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BOOK ‘Interregionalism across the Atlantic Space’, eds by Frank Mattheis and Andréas Godsäter

GovInn’s Senior Researcher  Frank Mattheis and Associate Fellow Andréas Godsäter published the book ‘Interregionalism across the Atlantic Space‘ in the United Nations University Series on Regionalism at Springer.

This book focuses on interregional relations across the Atlantic and the possible evolution of a new, distinctive Atlantic space for international relations. It provides a comprehensive insight into the overlapping linkages of interregionalism in the wider Atlantic space. Additionally, it raises the question of relevance, currently the main question in this field of research: Is interregionalism important because it brings about something new that really matters or is it simply a (perhaps unavoidable) by-product of regionalism? The book conducts an analysis of six interregional relations criss-crossing the Atlantic space, accounting for the multitude of interregional connections within a potential Atlantic macro region and analysing the differences, conflicts and convergences between regional organizations. It engages with the issue of agency in interregional relations, and argues that interregional processes and agendas are always driven and constructed by certain actors for certain purposes.

Read the full book here: http://www.springer.com/gb/book/9783319629070

 

The New Politics of Regionalism

Book Cover

Book Cover: The New Politics of Regionalism

On 14 December, GovInn senior researcher Frank Mattheis will participate in the launch of the book “The New Politics of Regionalisms” at the Centre for Area Studies at the University of Leipzig (Germany). He co-edited book, which was published in October 2016 by Routledge, with Ulf Engel, Heidrun Zinecker, Antje Dietze and Thomas Plötze, and contributed to several chapters in the volume. Jon Schubert, postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Leipzig, will act as discussant for the evening.

Since the end of the Cold War, different forms of territorialization have emerged and we are confronted with an increasing number and variety of actors that are establishing regional projects. How can the study of the emergence and transformation of regionalisms and of different forms of territorialization aid in understanding the dynamics of this post-Cold War world order? This edited volume brings together innovative contributions to the study of this new complexity. It focuses on the role of regional actors, and the making and interplay of regionalisms in the processes of reshaping social spaces within an evolving global order. Analysing these new regionalisms from the perspective of the Global South, the contributions in the volume highlight the struggles that take place between a variety of actors, departing from state-centred perspectives and focusing on the transformations and constructions of regionalisms across varying spatial dimensions.

Organized into three sections, the volume attempts to identify the specific conditions and junctures of different forms of region-making in their external (global) and internal (local /national) dimensions. The volume also places special emphasis on interactions, spatial entanglements and comparisons between regionalisms in different parts of the world. By expanding beyond the perspective of North-South transfers, this book seeks to better understand the dynamics and diversity of interregional interactions. The first section looks at the purposes and logics behind regionalisms beyond their declared objectives, followed by a section on the dynamic relations between regionalisms, going beyond a European Union perspective. The final part looks at the place actors have other than states in the making of regionalisms. Throughout the volume, cases and empirical studies from Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa as well as Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific support these sections and challenge established notions of regionalism by going beyond a Eurocentric approach.

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Conference Report: “Comparative Regionalism: State of the Art and Future Directions”

Conference Participants

Participants of the Comparative Regionalism Conference

During the first week of November, the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) had the honour to host a conference on comparative regionalism in partnership with the Research College (KFG) “The Transformative Power of Europe” at the Free University Berlin.

KFG-directors Prof. Tanja Börzel and Prof. Thomas Risse together with GovInn director Prof. Lorenzo Fioramonti and senior research fellow Dr. Frank Mattheis combined forces to bring together authors of the recently published Oxford Handbook of Comparative Regionalism with experts in Africa. After two similar events of the KFG in Singapore and Rio de Janeiro, Pretoria constituted to third and last stop for the authors to engage in a global dialogue.

GovInn invited colleagues from various South African universities with a track record in studying regionalism but also African experts with practical experience in supporting regional integration. The different panels addressed regionalism from a variety of angles by looking at specific governance issues (e.g. the politics of regional migration), geographic specificities (e.g. what makes regionalism in Africa distinct?) and the broader connections between regionalism across the globe (e.g. how do interregional diffusion processes work?). The debates touched on a broad variety of issues of central relevance to Africa, including the gap between formal regional organisations and regionalising actors on the ground.

The debates were also informed by the current higher education crisis in South Africa. The roundtables witnessed debates about ways to address Eurocentrism in the study of regionalism, not by provincialising regionalisms but by combining the production of regional knowledge with a dialogue between sub-disciplines and theories.

Prof. Risse in action

Prof. Risse in action

GovInn and the KFG turned out to be well placed to congregate scholars from the wider field of comparative regionalism so as to collectively engage with crossing the boundaries of their disciplines and regions. Yet, as discussed in the closing roundtable, the eclecticism produces new challenges for methodological rigour, funding schemes and selection criteria of academic journals. The momentum generated by the growing number of scholars interested in the study of comparative regionalism generates many new questions and challenges for the field to take into account as it further institutionalises in research programmes and state of the art.

Conference Programme “Comparative Regionalism”
TRAFO blogpost

‘New metres for a wider world’ – Frank Mattheis on interregionalism and Global International Relations

TRAFO blogpost

China and the Africa Union – an entanglement between interregional and regional dynamics (photo credit: Antonia Witt).

The Blog for Transnational Research (TRAFO) has recently launched the publication of a blog series dedicated to the theme ‘Doing Global International Relations‘. GovInn’s Senior Researcher Frank Mattheis contributed the fourth blogpost to the series: New metres for a wider world: interregionalism and Global International Relations.

“Imagining new concepts, using new delineations, and experimenting with new measurements are ways to enter in dialogue with the global world so as to try to understand its essence. Are we ready to change a discipline and our own research, once we realise that the world is not the one our categories painted?”

Read the entire blogpost on the TRAFO website. More contributions to the series will be published on a weekly basis.

The ATLANTIC FUTURE monograph – out now

The ATLANTIC FUTURE monograph entitled “Atlantic Future. Shaping a New Hemisphere for the 21st century: Africa, Europe and the Americas”, edited by Jordi Bacaria and Laia Tarragona, from CIDOB, has just been published in March 2016. The book can be downloaded on the ATLANTIC FUTURE website.

The monograph provides a synthesis of the ATLANTIC FUTURE project, along with its main results and an update on the research work carried out over the past three years of the project. The monograph, which forms part of the project’s outreach goal, is intended to reach an interested public, academics and political and economic decision-makers, who will be able to see the Atlantic Space as a laboratory for globalisation and the multilateral solutions required to face the world’s new challenges.

GovInn senior researcher Frank Mattheis, together with Anna Ayuso and Elina Viilup, contributed the chapter “Regional Cooperation, Interregionalism and Governance in the Atlantic”, covering the complex network of Atlantic governance from an interregional perspective as well as of the convergence and divergences occurring in this space.

Atlantic Future

The Future of the Atlantic Hemisphere – Frank Mattheis participates in dissemination event in Washington, DC

Atlantic Future

Participants of the Atlantic Future dissemination event at JHU

On 1 December 2015 the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University hosted a one-day event to disseminate the results of the research project ATLANTIC FUTURE among Washington, DC policy makers, academics and think tanks. After three years of collaborative research involving 13 partners from Europe, North America, Africa and Latin America, the project has produced a stock of knowledge on the connections and linkages across the Atlantic.

The panels of this event engaged with the particular characteristics that underpin the construction of an ‘Atlantic Hemisphere’ but also pointed out the junctures that can cause fragmentation. GovInn senior researcher Frank Mattheis presented results from the work package on interregionalism and regionalism, and participated in a panel discussion on evolving human security challenges in the Atlantic space.

The event was part of a series, including a dissemination event in November in Rio de Janeiro and the final event on 10 December in Brussels.

Senior researcher Frank Mattheis at the 9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, 23-26 September 2015

From 23 to 26 logoSeptember the European International Studies Association (EISA) organised the 9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, hosted by the University of Catania (Italy). The conference was one of the major events in the field in Europe this year with around 1.300 academics taking part.

GovInn senior researcher Frank Mattheis represented the Atlantic Future project together with Prof. Gian Luca Gardini. They presented their work on regionalism and interregionalism in the conference’s section on Power Shifts and International Institutions.

In addition, Frank Mattheis presented work on cooperation in the South Atlantic with the section on Maritime Security and served as discussant in the section on Global Conversations.

EU-Africa Workshop

EU-Africa Workshop, June 6, 2015, GovInn, University of Pretoria

EU-Africa Workshop, June 6, 2015, GovInn, University of Pretoria

The EU-Africa workshop was the first event held under the auspices of the new European Studies Association of Sub-Saharan Africa (ESA-SSA). It took place in front of a standing room only audience on June 5, 2015 at the University of Pretoria during Governance Innovation Week. A diverse range of African, European and North American scholars and practitioners assembled for an exchange of views about the evolving relationship between Africa and the European Union. The overall theme was about innovation, with particular focus was on updating the debate, challenging some of the old donor and client characterisations, and better reflecting the changing conditions in Africa and Europe. Honorary Director at the European Commission, Philippe Darmuzey, kicked off the discussions with an opening speech on new directions in EU-Africa security and development cooperation. Panels followed with focus on innovation, trade and resources, and South Africa’s place in EU-Africa relations. Renown scholars such as Gilbert Khadiagala (Witswatersrand) explored the African Union’s approach to multilateral relations with the EU, while Daniel Bach (Bordeaux) examined innovative policies in emerging economies. Practitioners such as EU Ambassador Roeland Van De Geer touched on the EU-South Africa relationship while Andrew Sherriff (ECDPM) explored the EU’s changing institutions and their consequences for relations with Africa. The workshop was universally deemed a success and a strong beginning for new collaboration and research in EU-Africa relations.

Frank Mattheis