Regional security

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Regional security, in international relations, that focuses on less than global solutions to reducing actual or potential conflict in usually geographic reasons, although regions may be defined on culture. It may be a general approach to lessening tensions in troubled regions such as the Middle East and the Balkans.

Techniques include forming regional organizations at continental (e.g., African Union) or sub-continental levels (e.g., Economic Community of West African States. Arms control is another area, such nuclear-free zones. Peace operations may draw from forces within the region rather than the world, such as the African Union rather than the United Nations in Darfur.

Economic approaches to increasing regional stability include customs unions and free trade zones, as well as regional development such as information and communications networks, cooperation in natural resource exploitation, etc. Public health is another are for reducing regional problems; malarial mosquitoes do not recognize political borders.