Comparative Regionalisms: Changing Forms of Governance in Asia, Africa and the Americas and the Effects on the World Order
Course date: 24 June - 4 July, 2013
Application deadline: 15 February, 2013
The course fosters new approaches to the study of regionalisms in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Building on, but seeking to go beyond the European experience the course examines the rise of regions after World War II and the resurgence of the idea in and from the 1980s. It considers the different interpretations, values and expectations assigned to ‘region’, from regional free trade agreements to security communities to supra-national integrative projects. The course will examine how such regions vary across time and geography, assuming different characteristics, and will also consider to what extent regions are a result of and/or a response to globalization and the extent to which they constitute and shape global order.
The aim of the course is three-fold: to introduce varieties of new regionalisms in Asia, Africa and the Americas; critically engage extant theories of regionalism and discuss the extent to which western theories and models can be applied to other types of regionalism; and examine questions of inter-regional relations and regional change.
The course will pay special attention to the origins, the specific features, and the changing characters of the various regions, and their effects on world order. Among the key questions discussed in the course are the following: when is a region a region?; how and when do regions rise to international prominence?; how do different regions interact with each other (if at all)?; how do regions and types of regionalism change?
These questions are not purely academic: understanding why regions form, organize and institutionalize can shed light on the process of change such regions undergo, but also contributes to understanding processes of inter-regional relations, so far left at the margins of academic debates. Ultimately they speak to one of the key questions in the study of international relations, namely that of war and peace.
The course also pays special attention to methodological issues arising from inter-regional comparisons, as well as to the extent to which western theories, largely designed to account for the process of European integration, can also explain non-western varieties of regionalism.
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