chapter  1
23 Pages

Globalisation and economic regionalism

Although globalisation has been defined in a variety of ways,1 a common theme is that it generates increasingly intense interactions between nation-states and societies through flow of goods, money, people, ideas, images and information, in the process making territorial boundaries less salient (Hurrell 1995:54). This makes the recent growth of economic regionalism amidst globalisation rather a paradoxical phenomenon, and has generated considerable scholarly interest in the relationship between them. While globalisation tends to de-emphasise boundaries, regionalism appears to be an attempt by state actors at re-imposing them at a different level, consequently creating a new, larger space out of smaller territorial spaces bounded in nation-states although the larger space is rarely, if ever, a new political unit or super-state.2 How do we explain a relationship between two seemingly opposing phenomena?