Byiers, B., Vanheukelom, J., and Kingombe, C.K.M. (2015) 'A Five Lenses Framework for Analyzing the Political Economy in Regional Integration,' Africa Economic Brief, 6(3).


This paper discusses political economy analysis in terms of regional integration in Africa. Based on a literature review of the Political Economy of Regional Integration, Byiers, Vanheukelom and Kingombe introduce a new political economy framework in the form of five lenses that aim to gain a deeper understanding of the political economy features of particular reforms and integration processes. The lenses are applied to different levels of regional processes to provide insights on the drivers and constraints to regional policies and their implementation. First, the paper explores structural factors, institutions, stakeholders and elites, sectoral characteristics, and global factors that can contribute to the success and failure of regional integration. Second, the paper discusses case studies in Eastern Africa. Third, political economy features are compared between Southern and East Africa, and the paper concludes by making recommendations for future practice.