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Invitation: “Fringe Regionalism – When Peripheries Become Regions” 27 February 2019

The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) and the Department of Political Sciences are delighted to invite you to a conversation on Fringe Regionalism – When Peripheries Become Regions. The conversation will be facilitated by the author and GovInn research fellow Dr Frank Matthies.  

Date: Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Time: 13:00 – 14:00

Venue: Old College House Room 1-09, University of Pretoria

Queries: kirsty.agnew@up.ac.za

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Book discussion: “The New Politics of Regionalism” and “Post Western World”

On Friday, 3 February the Center for the Study of Governance Innovation hosted roundtable discussion to promote two recently released books, one edited volume by GovInn’s Dr Frank Mattheis and the other by visiting scholar Dr Oliver Stuenkel, Associate Professor of International Relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) in São Paulo. The discussion was moderated by University of Pretoria Department of Political Sciences lecturer Ms Sithembile Mbete and received presentations by Dr Mattheis on his edited volume, “The New Politics of Regionalism: Perspectives from Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific” (Routledge) and Dr Stuenkel on his book, “Post Western World” (Polity) before engaging with guests in an open table discussion.

 

 

 

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”

Brazil as a security and development provider in Africa, New policy paper by Frank Mattheis

Policy Paper - MattheisHow is the role of external actors in Africa changing and what consequences does this have for the European Union (EU) and its strategic position on the continent?

The research project ‘The EU, the US and the international strategic dimension of Sub-Saharan Africa: peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa’ seeks to address these questions in a series of policy papers. The first set of papers has just been published, covering the role of new and old actors such as Brazil, China, the Gulf States, Turkey and the US. In depth case studies on the Horn of Africa and an overarching policy report are to follow soon.

Senior research fellow Frank Mattheis contributed a policy paper on the role of Brazil as a security and development provider in Africa. It focuses on both the identity and the materiality of Brazil’s growing role on the continent, identifies the country’s current main challenges, and outlines opportunities for triangular cooperation with the EU.

The project is lead by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), with the support of Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

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.

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Reconfiguration of the Global South – Frank Mattheis participates in the annual CIDOB/OCP Policy Centre conference

CIDOB Conference

Panel discussion at the CIDOB/OCP Policy Centre annual conference on reconfigurations of the Global South (photo by CIDOB)

On 28 and 29 January 2016, the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB) and the OCP Policy Centre convened their annual conference in the city of Barcelona. This year’s edition was hosted by CIDOB  senior researcher Eckart Woertz. The theme addressed the reconfiguration of the Global South stemming from the economic and political rise of Asian powers. Thirty international researchers focused on how African and Latin America position themselves in this context and discussed questions ranging from food security to new institutions of global governance.

GovInn senior researcher Frank Mattheis and his collaborator Christina Stolte (FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg) presented results from their analysis of Brazil’s development assistance to Africa, in particular its agricultural cooperation with Ghana. The results of the conference will be disseminated in two publications to come out in 2016: a special issue in Spanish with Afers Internacionals, and an edited volume in English with Routledge.

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.

CSS Logo

Senior researcher Frank Mattheis at the Centre for Security Studies, ETH Zurich in November 2015

CSS Logo

CSS, ETH

On 6 and 7 November 2015 the Centre for Security Studies (CSS) at the ETH Zurich organised a workshop on the topic “Networked world? Multilateral institutions in international security governance”. The event brought together 20 researchers working on the interactions between multilateral institutions on multiple scales: inter-regional, intra-regional, global-regional. The theoretical discussions focused on grasping the increased density of interactions between multilateral institutions, while the novel empirical contributions included areas that are not typically covered by the literature.

Prof Dr Andreas Wenger, Dr Aglaya Snetkov and Dr Stephen Aris from the CSS served as the valued hosts of the entire programme and the debates that have paved the way for concrete publications plans and further collaboration.

GovInn senior researcher Frank Mattheis represented the ZOPACAS project by presenting unpublished work on Brazil’s delineation of the South Atlantic through a South-South institution. The full programme can be found on the CSS website.