) are, in a sense, international organizations
(IOs), as they incorporate international membership and encompass geopolitical
entities that operationally transcend a single nation state
. However, their membership is characterized by boundaries and demarcations characteristic to a defined and unique geography, such as continents, or geopolitics, such as economic blocs
. They have been established to foster cooperation and political and economic integration
or dialogue among states or entities within a restrictive geographical or geopolitical boundary. They both reflect common patterns of development and history that have been fostered since the end of World War II
as well as the fragmentation inherent in globalization
, which is why their institutional characteristics vary from loose cooperation to formal regional integration
Most ROs tend to work alongside well-established multilateral organizations such as the United Nations
While in many instances a regional organization is simply referred to as an international organization, in many others it makes sense to use the term regional organization
to stress the more limited scope of a particular membership.
Several smaller regional organizations with non-overlapping memberships.