I am writing my Diploma-Thesis "Multilateral Economic Integration versus Regional Economic Integration? - The MENA -Region"
and I need some help concerning the empirical part of the thesis.
The first part of my work is dedicated to theoretical questions like "What is economic integration?", "What forms or levels of integration do exist?", "What are the causes and effects of economic integration?" and so on...
In the empirical part I want to analyse the Middle East and North African Region and the integrational efforts made within the region (intra-regional) and between different regions (inter-regional). Are those regional integration agreements compatible with the Multilateral system (GATT)?
In detail I want to analyse 3 Regional Agreements: On a sub-regional level the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), on a intra-regional level the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) and on a inter-regional level the EU-Med Partnership.
So, the main question is: how do these different agreements go along with each other and especially with the WTO-system? Are they mutually exclusive or do they cross-fertilise each other?
What I need is a feasible approach to these questions? To put it simple: What do I have to "measure" to answer these questions? Which key data is of particular importance?
Thank yopu very much for your thoughts and references!