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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Rethinking Regionalism

ISBN 9780230272408
Publication Date December 2015
Formats Hardcover Ebook Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave
Series Rethinking World Politics

Since the late 1980s, there has been a global upsurge of various forms of regionalist projects. The widening and deepening of the European Union (EU) is the most prominent example, but there has also been a revitalization or expansion of many other regionalist projects as well, such as the African Union (AU), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur). More or less every government in the world is engaged in regionalism, which also involves a rich variety of business and civil society actors, resulting in a multitude of regional processes in most fields of contemporary politics. In this new text, Fredrik Söderbaum draws on decades of scholarship to provide a major reassessment of regionalism and to address questions about its origins, logic and consequences.

By examining regionalism from historical, spatial, comparative and global perspectives, Rethinking Regionalism transcends the deep intellectual and disciplinary rivalries that have limited our knowledge about the subject. This broad-ranging approach enables new and challenging answers to emerge as to why and how regionalism evolves and consolidates, how it can be compared, and what its ongoing significance is for a host of issues within global politics, from security and trade to development and the environment. Retaining a balanced and authoritative style throughout, this text will be welcomed for its uniquely comprehensive examination of regionalism in the contemporary global age.

Fredrik Söderbaum is Professor of Peace and Development Research in the School of Global Studies (SGS), University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and an Associate Senior Research Fellow at the United Nations University Institute of Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS), Belgium. He has been published widely in the areas of Comparative Regionalism, African Politics, Interregionalism and the European Union as a global player.

1. Introduction
2. Learning from History
3. Learning from Theory
4. The Richness of Comparative Regionalism
5. Obviating the Gap Between Formal and Informal Regionalism
6. Organizing Regional Space
7. Multidimensional Regionalism
8. Civil Society in Regionalism
9. External Actors in Regionalism
10. Regionness: The Solidification of Regions
11. Regions in Interregionalism
12. Regions in Global Governance
13. Conclusion.


This special book spans and innovatively interweaves the many dimensions of regionalism. Fred Söderbaum consolidates two decades of reflections on the subject and in the process opens up powerful new forward-looking insights on the dynamics of regions and regionalization. A must-read for rethinkers of world politics.' – Jan Aart Scholte, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
'Fredrik Söderbaum, one of the founders of the 'New Regionalism' School with Björn Hettne, has performed an immense service to all scholars of comparative regionalism with this brilliant book. Challenging Eurocentrism, it is sure to become a definitive contribution to advancing comparative regionalism and global international relations.' – Amitav Acharya, American University, USA
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