The Role of Regions in Global Governance

In today’s interconnected and globalised world, multilateral relations are no longer exclusively built on interstate dynamics. Numerous new players have emerged that have a say in world politics and, to some extent, challenge the longstanding supremacy of the state. Nevertheless, sovereign states are still seen as the key actors in international relations and governance. But faced with the concomitant forces of globalisation and localisation, many states are either too small or too big to adequately respond to the growing number of global challenges that are now emerging. This is one of the main driving forces for states to build regional integration schemes.

Regional organisations often come to assume many state competences and contribute directly to global public good provision. These competences have moved either upwards (to a supranational region) or downwards (to a subnational scheme). These new regional actors have developed and lead to new forms of governance with various consequences on global governance.

This research programme has the following objectives:

  • to evaluate the modes of governance currently observable in existing regional arrangements, their role in terms of public goods provision, and a comparative analysis of this distinct governance model;
  • to examine how regional institutions influence or complement patterns of global governance;
  • to develop an understanding and explanation of the role that regional organisations such as the EU play in international organisations, including the United Nations;
  • to consider broad normative questions related to governance, sovereignty, democratisation, public goods provision and policy-making;
  • to systematically identify and describe the variety and evolution of regional integration agreements and their linkages with international organizations.

Related Projects

Within the framework of this research programme, the following projects are currently ongoing:

Recently closed projects in this programme: