Relationship between globalization and regionalism

The Difference Between Globalization and Regionalism | Free Essays -

relationship between globalization and regionalism

Secondly, we will present a series of statistical tests to evaluate the relationship between globalization and regionalization. This should further clarify the. Regionalism and Globalization: The Case of the European Union .. The relationship between globalization and European integration is. Regionalism and globalisation are two very different concepts: yet In order to establish their relationship, let's distinguish between them first.

Further, it could be argued that Regionalism simply cannot be seen as a challenge to Globalisation in the sense that it would be a substitute, as Regionalism and Globalisation are by definition two entirely different concepts, where one could never act as a replacement for the other. Globalisation, on the one hand, is an ongoing process that is not largely initiated by states, but one that is constantly happening around us and that is influenced by all sorts of actors, state or non-state, that form part of the international system.

Regionalism, on the other hand, is a process that happens on a more conscious level. That is to say, states in a particular region consciously make the effort to form a regional organisation and they themselves are the ones who set up the rules and guidelines of this organisation according to regionally accepted norms and values.

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Regionalism is a far more voluntary process and also far more influenced and initiated by the states of the region in question. Hence, so far, it has become clear that the claim that Regionalism challenges Globalisation is build on a very weak argument, as, first of all, Regionalism and Globalisation are entirely different concepts that cannot necessarily act as substitutes for one another and, second of all, Regionalism is not a new concept.

It was possible for Globalisation to develop in the way it did even with Regionalism present and with states engaging in processes of regionalisation whilst at the same time being subject to Globalisation.

The second claim that is made by scholars investigating the relationship of Regionalism and Globalisation is that Regionalism somehow builds on Globalisation.

relationship between globalization and regionalism

On closer observation, it has to be said that this is at least partly true. The technological revolution that was brought about by Globalisation definitely forms a vital basis for Regionalism to flourish. Had it not been for the greater ease with which states and individuals can nowadays communicate with each other or send and receive information, it would have been difficult if not impossible to form regional institutions of scale, like the European Union, for example.

Does Regionalism challenge Globalisation, or build on it?

As has been shown, Regionalism hardly challenges Globalisation and it really only builds on the effects of Globalisation. Third, regional trading agreements may contribute to political and even military clashes among nations, this though is the extreme.

Still and all, contemporary critics of regionalism do worry that extensive and regional ties may lead to conflicts that range beyond economics to broader areas of international relations.

The champions of regionalism address and counter each one of the aforementioned issues. Fred Bergsten nicely sums up the points that counter the critics of regionalism. Bergsten lists these three opposite views on the issues presented by the critics of regionalism: First, regional arrangements promote freer trade and multilateralism in at least two areas, trade creation has generally exceeded trade diversion and regionalism contribute to both internal and international dynamics that enhance rather than reduce the prospects for global liberalization.

Second, regionalism oftentimes has important demonstration effects; that is to say, that regional initiatives can accustom officials, governments, and nations to the liberalization process and increase the probability that they will subsequently move on to similar multilateral actions.

relationship between globalization and regionalism

Lastly, regionalism has had positive rather then negative political effects; the European Union EUbecause of economic interdependence, is unlikely to see any serious conflicts between the member states. As the last two paragraphs show, it is impossible to decisively resolve the regionalism versus multilateralism issue.

Most analysis of free trade agreements FTAs conclude that trade creation has dominated trade diversion but that conclusion is not without foolproof results and the future cannot guarantee that regional arrangements will have similarly benign results.

The Difference Between Globalization and Regionalism

In the end, the evidence suggests that the interactions have been largely positive but this conclusion is based on judgmental rather then definitive results. The only irrefutable conclusion is that the interrelationship between regionalism and globalism depends on the management of the process by the key countries involved. If those countries seek constructive synergism between regionalism and globalism, then the historical record shows that that synergism can be achieved.

If those countries wish to pursue either regionalism or globalism at the expense of the other, then the outcome could be different.


Proponents of open regionalism view it as a device through which regionalism can be employed to accelerate the progress towards global liberalization and rule making. Any country that indicates a credible willingness to accept the rules of the institution would be invited to join. Fourth, regional organizations will continue reducing their barriers on a global basis while pursuing their regional goals.

Such initiatives would be narrowly focused, though still valuable in enhancing trade, such as customs harmonization and mutual recognition of product standards. Economic regionalism and globalism can co-exist, in fact, as can be seen with the US, a state can practice both and flourish. These countries must indicate publicly both their regional liberalization program and their willingness to extend that liberalization to all members of global organizations, such as the WTO, on a reciprocal basis.