Rethinking Regions and Regionalism
Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 9-18, 2013
10 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2014
Date Written: 2013
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
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