Browsing by Subject "new regionalism"

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  • Talka, Santeri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Regional integration in Central Asia (CA) has seen very limited success, despite strong cultural and historical connections and shared grievances. I attempt to identify factors that promote or inhibit intensification of regional cooperation. I use a political economy approach to identify foundational factors, stakeholders and political phenomena that influence deepening regional cooperation. I analyse the formal institutional integration initiatives through realist and constructivist IR theories. I also bind the case study of Central Asia to a broader theoretical debate on the relationship between regionalism and multilateralism in 21st century. The relationship between intraregional dynamics (comprising the CA states) and interregional dynamics (comprising external sponsors or partners contributing to regionalism) is complex, and partially characterized by conflict of interests. CA states lack incentives to promote regional institutions and identities, but are willing to exploit regionalism opportunistically. I analyse CA policy principally through the framework of political elites, emphasizing nationalism and state sovereignty. Simultaneously, CA elites have used open regionalism to meet goals in globalist foreign policy and nationalistic domestic policy. On the other hand, external hegemons perceive strong incentives to promote regionalism under their own leadership. I analyse the external sponsors mostly through a neorealist framework of hegemonic influence. Despite these conflicts, there are some specific areas of shared interests, particularly fighting non- traditional security threats. Use of regional integration initiatives in CA can be perceived as not incompatible with greater multilateralism, even contributing to the integration of the region to a global system on its own terms. Based on this case study, I argue for a complex, non- categorical understanding of regionalism and multilateralism. I argue that new regionalism, and open regionalism in particular, have been used in CA for promoting specifically globalist policy agendas. This conclusion supports the premise that regionalism and multilateralism exist in a dynamic relationship, influencing each other in a mutually supportive manner. Rather than understanding regionalism as a “stumbling block” or temporary “building block”, it should be perceived as a permanent part of the contemporary global system.
  • Camean Ariza, Josemaría (2001)
    The aim of the present research is to analyse one of the main integration processes going on in the world today, namely the Common Market of the Southern Cone (Mercosur). On March 1991, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay signed the Treaty of Asuncion in which they agreed to establish a common market by December 1994. Today, ten years later, Mercosur can be defined as a customs union. The main characteristic of Mercosur integration has been its state-centric nature and its intergovernmental structure. Negotiations and decision-making in Mercosur have taken place mainly among the national executive powers. Within the intergovernmental structure the presidents of the member-states have been the main actors. Decision-making organs are composed of members and representatives of the governments. Other institutions such us the national parliaments, the judiciaries and other organised economic and social sectors are represented in the Mercosur advisory organs, which have played an almost insignificant role in the process. The research deals with two main questions. Why did Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay decided to create Mercosur? And secondly, why have they adopted a strongly intergovernmental structure? The analysis of Mercosur, and the mentioned questions, happen in this research within the theoretical framework of new regionalism. The new regionalist multi-dimensional and state-centric view of integration is of essential importance to understand the target. Mercosur integration is explained as the result of the convergence of the restored democratic regimes and the development of the countries' international relations. The executive-centred decision-making structure is explained as a reflection of the executive-centred domestic political systems and culture, common to the whole region. The current Mercosur structure may not be responding to the demands of the integration. Legal and economic controversies have derived from certain deficit of integration. This situation may call for a reconsideration of the process within the present circumstances. This is the aim of the research, to rethink Mercosur.