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Title: Looking like a regional organization? The European model of regional integration and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU)
Authors: Piccolino, Giulia
Keywords: Regional integration
European Union
Institutional sociology
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Taylor & Francis © 2019 Department of Politics and International Studies
Citation: PICCOLINO, G., 2019. Looking like a regional organization? The European model of regional integration and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). Cambridge Review of International Affairs, doi:10.1080/09557571.2019.1634676.
Abstract: Of all African regional organizations, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) is the one that has most explicitly followed the model of the European Union (EU), emulating key EU institutions and practices. WAEMU’s mimicry of the EU is puzzling, considering the economic, political and geographical differences between the European and the West African regional context. This article argues that, in order to understand WAEMU’s trajectory, it is necessary to look at two interrelated factors: on the one hand, WAEMU's history of colonial legacies and post-colonial dependence; on the other, WAEMU's drive to mimic institutions seen as embodying standards of modernity and legitimacy. WAEMU’s isomorphism has been an outcome of external pressures, but also a response to uncertainty and a result of professionalization. Institutional isomorphism has had a mixed impact on the effectiveness of the organization, helping it to sustain its legitimacy but also stifling endogenous development.
Description: This paper is closed access until 12 January 2021.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1080/09557571.2019.1634676
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/37553
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/09557571.2019.1634676
ISSN: 0955-7571
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Politics and International Studies)

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