Nations Joining With Nations: Using "Statehood" To Improve Your Position (EuroJournal.org)
Abstract: International agreements are ways to gain advantages in exchange for aspects of sovereignty. Smaller countries employ a variety of methods to band together and compete with larger countries. For the country considering joining a restrictive union, there is more than one option--and in the United States, several independent countries profited from becoming States within the union. The process of becoming a state has sometimes been prolonged, particularly with cultural differences; countries joining the European Union may see similar timelines. This process, and the relative advantages and disadvantages of joining a particular union, can prove useful for a country trying to negotiate optimal entry conditions.