Report: Workshop “Comparative Regionalism: State of the Art and Future Directions” in Singapore
Dec 03, 2015
The Research College “The Transformative Power of Europe”, Freie Universität Berlin and the National University of Singapore jointly organized a two-day workshop on “Comparative Regionalism: State of the Art and Future Directions” in Singapore from 1-3 October 2015. The workshop involved four panels and two roundtable discussions with scholars from across the world on selected chapters from a new handbook on comparative regionalism, edited by Tanja A. Börzel and Thomas Risse.
The Research College “The Transformative Power of Europe”, Freie Universität Berlin and National University of Singapore jointly organized a two-day workshop on “Comparative Regionalism: State of the Art and Future Directions” in Singapore from 1-3 October 2015. The workshop involved four panels and two roundtable discussions with scholars from across the world on selected chapters from the new handbook on comparative regionalism,
The first panel compared regionalism and regionalization in Asia (Anja Jetschke, University of Göttingen) and Europe (Frank Schimmelfennig, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). The panelists explored the social construction of Asia and Europe as regions, the roles that states play in the emergence of regionalization and construction of regional institutions, as well as how strategies and outcomes differ between their two regions. This was followed by a panel discussion on regional governance in relation to trade (Soo Yeon Kim, National University of Singapore), security (Galia Press-Barnathan, Hebrew University), and migration (Flavia Jurje, University of Luzern). The panelists discussed emergence, design, and consequences of particular institutional mechanisms in relation to their issue areas.
The third panel took an inter-regional comparative approach studying regional order. Tobias Lenz (EUI, Florence) discussed the role of institutional design, i.e. the rules and decision-making procedures of formal institutions. Jeffrey Checkel (Simon Fraser University) considered whether a regional identity has emerged in Europe, and if there is a reciprocal relationship between regional identities and regional institutions.
The final panel of the workshop focused on theoretical approaches to comparative regionalism. Tanja A. Börzel (Freie Universität Berlin) discussed the historical development of theories of regional cooperation, integration and governance, and Thomas Risse (Freie Universität Berlin), explored the diffusion of regionalism among various regions. As well, Dr. Etel Solingen (University of California, Irvine) discussed the consequences of the interaction between globalization and domestic politics for regionalism.
The workshop also involved two roundtable discussions. The first was a public roundtable jointly organized with the EU Center in Singapore; the panelists were Dr. Lay Hwee Yeo (EU Centre, Singapore), Tanja A. Börzel and Thomas Risse (Freie Universität Berlin), Dr. Galia Press-Barnathan (Hebrew University), and Dr. Hidetoshi Nakamura (Waseda University). The panel discussed how regional organizations respond to crises, and the consequences of the coping strategies and policies of the EU and ASEAN for regional integration.
The workshop concluded with a roundtable on “Rising Powers and the Future of Comparative Regionalism” with Tanja A. Börzel and Thomas Risse (Freie Universität Berlin), Etel Solingen (University of California-Irvine), Soo Yeon Kim and Reuben Wong (both National University of Singapore), and Min Shu (Waseda University). The roundtable outlined several pertinent questions helping to frame a project on understanding the role of rising powers in regionalism such as why some powers such as India, Brazil and Israel are not drivers of regionalism, and the roles that regions can play in influencing the power and/or purpose of regional powers. The panelists also agreed that the term ‘rising power’ is poorly conceptualized in the discipline; the term requires further development that goes beyond material power and considers the role of the purposes and practices of rising states.
We thank all the discussants for their valuable insights and feedback: Min-Hua Chiang, Ja Ian Chong, and Rahul Mukherjee (National University of Singapore), Sebastian Bersick (Ruhr-University Bochum), Mark Beeson (University of Western Australia), Hiro Katsumata (Tohoku University), Le Thu Huong (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore), and Zhao Chen (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing).