From Multilateralism to Multiregionalism. What Role for Regional Integration in Global Governance?

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UNU Institute on Regional Integration Studies
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UNU-CRIS Occasional Papers
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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)