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Regionalization of World Politics

Regionalization is intensification of political and/or economic interdependence among states and other actors in particular geographic region.
In this section we will try to learn regionalization of world politics. Various arguments in favour of / against it. How it affects globalization process. And also various regionalization models. Particularly EU, NAFTA, ASEAN, SAARC, APEC, BIMSTEC.

Regionalization of world politics
Various Regional organizations around the world

Regional Cooperation vs Regional Integration.

Regional cooperation has various forms e.g. Economic cooperation, political cooperation, security cooperation, foreign policy cooperation etc. These are limited arrangements agreed between states to work together. It is state-led process primarily.
Regional integration is a one step further than cooperation. It is more permanent in nature. It also involves societal interlinkages. It may or may not be state led, state may just acts as facilitator. Economic integration is specifically distinct with practices like customs union, common market, monetary union etc. And region may act with single voice internationally, at least in tariff policy.
However regional cooperation and integration are not mutually exclusive terms. All regional arrangements contain the mixture of both.

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Why do states pursue regional integration?

1] Management of independence – newly independent states seek to re-define and settle down their relations with neighbors and/or colonial powers. This also serves to ensure security in the region.
2] Defining their economic and social relations.
3] To expand markets for domestic production.
4] Regional integration also helps the region to assert more weight at international forum when they act together rather than acting alone. For examples EU acting together can manage US unilateralism more effectively.  ASEAN also matters more when acting together.

Implications of regionalism for process of multilateral liberalization.

Building-blocks. How regionalism enhance the prospects of multilateralism.

1] It promotes internal conditions of nations to change in way that is more conducive to international multilateralism.
2] It has demonstrating effect i.e. it shows the various actors involved the effects of globalization. Arguably easiness and effectiveness of such cooperation.
3] Each successive regional arrangement reduces the margin of preference. Thus it weakens the opposition to multilateralism.
4] Regional agreements have often more to do with strategic and political alliance than trade liberalization.
5] Regionalism has more positive than negative effects. When countries can see how they are getting benefitted by increasing regionalization, they will be optimistic about cooperation at international level.

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Stumbling-blocks. How regionalism makes multilateralism more difficult to achieve.

1] The net result of preferential agreement may be trade diversion from international to regional market.
2] There also may be ‘attention diversion’ with countries becoming less interested in multilateralism, or simply absorption of available negotiating resources.
3] Competing arrangement may create incompatible situation of regional and multilateral agreements.
4] Creation of multiple legal frameworks and dispute settlement mechanism may weaken discipline and efficiency.
5] It may also lead to competition and friction between several economic blocs.

What is regionalization?

Regionalization is intensification of political and/or economic interdependence among states and other actors in particular geographic region.

Test Your Knowledge!

1] Which one of the following countries is not a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council?
a) Bahrain
b) Iraq
c) Oman
d) kuwait

Show Answer

Ans: b) Iraq

2] The headquarters of ASEAN is located in which country?
a) Indonesia
b) Thailand
c) Vietnam
d) Laos

Show Answer

Ans: a) Indonesia

3] Which of the following country does not belong to SAARC?
a) Afghanistan
b) Bangladesh
c) Maldives
d) Myanmar

Show Answer

Ans: d) Myanmar

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Please include the questions too. 🙂