Regional Scenarios


Functionalism In Sociology
Functionalism is a system used by cultures which concentrates on and emphasizes the functional interactions of cultures and societies,
The main idea is that each culture or society can be viewed as a system that
consists of similar elements that function either separately or together. if one of these elements was altered or removed, then this would affect the other elements and the system as a whole.
Functionalism says that:
• All elements within a society interconnect and work together
• If one dynamic is changed, it will alter the whole of society
• Society will change to accommodate this change
• Everything has a specific function in society
• Society will always function in harmony, as it will accommodate change, by
changing itself.
Problems with Functionalism
• Not all elements within a society interconnect
• Because it argues that society itself changes to accommodate new dynamics, it fails to provide an explanation for wars and conflicts that may arise in particular societies
• It disregards the immediate causes and motivations which are necessary in order to give rise to a phenomenon

As an Integration Theory
Functionalism is a theory of international relations that arose principally from the experience of the Second World War and a strong concern about the obsolescence of the State as a form of social organization.Rather than the self interest of nation states that realist see as a motivating factor, functionalists focus on common interests and needs shared by states but also by non state actors in a process of global integration triggered by the erosion of state sovereignty and the increasing weight of knowledge and hence of scientists and experts in the process of policy-making.
In the functionalism theory, international integration the collective governance and interdependence between states develops its own internal dynamic as states integrate in limited functional, technical, and/or economic areas.
International agencies would meet human needs. The benefits rendered by the functional agencies would attract the loyalty of the populations and stimulate their participation and expand the area of integration.
Principal Figures Related to Functionalism:
Emile Durkheim
Robert Merton


Neofunctionalism is a theory of International Integration, building on the work of David Mitrany. approach to state integration, which aimed at integrating individual sectors in hopes of achieving spill-over effects to further the process of integration.
Unlike previous theories of integration, neofunctionalism is non normative and tried to describe and explain the process of regional integration based on empirical data. Integration was regarded as an inevitable process, rather than a desirable state of affairs that could be introduced by the political elites of the involved states’ societies.
Neofunctionalism assumes a decline in importance of nationalism it sees the political and interest groups within states to be pursuing a welfare state objective which can be best satisfied by integration.
Principal Figures Related to Neo-Functionalism
Jeffrey Alexander
David Mitrany
Jean Monnet


“Dependency Theory is an historical condition which shapes a certain structure of the world economy such that it favors some countries to the detriment of others and limits the development possibilities of the subordinate economies a situation in which the economy of a certain group of countries is conditioned by the development and expansion of another economy, to which their own is subjected.” Raul Prebisch
Dependency theory states that the poverty of the countries in the periphery is not because they are not integrated into the world system, or not ‘fully’ integrated as is often argued by free market economists, but because of how they are integrated into the system.
▪ Poor nations provide natural resources, cheap labor, a destination for obsolete technology, and markets to the wealthy nations, without which the latter could not have the standard of living they enjoy.
▪ First World nations actively, perpetuate a state of dependency through various policies and initiatives. This state of dependency is multifaceted, involving economics media control politics and all aspects of development.
▪ Any attempt by the dependent nations to resist the influences of dependency will result in economic sanctions or military invasion and control.
Proponents of dependency theory claim that the theory of comparative advantage breaks down when capital including both physical capital like machines and financial capital is highly mobile, as it is under the conditions of globalization For this reason, it is claimed that dependency theory can offer new insights into a world of highly mobile multinational corporations.
It explains the economic integration process as a forced interdependency among rich and poor states.
Principal Figures Related Dependency Theory
Raul Presbisch
Immanuel Wallerstein ( Marxist Approach World System)


Institutions are rules that determine the decision-making process. In the
international arena, institution has been used interchangeably with ‘regime’, explicit or implicit «principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures around which actors expectations converge in a given issue-area.
Rational institutionalists also regard institutions as themselves being rationally chosen by actors who view the rules as facilitating the pursuit of their goals.
Institutionalism claims that the international integration is an institutionalized process in which states incorporate multinational institution in their decisions and create common rules that integrates each other.


Federalism on a global level, as a system based on the principle of subsidiarity in which policy responsibility is shared between different levels of decision-makers in global institutions to ensure a collective effort for the common concern of peace, security and development while respecting and retaining the legitimate sovereign status of nation-states”
International Federalism strides towards building and strengthening regional governance structures along federal lines are being made throughout all regions of the world: Africa — African Union (AU), the Americas — Organization of American States (OAS), Asia – Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) the International Federalism says that in order to create a cooperative relations among nation states, in order to achieve a mutual development the international federalism theory imply that a constitution that can create a common legal system helps the integration process in other areas like the economic and culture integration in a legal framework.


Intergovernmentalism is also a theory on international state integration which rejects the idea of neofunctionalism. The theory, suggests that governments control the level and speed of the state integration. Any increase in power at supranational level, results from a direct decision by governments. Integration, driven by national governments, is often based on the domestic political and economic issues of the day.
The theory rejects the concept of the spill over effect that neofunctionalism proposes. He also rejects the idea that supranational organizations are on an equal level as national governments.
Supra nationalism is a method of decision-making rather than a theory in
International organizations, where power is held by independent appointed officials or by representatives elected by the legislatures or people of the member states.
Member-state governments still have power, but they must share this power with other actors. Furthermore, decisions are made by majority votes, hence it is possible for a member-state to be forced by the other member-states to implement a decision against its will; however, unlike a federal state, member states fully retain their sovereignty and participate voluntarily, being subject to the suprana-tional government only so far as they decide to remain members.
Few international organizations today operate on the basis of supra nationalism; the main exceptions are the European Union and the South American Community Of Nations, often called Supranational Unions, as they incorporate both intergovernmental and supranational elements.