One of the most notable features of present-day international relations is the proliferation and flourishing of regional associations, which we may loosely define as more or less formally constituted and elaborately organized mechanisms created and maintained by a self-selected group of states which have, or feel that they have, a particular basis for intimacy of interrelationship.
Claude, Inis L. Jr.
"Regional Associations in the Contemporary World,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 14
, Article 3.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol14/iss4/3