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Call for Papers:m Dealing with Overlapping Regionalism Complementary or Competitive Strategies?

News from Dec 19, 2013

An international workshop hosted by the Research College (Kolleg-Forschergruppe)
“The Transformative Power of Europe”
Freie Universität Berlin
Berlin, 15-17 May 2014

Today nearly every state belongs to several regional organizations (ROs); and these organizations do not have clearly separated mandates. Overlapping regionalism, conceived of as overlapping memberships and mandates, can be the source of conflict and discord both between states and individual organizations and between organizations. Participants at the international workshop are asked to submit papers on one of the following three topics.


1) Occurrence of overlapping regionalism

What factors contribute to the establishment and evolution of overlapping mandates and institutional designs of regional organizations? Complex interdependencies between organizations mean that policy changes in one organization may have an effect on those of another.  How does the interlocking system of regional and global governance affect processes of policy and norm diffusion? Does overlapping regionalism lead to increasing diffusion?


2) Member states’ reactions and strategies to overlapping regionalism

Individual states are often members of multiple organizations with mandates that may complement or conflict with each other. Overlapping memberships can create fundamental problems of policy choice and even create new domestic coordination problems - for example, when confronted with conflicting policy obligations from the international or regional level. What are the interests, strategies and actions of states with multiple memberships? Why do states join organizations with conflicting mandates? Under what conditions are actors able to exploit differences between organizational mandates in order to obtain preferential outcomes?


3) Regional organizations’ interactions when facing overlapping regionalism

Finally, the workshop also seeks to address how organizations deal with functional and / or membership overlap with other organizations. When confronted with a policy problem in a shared member state, how do organizations with similar mandates cooperate or compete on providing a solution? And how do regional organizations react to member states that pursue strategies of exploiting functional overlap?


Starting points for discussions are the literatures of overlapping regionalism and institutions, institutional interactions, and international regime complexity. We welcome submissions that address any of the identified questions, in any policy field, with regard to any regional organization, and that make a valuable link between theory and empirical phenomena. Contributions from all stages of research are welcome, but must be based on original research.


Paper proposals must include the name of the presenter and any other author(s), and an abstract of no more than 250 words. We especially welcome submissions from researchers from the regions analyzed. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 31 January 2014. Paper proposals should be sent to Merran Hulse, Sören Stapel and Kai Striebinger (overlappingregionalism2014@gmail.com).


Successful applicants will be informed until 17 February 2014. The deadline for circulation of full papers will be 5 May 2014. The KFG "The Transformative Power of Europe" will cover accommodation and travel expenses (economy) for invited presenters.