Introduction and Initial Questions
Regional integration studies have emerged in order to understand and analyze the burgeoning European integration in the wake of the Second World War. To explain why and how European integration unfolded, among other regional integration theories, the neo-functionalist model developed mainly by Ernest B. Haas has proven particularly useful. Neo-functionalism has systematically analyzed the evolution of European integration since the 1960s. While doing so, neo-functionalists have also asked whether or not this model could be put in motion elsewhere than the European context.2
Neo-functionalism is sometimes considered “obsolete” in the European Union context, because of the ever-enlarging and deepening integration that has taken place there.3 Still, it is a dynamic and evolutive model, capable of providing a useful tool in order to analyze and compare regional integration attempts and initiatives.