[Journal:] International Journal of Economic Sciences and Applied Research [ISSN:] 1791-3373 [Volume:] 4 [Year:] 2011 [Issue:] 3 [Pages:] 21-37
The paper aims to identify the roots and causes of the failure of existing regional economic integration efforts in the Western Balkans and the poor prospects for similar attempts in the future. Existing classical political and economic approaches are enriched by identifying a framework of analysis to capture regional economic integration. Seven political economic variables to measure regional economic integration endeavors are introduced, namely: coincidence in political interests and political barriers, common perceptions, values, principles, culture, complete and mature institutions, complementarily of productive basis, inter-state trade and financial flows and transactions, technology, infrastructure. The framework analysis is applied by measuring these variables within the Western Balkans region. It is concluded that potential economic integration efforts in the region may be achieved only through a top-down approach, namely a European Union/International Community forced process, rather than resulting from genuine efforts initiated by the respective countries of the region.
political economy regional economic integration Western Balkans