Rethinking Regions and Regionalism

Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 9-18, 2013

10 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2014

See all articles by Fredrik Söderbaum

Fredrik Söderbaum

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

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

There is a long tradition in both research and policy to focus on formal and inter-state regional organizations in the discussion about regions and regionalism. This is a consequence of the dominance of Europe as the main case and paradigm, and of rationalist and problem-solving theoretical perspectives, which privilege state-centric perspectives and pre-given conceptualizations of regions. The problem is that both Eurocentrism and static understandings of regional space negatively impact theoretical development, empirical analysis as well as policy. The view offered emphasizes the social construction of regions and the various ways in which state, market, and civil society actors relate and come together in different formal and informal patterns of regionalism. It is also argued that the next step in the study of regionalism is to develop its comparative element, which will be crucial in overcoming Eurocentrism and other forms of parochialism.

Keywords: region, regionalism, regional integration, regional governance, European integration

Suggested Citation

Söderbaum, Fredrik, Rethinking Regions and Regionalism (2013). Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 9-18, 2013 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2399140

Fredrik Söderbaum (Contact Author)

University of Gothenburg, School of Global Studies ( email )

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Gothenburg, SE 40530
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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

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