The underlying aim of the Socio-economic Dimension of Regional Integration Programme is to analyse how the new paradigm of development that is incorporated in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) can be served by regional integration. Developing countries are increasingly turning to regional integration in response to the challenge of globalization, which has undermined autonomous national development strategies. Developing countries have lost confidence in global multilateral institutions to provide equitable development rules, and to give them ‘ownership’ of development policies and processes.
The different goals of the programme are: to study regional patterns of international socio-economic interaction (labour migration, trade, investment, knowledge, etc.), to analyse the political economy of regionalism (drivers, interests, etc.), and to study the effects of regional integration processes on socio-economic variables. Special attention is given to studying the relationship between migration and regional integration, existing and newly emerging forms of South-South, as well as new North-South inter-regional partnerships that are becoming part of the international landscape, and the design of regional socio-economic policies.
This programme is coordinated by Philippe De Lombaerde, Associate Director of the UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS).
This programme will contribute to the understanding of the potential of regional cooperation and integration for reaching socio-economic policy objectives.
The approach in this programme can be characterised by interdisciplinarity, comparative focus, and a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods.
Gender balance is taken into account in the development of the programme. UNU-CRIS aims to respect this cross-cutting challenge in the division of tasks within every programme and every research project.
The audience of this programme includes students, academics, national and regional policymakers, UN staff and stakeholders.
Impact: Rethink/revisit existing theories/policies
Target: The target is to analyse how the new paradigm of development, which is incorporated in the MDGs, can be served by regional integration.
How: The target could be achieved through high-level publications and academic and policy-relevant dissemination.
Impact: Furthering knowledge in an academic field
Target: The target is to analyse the conditions under which the new multi-dimensional regionalism can act as an effective engine of development.
How: The target could be achieved through the study of the dynamics and impact of South-South cooperation as well as the new North-South inter-regional partnerships that are becoming part of the international landscape.
The programme will seek synergies with the agendas of the UN regional economic commissions; United Nations Conference on Trade and Development; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; and the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The programme aims to produce added value in the under-studied area of regional socioeconomic policymaking.
The worldwide dissemination of this programme’s output takes place through UNU-CRIS publications, activities and networks. Specific capacity building programmes will be offered.
This is a continuous programme, consisting of a set of projects with specific timelines.
The programme’s progress of the implementation can be seen by the number and quality of UNU-CRIS publications, the capacity to attract SPF, the number of participants in the capacity building programmes, and the degree of recognition of the programme’s competence in the area.
The programme’s main challenge is to attract financial resources and develop collaborations with ILO and regional organizations.
C/o Grootseminarie Potterierei 72, 2nd floor
8000 Bruges Belgium.
T: +32 50 471100 | F: +32 50 471309