Regional challenges to globalisation: Perspectives from Southern Africa

C. B. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Given the dire economic circumstances of the African continent in the midst of globalising forces, this article investigates how the states of Southern Africa, self-defined as 14 countries in the region, endeavour to formulate a regional response. After a brief analysis of Africa's marginalisation, the discussion reviews international political economy (IPE) theories of 'new regionalism' seen as arising from the process of globalisation. A third section discusses how 'development integration' of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) suggests possible alternatives to the marginalisation reinforced by neoliberal globalism. According to Bjorn Hettne, there is not much empirical evidence of the new regionalism, yet this study suggests that Southern Africa has been engaged in formulating 'new regionalism' for over a decade. It is not, of course, argued that Southern Africa will succeed in pursuing regionalism during the globalisation process, for, as is evident even in the European Union (EU), regional coherence and disintegration often proceed together. The two examples investigated here are Southern Africa's approach to military and environmental security. Finally, agreeing with the new regionalism's call for the deployment of the 'region' as the main unit of analysis, the conclusion elaborates the theory by suggesting how it might change our perspectives and understanding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-57
Number of pages17
JournalNew Political Economy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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