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A Review of Richard Stubbs Regionalization and Globalization

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A Review of Richard Stubbs Regionalization and Globalization.

When Ernst Haas presaged in 1975 that regional integration was obsolete he was way off the mark at how hotly debated in intellectual circles regionalism would become in the preceding decades. The debate a classic neo functionalist argument, has become a topic discussed by rationalists and reflective scholars. In political circles the creation of co-operative ties between different social units as a way to foster economic and social welfare is also becoming a priority.(Palmer 1991) Stubbs analyses factors that have influenced a new regionalization but stops short on predicting universal globalization instead presents reasons why regionalization could prevent globalization.

Regionalism has been studied since the 1950s, interest dried up when Haas published 'The obsolesce of regional integration theory" in 1975(Hutchings 2009) but again enjoyed a revival in the 1980s. In this chapter part of "Political economy and the changing global order"(Stubbs and Underhill) Stubbs discusses what he believes are the three main reasons why regionalism will again be a feature of international relations.

Firstly, with the end of the cold war in 1991 Stubbs believes that "the breakdown of the overarching cold war structure' that had a causal effect on all international relations; nations needed to align or realign themselves with the emerging powers to guarantee economic and social stability. Nations realised that there neighbours were sharing the same kinds of problems and that there success depended on stability in the region they were located in. If they grouped together they could work together to build security and prosperity. Secondly, there was new sources of global capital brought about by globalisation and capitalism and each state wanted to reap the benefits but they also seen regionalism as a way to defend against globalisation. There was new pressures from globalisation as well as intergovernmental agencies that were becoming powerful in asserting political clout, attracting foreign investment and becoming the framework for all negotiations within regions. Finally when the European union (EU) expanded in the 1980s , other regional organisations emerged to counteract the perceived economic strength the EU was gaining.

What we are seeing is 'New regionalism' a move away from the government style hierarchy of the 1950-60s the Westphalia international system , to a governance; setting of goals and incorporating policy to achieve these goals. Stubbs describes what distinguishes regionalism from new regionalism. The fact that we now see states positioning themselves so as to strengthen participation in the global economy as opposed to a self sufficient region reliant of the global economy. New regionalism is borderless does not define territory in terms of land mass but of objectives, is more about processes than structure, collaboration and trust , parties see each other as distinct yet equal and the move is away from power to empowering.

New regionalism is a way states who share a geographic area have banded together to solve common problems due to geography.(Stubbs and Reed 2005) This has led to large populations sharing a sociocultural experiences which has given them an regional identity , a connected consciousness. Nowhere is this more evident than in Asia with the "Asian economic crisis'. Asian countries disillusioned with the U.S dominated existing regional scheme provided momentum for an Asian identity(Yu 2003), a unity that realised that APEC with its embedded liberalism was out of touch with Asian mercantilism. This is



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