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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Regional dimensions of international security have become increasingly salient since the end of the Cold War. Some groups of states have coalesced into regional formations that resemble classic security communities. Several analytical concepts have been proposed to explain this trend, including revised theories of security community, security regimes, security complexes, and modes of security governance. Regional security complexes offer a useful framework for explicating the dynamics of interstate threats and governments’ coordinated responses to external danger. The utility of the concept can be illustrated by surveying recent scholarship on the cross-border spread of civil wars and disputes over water. Regional security complexes also provide insight into the formation and resurgence of regional security organizations, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

Keywords: regional security complex, security community, civil war, water conflicts, regional organizations, Economic Community of West African States, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Shanghai Co-operation Organization, Arab League, Gulf Co-operation Council

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