publication REMOC

Regional Integration in the World

Nora Mareï & Yann Richard (dir.), numéro thématique de Belgeo, 2020 | 4

Following the conference on Un monde de régions, this publication of a special issue of the Belgian journal of geography Belgeo on regional integration in the world.

"Research on the organization of global space and globalization is largely structured by studies on networks, long-distance trading, transnational practices and global cities. But academic approaches to globalized space pay relatively little attention to large global regions, understood as aggregates of neighboring countries linked by strong interactions. Politicists study regional agreements; economists discuss the commercial limitations and benefits of such agreements – in terms of creation, destruction or avoidance; and some geographers and sociologists specialize in the study of a particular region or regional area. In these studies, the macro-region is rarely regarded as a key pattern for the organization of space at an international level. Many authors consider the hypothesis of a generalized return to localism within large regional groupings as unlikely. However, a number of global disturbances have led some observers to predict a return to more local social practices and the revival of the intermediate scale in the governance of territorial issues. In this context, can the regionalization of the world be regarded, today as tomorrow, as a key model for the governance and organization of the world space? This topic can be analyzed starting from two main hypotheses. First of all, the contemporary world space could be better understood through the dialectic between globalization and macro-regionalization. Secondly, the tensions and crises affecting a number of macro-regions should not be interpreted as proof of their failure in the short term, but on the contrary as evidence of a slow and difficult move towards a wider and more appropriate territorial form than the nation-state to tackle today’s major challenges." (extract from the editorial)