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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Today, the EU counts as the most prominent and influential regional organization in the world. But this does not make it a “model” for the rest of the world. This chapter highlights regionalisms’ origins and contributions in varied contexts and examines how theories of regional integration derived from the EU’s life history found a limited applicability to regionalisms in the non-Western world. The chapter discusses emerging points of convergence and variation between the EU approach to regionalism and regionalisms in other parts of the world. It argues that the diffusion of the EU model is possible only through a process of localization in different regional contexts. A key task for comparative regionalism is to develop approaches that capture and explain the diversity of regions. Theories such as “new regionalism” need to be supplemented with perspectives, such as the “regional worlds” idea, and newer constructivist perspectives on norm diffusion.

Keywords: EU-centrism, regional worlds, new regionalism, comparative regionalism, regional integration, diffusion and localization

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