At the end of the course the student is able to:
- Describe processes of regional integration;
- Analyse costs and benefits of regional economic integration in specific regional settings;
- Relate regional integration to global liberalisation;
- Give a presentation about issues of regional integration (oral presentation skill).
The liberalisation of international transactions that took place after the Second World War has enabled the globalisation process of the last decades. The breaking down of various kinds of barriers to international transactions has occurred at the global and the regional level. There are sound economic arguments to liberalise at the global level, thus enlarging the area of competition as much as possible. In practice, however, countries chose to liberalise at a regional level, parallel to global downsizing of trade barriers. In fact, almost all countries in the world are member of one or more regional integration arrangements. These vary between simple free trade agreements and economic and monetary unions that take over a large amount of national powers, and might lead to the formation of new states. Important issues that will be addressed in this course are: why do countries integrate on a regional basis? How does regional integration take place? Which economic costs and benefits are to be expected? How are global and regional integration related? Does regional integration hamper global integration?
This course offers explanations for the regional economic integration movement and studies its effects. The causes of regional integration are related to size, geography and history, while governance issues play a role as well. The effects are measured in terms of trade, labour and capital flows and welfare. During the course you will study several cases of regional integration both in the present and in the past, as well as the alleged frictional relation between the World Trade Organisation and regional integration bodies such as ASEAN, NAFTA and the EU.
The course relates regional integration to geographical conditions of economies, studies the historical development of regional integration bodies and uses an institutional approach (comparing global to regional intuitions and governance).
This course focuses on the following academic skills:
- Analytical skills
- Being able to identify, interpret and critically evaluate the main line of reasoning, independently and for complex problems.
- Being able to evaluate evidence in text and presentations independently and for complex problems.
- Communication skills
- Being able to present any subject without specific instruction in a convincing manner to a broad audience.
- Being able to write a comprehensive paper on an academic level, in a correct and clear manner, both individual and in groups.
- Being able to give useful and correct feedback.
- Being able to accept and process feedback from others on a comprehensive research project (both students and lecturers).
- Information processing
- Knowledge of potential sources for literature and data and the skills to explore these independently for a comprehensive research project.
- Being able to detect plagiarism and being able to avoid any kind of plagiarism.
- Providing correct references in text in a comprehensive research project (APA style).
- Providing a correct reference list for a comprehensive research project (APA style).
- Being able to present self-constructed data in a correct and useful manner in a comprehensive research project.
- Academic reasoning
- For independent large economic and multidisciplinary problems/questions:
- Thinking conceptually, thinking in terms of theory.
- Asking critical questions, having a curiosity-driven and critical attitude.
- Analysing questions from different perspectives.
- Identifying links between problems.
- Social responsibility
- Being able to work effectively in teams without specific intervention or instruction.
- Group paper about a specific regional group (30% of final grade);
- Presentations and discussion (20% of final grade);
- Written examination (50% of final grade).
Participation in the tutorials.
Link to master programmes
Regional integration is highly interesting from the point of view of public policy making and has a strong impact on the economic conditions of the participating countries in which firms are operating. This makes the course relevant as a preparation for Master Programmes in the area of International Economics and Business.
In case online access is required for this course and you are not in the position to buy the access code, you are advised to contact the course coordinator for an alternative solution. Please note that access codes are not re-usable meaning that codes from second hand books do not work, as well as access codes from books with a different ISBN number. Separate or spare codes are usually not available.