory and environmentally sustainable approach to development. In other words, the MDC contained a very comprehensive investment portfolio. A rough distinction can be made between infrastructural projects and the major economic development projects.

Firstly, the Witbank-Maputo N4 toll road. In addition to these gigantic projects there were a significant number of other investment projects, in fields such as: mining a magnetite, vanadium and heavy minerals project , energy, chemicals, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, commerce and tourism eco-tourism, lodge and game-park development and so on see De Beer and Arwkright, chapter 2. Furthermore, subsequent policy-makers developed MDC technical support programmes in order to complement the projects mentioned above first and foremost in order to achieve MDC objective 3 and 4.

For one, background conditions favorable to EU-based regional integration do not exist, a concern of the neofunctional theorists who observe the limited capacities and malformation of Africa's institutions. However, if Africa were forced to face the challenges of increasingly invasive globalization, it will simultaneously be forced to undergo extensive and ultimately beneficial institutional reform.

Secondly, and in the same vein, the corruption and limited authority of African leaders in other words, their merely moderate capacities for governance produces weak institutional structures that render regional integration-which would serve only to group these feeble institutions and abusive leaders togethera nonsensical choice. Again, if compelled to integrate with the world economy, Africa would be obliged to undergo positive reforms so as to be more compatible with western ideals of political and social liberalism.

Thirdly, integrative movements in Africa result in observably unequal economic distribution between the African nations because of a lack of clarity in the formulation of distributional strategies. While it is true that global as opposed to regional integration may also result in an unequal distribution of gains between rich and poor countries as well as obvious disparities in affluence and serious asymmetries in social, economic, and political opportunities , it is more probable that said gains economic or otherwise will be balanced out with the US acting as principal moderator over questions of apportionment.

The words of game theorist John Nash are of note in "The Bargaining Problem", at the center of which he argued that the question is not whether a particular arrangement is better for everyone than no cooperation whatsoever, but whether there is a fair division of benefits that is, a fair distributional arrangement results from cooperation. Due to its dynamic, open, multicultural society, incomparably sized military, high standards of education, and newfound position to restore its worldwide legitimacy under President Obama, it is likely that the US, despite a relative diminishment in power, will remain a hegemon, creating conditions under which the "fair division of benefits" and higher levels of sustainable wealth in Africa are more likely to occur.

Fourthly, African nationalism, which arose in response to the colonial state and traditional dynastic identities as a mode of resistance, poses a challenge to regionalism. Though written twenty-three years ago, it is still true today that the "net effect" of regionalism has been "the creation of regional entities whose institutions exhibit limited or non-supranational characteristics which allow the leaders of member-states to protect the interests of their national entrepreneurs while discriminating against non-nationals.

Competition and antagonism often result in the breakdown of integrative systems" Okolo Such regionalist behavior is combated by Africans who would prefer nationalism to be the official state ideology and whose focus is the African nation in its entirety. By engaging in global economic integration, the various African nations could be addressed on an individual level based on what they personally have to offer to exchange whereas by engaging solely in regional integration, the nations are thrust into a single and barrier-less collection.

And fifthly, not only do the doctrines of regionalism and nationalism compete, there is also ideological competition between regional partners whose orientations differ on issues such as foreign private enterprise, policies toward opposition parties, the allocation of industries on a regional basis, the set up of foreign trade, the role of the state, domestic socioeconomic policies, etc. While the demand for the removal of trade barriers and for more outwardlyoriented trade policies has done more to open the economies of Africa than has any regional economic organization, such liberalization has not produced increased intra-regional trade among the African countries, but instead with the core states of the capitalist world economy.

Globalism is, according to Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye "a state of the world involving networks of interdependence at multicontinental distances. The linkages occur through flows and influences of capital and goods, information and ideas, and people and forces, as well as environmentally and biologically relevant substances such as acid rain or pathogens.

Globalization and deglobalization refer to the increase or decline of globalism". For Africa in general and for regionalism in particular, the ramifications of globalization have been significant. Because of it, Africa has been further marginalized in the world economy and the sub-Saharan African countries "remain constrained by weak supply and demand capabilities, while lacking institutional capacities. Thus, for a considerable amount of people, this leads to less human security, more vulnerability and increased social conflict" Boas, Marchand, and Shaw.

In spite of the fact that sub-Saharan African nations are already partially integrated with the world economy because of their export activity, these exports are subjected to the characteristic price fluctuations of the global market particularly now that the global financial market turmoil has slowed global growth and demand for Africa's exports , while Africans continue to refuse to diversify their exports towards more dynamic primary commodities and manufacturing goods, both of which are less prone to the vagaries of international markets and attract more significant foreign investment.

By seizing upon globalization opportunities alone, Africans compromise their own workers, industries, and regional partners. Although a SACU treaty stipulates that all such treaties and agreements must be approved by all members, none of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, or Swaziland were consulted. As to the SADC community comprised of some 15 African countries as of July , it was intimidated by the possibility of lower-priced and more efficient EU goods penetrating its markets and undermining its agricultural sector as well as frustrated by South Africa's cooperation with the EU itself, negotiations with which lead South Africa to feel so comfortable with integration into the world economy that it became unmindful of or perhaps simply accepting of the consequences that such an action could have for its own South African economy.

Not only would the adoption of this ideology inflate South Africa's sense of worth in matters of economic decision-making, it would also alienate the other members of the SADC. Should open trade regimes and integration into the world economy in essence, globalization and neoliberalism fail to satisfy South Africa's unique economic needs, the SACU countries will have so far deteriorated economically that they will no longer be able to purchase South Africa's productsa risk to which South Africa pays frighteningly little attention.

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