Comparative Regionalism Overview Lecture CEU

Comparative Regionalism
(Lecture to the Summer School on Comparative Regionalism,
Central European University, Budapest, 2-12 July 2012)
[email protected]
1. To provide a brief non-Eurocentric
intellectual history of regionalism
2. Four key concepts: regions, regionalism,
regionalization, regional institutions
3. Theories and their limitations
4. Trends and Variations in Regionalism
5. Conclusion-Assessment of the field today
Multiple Meanings and Global
Heritage of Regionalism
• Great power sphere of influence (Mitteleuropa, Europe and
the US Monroe Doctrine)
• As an expression of cultural identity (Pan-Americanism,
Pan-Arabism, Pan-Africanism)
• As a platform for advancing decolonization and national
liberation (Africa, Asia)
• As a site of resistance to great power intervention (Latin
America, Asia, Africa)
• As an approach to suppression of nationalism, through
economic integration and prevention of war (Europe after
• To promote economic development (through regional selfreliance) and political stability – developing countries
Theoretical Approaches
• European integration theories: Federalism,
Functionalism, Neo-functionalism and
• Regime theory (neoliberal institutionalism)
• “New Regionalism”
• Constructivism
Emerging Trends
• Proliferation of regional institutions (how many are out
there: about 150?? (check out:
• Expansion of functions/roles- human rights,
democracy, environment, terrorism, and other
transnational threats
• Alternatives to EU model-in Asia in particular, ASEAN
• Regionalism in the “post-hegemonic” Era: (Acharya,
“Regional Worlds in a Post-Hegemonic Era”, SIPRIT
Working Paper). New regional hegemons ?-China,
India, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, etc.
European and “Other” Regionalisms
• Defining goal: Integration (economic and political) or
Autonomy (sovereignty still rules) - Does the EU model
still hold (or still inspire?)
• Degree of Institutionalization and legalization - “The
• Degree of openness - “porous” regionalism in East Asia
• Bureaucratic versus market-driven - Brussels versus
• Normative change - non-intervention or nonindifference (“responsibility to protect” and assist
(“Why Africa’s weak states retreat” from sovereignty,
while Asia’s strong states persist with non-intervention)
Conclusion: Which Regionalism?
• A World of Regions? or “Regional Worlds”?
– A World of Regions: Whose world of regions? Hegemonic
powers (including regional hegemons) ordering regions to
serve their own interests (and to some extent their own
allies)? Katzenstein, A World of Regions (Cornell 2005);
Buzan and Waever, Regions and Powers (Cambridge, 2003)
– Regional Worlds: the diversity of (1) socially constructed
regions (2) where national and regional identities co-exist;
(3) which maintain relative autonomy vis-à-vis great
powers and global forces; (4) which both localize outside
ideas and institutions and universalize local beliefs and
practices. [Localization-Subsidiarity (L-S) framework:
Acharya, “How Ideas Spread” (IO, 2004), and “Norm
Subsidiarity and Regional orders (ISQ 2011)]
A World of Diversity

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