Multilateralism is defined in many ways, but common to all are the importance of rules, institutionalised cooperation and inclusiveness. Demand for multilateralism increases as new international challenges arise. Globalisation connects the world in ways both positive and negative. Trade, capital, ideas, people, technology, information, diseases and crime all flow more freely. Patterns of interaction between world regions are changing. New powers are rising. Alternative development paths and models of capitalism are being debated. International terrorist networks constitute a new and profound security challenge. New sources of conflict, over global warming, migration and resource scarcity, are emerging. MERCURY is a consortium of academic partners formed to examine critically the European Union’s contribution to multilateralism. It explores multilateralism as a concept, an aspiration, and a form of international order.
Partners: University of Edinburgh (UK), Istituto Affari Internazionali (Italy), Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sweden), Charles University (Czech Republic), Fudan University (China), Sciences-Po (France), University of Cambridge (UK).
Funding: European Union FP7 Programme.
Author: L. Fioramonti
Regionalism has been a key feature of contemporary international relations. As the most successful case of regional integration, the European Union (EU) has been leading the international debate. Yet, in the past few years new regional practices have emerged in other continents, thus adding to the variety and scope of regionalization processes. This book provides a comprehensive overview of the state of regionalism in a global arena ever more dominated by emerging powers and shifting political/economic balances. Against the backdrop of the global economic crisis, which has invariably weakened Europe and its integration model, the book examines the pace of integration in Africa, Asia and South America, highlighting the opportunities and challenges that the new global order poses to contemporary regionalisms. Besides a number of empirical case studies focusing on the political, economic and legal aspects of regionalization, the book also discusses innovative theoretical approaches to the study of regionalism in a post-European context.
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