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WAI-ZEI Paper No. 28 / 2016

Kocra L. Assoua: Unpacking the Relationship between Decentralization and Regional Economic Integration in Sub-Sahara Africa. Towards an Analytical Framework for Regional Governance. Praia/Bonn 2016.

Since the wave of democratization that swept across many developing countries, there is a worldwide trend toward promoting local government development and increasing transfer of power, resources and responsibilities to sub-national governments. Paradoxically, at the same time, regional integration has grown increasingly popular, especially in sub-Saharan countries.

The WAI-ZEI Paper at hand is motivated by a curiosity about the relationship between regional integration and decentralization. The paper addresses the question of whether decentralization and regional integration are complementary and mutually reinforcing processes or rather conflicting trends. It briefly surveys the classical theoretical literature addressing the relationship between decentralization and regional integration. The aim here is to propose an analytical framework that will improve our understanding of issues related to spatial and institutional asymmetries in regional economic integration.

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