The History and Concept of Regionalism
The growth of regionalism expressed as formal regional organisation has received a great deal of scholarly attention since the Second World War. From its early days regionalism has been much debated, and alternatively praised for its potential and critiqued for its ill-defined nature and limited capacity. However, by the start of the 21st century, if not before, regionalism was well established in the vocabulary of International Relations scholars and practitioners such that it would be hard to imagine a world without it. Moreover, regionalism has become an integral part of the multilateral architecture, a position set out in the UN Charter and more recently emphasised in the European Union’s Security Strategy, adopted in 2003.