Joined at the hip: regionalism and interregionalism

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Series Details Vol.29, No.2, May 2007, p229-248
Publication Date May 2007
ISSN 0703-6337
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Taking the recent Special Issue of the Journal of European Integration on 'The EU as a Global Actor and the Role of Interregionalism' as its starting point, this article considers the ways in which regionalism and interregionalism affect and are affected by one another. It explores the concept of interregionalism as a distinct level in the hierarchy of global governance, and a functional context within which regional actors operate. Interregionalism is attributed with a range of functions, elements of which are directed upward to the global multilateral level and downward to the regional level in the hierarchy of global policy making. At the same time, the extent to which these functions are performed is influenced by the constellation of regional actors involved. Regionalism and interregionalism, therefore, are impacted by one another. Further, the recognition that the precise constellation of regional actors affects the functions of interregionalism in different ways allows interregionalism itself to be differentiated into two varieties: an internally focused, capacity building type, and an externally focused, globally active type.

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