Cross-border Co-operation and Policy Networks in West Africa

image of Cross-border Co-operation and Policy Networks in West Africa

This publication examines how policy actors involved in cross-border co-operation contribute to the regional integration process in West Africa. It uses a pioneering methodology, known as social network analysis, to visualise the formal and informal relationships between actors involved in cross-border policy networks, showing that borders have notable and diverse impacts on exchanges of information and the relative power of networks. The report then analyses a range of regional indicators of co-operation potential, visually demonstrating that borders can also affect the ability of sub-regions within West Africa to develop cross-border initiatives in a number of ways. Combining these two analyses with the perceptions of regional policy makers as to which border areas they consider as priorities for regional integration, the publication concludes with the analytical foundations for more effective place-based policies that can enhance cross-border co-operation in West Africa.

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A relational approach to cross-border co-operation in West Africa

Sahel and West Africa Club

Chapter 2 – a relational approach to cross-border co-operation in West Africa – demonstrates the importance of cross-border co-operation and public policy for regional integration in West Africa and the different forms each of the aforementioned concepts can take. It examines equally the three dimensions of cross-border co-operation and public policy, identifying current developments, potential areas for increased activity and political visions for its future progression. Gaps are then identified between these dimensions, suggesting the need for more relational approaches to cross-border co-operation that offer more tailored policies. The chapter then concludes with a brief description of institutional models that have shown to be effective in aiding closer regional integration.

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