The Problem of Comparison in Comparative Regionalism

Review of International Studies, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 731-753, 2010

41 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2014

See all articles by Philippe De Lombaerde

Philippe De Lombaerde

United Nations University (UNU-CRIS)

Fredrik Söderbaum

University of Gothenburg, School of Global Studies; United Nations University, Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS)

Luk Van Langenhove

United Nations University -Comparative Regional Integration Studies Programme (CRIS)

Francis Baert

United Nations - Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

There is virtually no systematic debate on the fundamentals of comparative research in the study of international regionalism. The field of research is very fragmented and there is a lack of interaction between EU studies and regionalism in the rest of the world. There is also a lack of communication between scholars from various theoretical standpoints and research traditions. Related to these two divides is the tension between idiographic and nomothetic methodologies. The purpose of this article is to contribute to the largely neglected debate on how to conduct and address three interrelated problems: a conceptual, a theoretical and a methodological one. Our claim is that the future of comparative regionalism should be one where old divides are bridged. This requires a combination of conceptual rigor, theoretical eclecticism, and sounder empirical research methods.

Keywords: regions, regionalism, comparative regionalism, regional integration, European integration

Suggested Citation

De Lombaerde, Philippe and Söderbaum, Fredrik and Van Langenhove, Luk and Baert, Francis, The Problem of Comparison in Comparative Regionalism (2010). Review of International Studies, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 731-753, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2398880

Philippe De Lombaerde

United Nations University (UNU-CRIS) ( email )

Potterierei 72
Brugge, West-Flanders 8000
Belgium

Fredrik Söderbaum (Contact Author)

University of Gothenburg, School of Global Studies ( email )

POB 700
Gothenburg, SE 40530
Sweden
+46-317864340 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.globalstudies.gu.se/english/about-us/staff?languageId=100001&userId=xsodfr

United Nations University, Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) ( email )

Bruges
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.cris.unu.edu/Dr-Fredrik-Soederbaum.54.0.html

Luk Van Langenhove

United Nations University -Comparative Regional Integration Studies Programme (CRIS) ( email )

Potterierei 72
Brugge, 8000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.lukvanlangenhove.be

Francis Baert

United Nations - Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies ( email )

Brugge
Belgium

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