From Multilateralism to Multiregionalism. What Role for Regional Integration in Global Governance?
Regional integration has acquired several meanings as successive waves of regionalism occurred during the last half century. After the Second World War, a first wave of regionalization focused on trade liberalization between neighboring countries in order to spur inter-country transactions. The current wave of regionalism is different, as it is increasingly no longer about trade only, but presents itself as a “ multidimensional form of integration which includes economic, political, social and cultural aspects and thus goes far beyond the goal of creating region-based free trade regimes or security alliances. Rather, the political ambition of establishing regional coherence and identity seems to be of primary importance.” (Hettne, 1999a:xvi). This New Regionalism aims to promote certain “world values” as security, development, ecological sustainability, better than globalism. (Hettne, 1999)