Shop the Entire Current Issue- The Integration of Regions  ||  Return to The Integration of Regions index In 1950 six nations created the European Coal and Steel Community, laying the foundations for what would later become the European Union. Since then many other regions have integrated and the number of regional organizations has proliferated. In Africa alone there are several, and often countries are members of multiple organizations. Regional organizations are key actors in tackling tough problems, such as protecting human rights, preventing and resolving conflict, strengthening regional cooperation, and promoting economic growth.

The purpose of this issue’s Forum, consisting of five articles, is to provide readers with a theoretical and practical overview of key aspects of regional integration and regional organizations. The first two articles provide a theoretical discussion on regional integration, while the following three articles present case studies on regional organizations – the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Arctic Council, and ASEAN. These pieces are summarized in Piero Graglia’s introduction.

Other contributions to this issue include articles about self-defense groups in Mexico, reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan after the 2014 withdrawal, the Chinese middle class, and Scotland’s referendum on independence. The issue also features interviews with Ambassador Joseph D. Stafford III on his experience in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran during the hostage crisis, Professor Joseph S. Nye on American leadership, and Ambassador-at-Large Melanne Verveer on global women’s issues. In selecting the topics for this issue we have reached beyond the headlines in an effort to explore tough and persistent global problems.

We are proud to end our tenure as Editors-in-Chief with an issue that looks to the future. We are grateful to Dean Jennifer Windsor and Allyson Goodwin for their invaluable advice and support as well as to our dedicated team of editors for their tireless work on this issue of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.

William Handel  || Nora McGann