Crucial to an understanding of regional dynamics in southern Africa is the enormous asymmetry between South Africa, the demographic, economic and political core, and the other states, which themselves are remarkably heterogeneous. The difficulty, even at the level of intergovernmental relations, is how to ensure mutual benefit through enhanced interaction without suffering the strong polarization of investment and migration which undermined earlier efforts at formal regional co-operation elsewhere. This collection evaluates the situation and the ongoing processes of negotiation and transition, both for the inherent interest of what is happening within southern Africa but also in order to distil conceptual and theoretical insights which may be of wider significance.
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