News from May 19, 2011
ASEAN, the EU, MERCOSUR, the ANDEAN Community, CARICOM, the African Union, ECOWAS, SAARC, SADC, OAS, the Arab League, NAFTA and others illustrate that there are hardly any parts of the world in which cooperation between states is not institutionalised on a regional basis. While regional integration has mainly started off as cooperation between its members in the economic realm, the foreign policy component (including but not confined to external trade policy) became increasingly important in the last decades. At the same time, the number of regimes and International Organisations (IO) and the range of issues that are covered have been increasing ever since the end of WWII. Thus, states are often both, members of regional organisations and of IOs.
Against the background of a densely institutionalised international level, in which a multitude of IOs and regimes are operating in many different issue-areas, a multitude of regional organisations on the regional level, as well as overlapping membership and increasingly overlapping policy domains, the workshop seeks to shed light on the interplay between regional organisations and global, international and trans-regional governance. Instead of analysing how states and regional organisations are influenced by the international level, the workshop looks at the other side of the coin. It seeks to generate knowledge on the role that regional organisations play globally, internationally and in other regions. Why do regional organisations engage in governance on beyond their own region? How and under which conditions do regional organisations turn into important international actors? Are some regional organisations more effective in disseminating their
policies globally, internationally or into other regions than others and why? Are regional organisations more influential in some policy areas rather than others and why?
At the moment we know little about the international role of regional organisations. Regional integration research started off as a study of the processes and scope conditions for regional integration to emerge and prosper. The second wave of academic engagement examined politics, policies and polity of the various regional organisations, focusing on the impact of regional integration on its members and vice versa. In a third wave, researchers have started to situate regional integration into the global context, analysing how regional organisations are influenced by international developments as well as international and transnational actors. Little research has been done, however, on the role of the various regional organisations as players in global governance, in international institutions and in regions other than their own.
Thus, the workshop seeks to bring together papers addressing the following research questions: