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Racing to Regionalize: Democracy, Capitalism, and Regional Political Economy

Kenneth P. Thomas and Mary Ann Tétreault, editors
ISBN: 978-1-55587-582-4
1999/275 pages/LC: 99-19296
International Political Economy Yearbook, Vol. 11

"The contributors to Racing to Regionalize refute the ultra-realist notion of states as atomistic actors in international affairs.... Racing to Regionalize [is an] accomplished and informative anthology."—Michael Keaney, Millennium: Journal of International Studies

"The depth and detail of the empirical studies is remarkable."—Hélène Pellerin, Études Internationales

"Offers careful and thoughtful analyses of the winners and losers in the bargains negotiated to create, maintain, and expand the functions of the various regions. The authors are careful to look at a broad array of factors——not just 'market forces'—including social, political, and environmental concerns."—Vicki Golich


The intensifying proliferation of regional organizations over the last decade is explored in this volume, which focuses on the workings of APEC, the European Union, the Gulf Co-operation Council, Mercosur, and NAFTA.

The authors examine a number of critical issues: How does politics shape the construction of regional agreements? To what extent do these agreements incorporate or limit economic liberalization? How have concerns over such matters as security, economics, democracy, and the environment affected the evolution of regional groupings? Taken together, the chapters describe a twofold movement to regionalize: a surge toward claiming an area within which economic actors and their political patrons can carve a protected space for their activities; and the consequent mobilization of social forces seeking to extend democratic control over the newly expanded market.


Kenneth Thomas is associate professor of political science at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. He is author of Capital Beyond Borders: States and Firms in the Automobile Industry, 1960-1994 and Competing for Capital: European and North American Responses. Mary Ann Tétreault is Una Chapman Cox Distinguished Professor of International Relations at Trinity University. Her publications include The Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and the Economics of the New World Order and Women and Revolution in Africa, Asia, and the New World.


  • Introduction—the Editors.
  • Theories of Integration in a New Context: The Gulf Cooperation Council—F. Lawson.
  • Assessing the “New” Integration: The Mercosur Trade Agreement—B. Jenkins.
  • Foreign Direct Investment Policies in the Context of Regionalism: The Case of APEC—D. Bobrow and R. Kudrle.
  • Who Got What, and Why: Constructing North American Free Trade—W. Avery and R. Friman.
  • Trade Liberalization and Environmental Regulations: Regional Interests and Ideas in Europe and North America—E. Beukel.
  • Citizenship Policy in a Global Framework: The Case of the European Union—A. Wiener.
  • Democracy, Human Rights, and the Transformation of Civil Society: The Case of the New North America—L. Macdonald.
  • Regional Integration and Critique: Raising the Possibility of Counter-Hegemony—T. Healy.
  • The Middle East: Eternally Out of Step with History?—P. Aarts.
  • On the Politico-economic Conditions for Maintaining Accountability and Sovereignty in the Era of Globalization—H. Elsenhans.