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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Spatial representations and cross‑border co‑operation in West Africa

Sahel and West Africa Club

Chapter 8 analyses the spatial representations of the actors involved in cross-border co-operation in West Africa. The first part of the chapter uses mental maps to identify areas recognised as priority regions for cross-border co-operation, the extent to which they vary in size depending on the country in which the actors are located and the locus of the cross-border co-operation’s centre of gravity. The second maps the places that are considered as particularly strategic for cooperation between actors within the region itself, while the third section identifies actors which have the potential to be more actively engaged in co-operation activities and discusses the emergence of multi-layered governance in the region. The fourth and concluding section proposes an overview of the co-operation dynamics in place in cross-border areas.

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