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Theorising regions through changes in statehood: Rethinking the theory and method of comparative regionalism

Hameiri, S. (2013) Theorising regions through changes in statehood: Rethinking the theory and method of comparative regionalism. Review of International Studies, 39 (2). pp. 313-335.

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The study of regionalism is often characterised as too fragmented, plagued by disagreements over such fundamental matters as its ontological and epistemological premises, which also hinder efforts at substantive comparison of regionalisation processes. In this article it is argued that to overcome these problems, what is required is a more rigorous incorporation of such studies within relevant work in state theory and political geography. The key insight herein is that regionalism should not be studied separately from the state as these are interrelated phenomena. State-making and regionalisation are both manifestations of contested political projects aimed at shaping the territorial, institutional, and/or functional scope of political rule. Furthermore, the article also distils the lines of a mechanismic methodology for comparative regionalism. Its main advantage is in overcoming the implicit benchmarking of regional development we find in other approaches. The framework's utility is then demonstrated through a comparison of regional governance in Asia and Europe.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Asia Research Centre
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Copyright: British International Studies Association
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