New Regionalism in the Global Political Economy: Theories and Cases

New Regionalism in the Global Political Economy: Theories and Cases

New Regionalism in the Global Political Economy: Theories and Cases

New Regionalism in the Global Political Economy: Theories and Cases

Synopsis

Following the financial crisis at the end of the twentieth century, regionalisms in the global political economy have evolved in a number of ways. This informative book brings together the leading scholars in the field to provide cutting edge analyses of contemporary regions and regionalist projects. Providing an innovative integration of theoretical issues with sophisticated analyses of a wide range of international case studies, the chapters systematically consider the relationship between globalization, financial crisis, and regional projects. In combination, the contributions to this volume provide the widest possible base within the literature for a truly comparative study of contemporary regionalism.

Excerpt

The study of regions, regionalism and regionalization has once again come to prominence. Not since the 1970s has the analysis of regional integration been so conspicuous (see Fawcett and Hurrell, 1995; Gamble and Payne, 1996; Mansfield and Milner, 1997; Coleman and Underhill, 1998; Grugel and Hout, 1998; Hettne et al., 1999, 2000a, 2000b, 2000c). This has much to do with the emergence and in some cases resurgence of regional projects in the 1980s and 1990s. Scholarly attention in the United States was given a shot in the arm by the much-discussed creation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In South America, MERCOSUR was created in 1991. ASEAN (the Association of South East Asian Nations) became more assertive in Asia during the 1990s, and 1989 saw the birth of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Meanwhile the Southern African Development Community (SADC) became a focal point for stabilization and regeneration following the end of apartheid. Most prominently, the European Union's (EU) single market programme intensified economic and political integration in western Europe from the mid-1980s, a process which continued with the remarkable achievement of monetary integration among a majority of member states by the end of the 1990s.

This book is in part designed as a stock-taking exercise of various conceptual and theoretical approaches to regionalism from the broad subfield of international political economy. It takes as its immediate reference point the prospects for regionalism and its study in the wake of the financial crises that began in Asia in the second half of 1997. This directs attention not only to the extent to which regionalism remains a viable policy option for states in an increasingly globalized economy, but also to the issue of whether there are particular templates to which the growth of formal regional integration necessarily corresponds. The book also has the wider brief of thinking about how regionalism is theorized and whether meaningful comparative study is a plausible academic enterprise.

This chapter introduces this collection by placing the contemporary study of regionalism into context. It argues that the study of regionalism has occurred in two waves. The first of these began to gather pace as a subfield of International Relations from the late 1950s and the second, as indicated above, emerged in the context of the IPE from the late 1980s. By first casting our gaze back to the first wave, we show how both the scholarly and 'real world' practices of regionalism

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