Mapping Integration and Regionalism in a Global World: The EU and Regional Governance outside the EU

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - 9:00 AM
Sciences-Po Bordeaux, France
Sep 17

GARNET Annual International Conference, in partnership with CIGI and Sciences-Po Bordeaux

The GARNET network, Sciences Po Bordeaux and the CIGI are convening an international conference on Mapping Integration and Regionalism in a Global World. The conference seeks to address how, in numerous parts of the world, regionalism, regionalisation and inter-regionalism proceed from patterns and processes that have little to do with the European template. What are their implications and how are they conceptualised ? Has integration theory any relevance and if so how outside Europe ? What are the theoretical implications of the ’landscapes’ associated with regionalism/regionalisation in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe ? How are patterns observed accounted for by mainstream theories of integration and European integration theory itself ?

The EU still features as the standard model for region-building, explicitly or implicitly providing benchmarks for the assessment of regionalism and regionalisation. Regionalism, with its expanding agendas, loose institutionalisation and the frequent disconnect between regionalist projects and de facto regionalisation processes challenges a number of conventional assumptions. In Europe too, the norms and practices associated with region-building also are being confronted to pressure for re-adjustment that invite to broader and more comparative perspectives. What are the key components of the EU as a contemporary model for integration, and how have theoretical attempts to account for its global relevance been evolving ? How does the EU contribute to shape regionalism, global norms, institutions and standards with respect to what integration entails (or should entail) ? What are the stakes and implications associated with bloc-building through inter-regional and inter-hemispheric agreements ? How successful can the EU to be claim with respect to the diffusion of its own experience in the case of the Economic Partnership Agreements ?

Much of the analysis of the EU as a prototype for regional integration stems from the combination of proactive policies towards the export of its own experience with chronological anteriority - the experience of US federalism and such cases of coerced integration as imperial federations left aside. Empirical patterns and normative processes associated with European construction are still commonly viewed as standard features for the study of integration in general. To what extent and why do regionalism and regionalisation outside Europe provide a counterpoint, comfort or rejuvenate representations of the EU as a model?

Some of the cross-cutting issues that will be addressed by the conference include:

* Inter-regionalism and regionalisation (Caribbean Basin Initiative, Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, Economic Partnership Agreements)
* Regional parliaments and national parliaments within regions
* Security and regional governance
* EU contribution to global environment governance
* Europe as a model for monetary governance ? (monetary unions, inflation targeting, euroisation, currency boards)
* Human rights, migration and asylum
* Neighborhood policies

This list is not exclusive. The conference aims to integrate research and expertise by bringing together scholars, policy makers, private sector representatives, and NGOs. Contributions are invited from multiple disciplines, including Business Studies, Economics, Geography, History, International Relations, Law, Philosophy, Politics, and Sociology. Thanks to specific funding made available, participants from Africa, Asia, the Americas are specially encouraged to attend and contribute to the build up of a truly comparative perspective.