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States cooperate on a range of issues. Last lesson we saw how states can increase their hard power projection through military cooperation and alliances such as NATO. One of the most common areas for states to cooperate in is that of trade and economics. This can take the form of the economic treaties, negotiations over tariffs and barriers to trade or membership of regional trade organisations. The European Union, itself one of the most important organisations on the global stage, grew out of a regional trade organsation, the European Economic Community.

In this lesson, we will explore some of the ways in which states cooperate economically and try to consider some of the opportunities and difficulties associated with such cooperation.

The first video is a short news report on the formation of EEU (Eurasian Economic Union) - not to be confused with the EU (European Union).
Watch the video and produce a list of ten bullet points summarising what you have seen. You should arrange the bullet points into a hierarchy of importance.


The next video is from Euronews. Watch it and, in groups, discuss why you think Russia has been such a driving force behind the formation of the EEU. How do you think the creation of the EEU may affect Russia's relationship with the west, both politically and economically?


Read the article 'Vladimir Putin’s Eurasian Economic Union gets ready to take on the world' from Guardian Weekly. In groups, develop answers to the following questions and be prepared to share your understanding with the rest of the class (you may record your discussion however you see fit... there is a link to online mindmapping software here if you want to use it)
  1. What does the author of the article mean when he claims there are two unions... one economic and the other imaginary?
  2. Given that most of the members have yet to see any real economic benefit to joining the union, what is the reason behind its development?
  3. Why do analysts argue that the the EEU is a union but is not a community?
  4. How can we link this contempory news story to concepts and ideas explored through this unit on Power, Sovereignty and International Relations?