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Regional Organizations In Multilateralism

In contemporary world-order, the conception of nation-state has started to changed. The future of world will been determined by instutions. So, globalization process will effect nation-state. Regionalism is tool for globalization. After WW2, uniter state system changed. States started to find new ways to get rid of aftermath of WW2. So regionalism was great idea to get rid of aftermath condtion. Regionalism is related with economic, historical, cultural, political dynamics. Regionalism is integration within a region and it is related to economic and social integration. Regionalism is structure about administrative. It towards to central structure. Regionalism targets to strengh of regional structure. Regional structure targets to strenghing of democracy, providing regional flexibility towards to central structure, establishing new decision making mechanisms and institutionalisation of regional power.

There are two types of regionalism. First one is lasted between 1940 to 1970. In this period, regionalism was based on European- Centric. It is important to European integration process. Second type is began 1980s. It is important to NAFTA and European integration process. This regionalism called as new regionalism. In new regionalism, it is important to globalization and pluralism in multilateral structure.

There are three important dynamics about regionalism. First dynamic is Economic reasons. The rising of disproportionate of economy was important for regionalism. For example; after WW2, “European Coal and Steel Community” established between France and Germany. This economic network provides develop of regionalism in Europe. This idea brought to “European Community” and then established European Union.  Second dynamic is abouut political reasons. The central state structure is trouble of political deficiency.  So regionalism can been solved this trouble.  Regionalism helps to solve  nation-state’s problems. Third reason is about cultural. Regionalism reasoned integration between different cultures.

We can see this integration in European Union. In some countries, there are some internal integration such as in Spain (Basques and Catalan Community). European integration was developed with “ Treaty of Rome” through Single European Act. Single market programme abolished internal frontiers. Globalization effect is important for abolishing internal frontiers. Globalization is important dynamic in multilateral structure.

There are supporters of regionalism and protestors of regionalism in European Union. We can see report about this subjects in “Congress of European Local and Regional Management” in 1999. According to supporters of regionalism, regionalism provides to create good relationship with people. With regionalism, minorities describe your cultural identity in framework of national unity. So this condition prevents conflicts in nation and prevents to develop of seperatist movements. So, it prevents terrorist movements. With regionalism, economy policies develops. According to protestors of regionalism, if country and population is small, region can’t been established and regions can threat national unity. European Union is best example of regionalism. European Union elects term chairman country. When undeveloped country such as Romania became term chairman country in European Union, this situation was very good for Romania . Because Romania’s population are 21 millions of people. However European Union’s countries population are nearly 500 millions of people. So, Romania can take effective decision for all European Union countries when Romania became term chairman country. This situation is positive side of regionalism.

When we look at multilateralism, it is important to globaliztion process. Multilateralism had developed with globalization. For instance; when we look at Latin American economies, we can see this development. Latin America’s economy acrossed border. In this situation , regional organizations had important effects such as NAFTA  and MERCOSUR. According to regionalism in Latin America; regional arrangements are not associated with desire of United States. Regional related with “bottom up” integration process. It is based on attraction of markets. So, it is not based on “top  down” government decisions. Regionalism in Latin America strenghtned structural economic reforms. Regionalism created a strategic proccess in period of globalization. Regional integration is policy tool to strengthen national reform process. This national reform process is related with trade liberalism. Countries started to participate in world economy with regional organization. Besides,  United States wants to control Latin America with regional organizations.

When we look at East Asia, East Asia’s regional coherence was very stronger. In East Asia, regionalism is important about economic and political concept. And new regionalism is valid for East Asia. It is important to how regionalism affected multilateral international system. We can understand this effect with three question. First we considered connection between regionalism and globalisation. It is important to How did regionalism and globalisation become similar affect in different geographical area ? Inter-regional relations became important. Because it formed bridge between regional communities such as East Asia and Europe. So this system contributed develop of global society.   Second is about  How did regional economic organizations develop in  international system ? The answer of this question is Regional economic agreements often derive from regional organizations such as NAFTA from ASEAN. Regionalism focuses on institutionalised regional economic projects. We can see that levels of integration and co-operation reached amongst the worl’s regional economic organisations and frameworks vary significantly.” [1]   Third is about security and geopolitical dimensions of East Asian regionalism. In this issue, we have to consider two countries which are Japan and China. Japan’s situation was different in this area. Because Japan had a economic and security connection  between US. China’s strategic economic importance is important for ASEAN in this region. China can create sifnificant economic and security threat in both inside and outside region. Also  International Political Economy analysis help us to enlight about regionalism. Regionalism is important for its region and it is important for international system. Regionalism provides to develop low develop countries through organizations. For example; some  members of APEC are  Canada, Indonesia, Japan, USA,  Russia, Vietnam, Singapur. Most of country from different region are members of this organizations. Singapur is low developed country. But US is high developed country. So this organizations  get together Singapur and US in same roof. So this situation is important for Singapur to develop itself.

Finally, regionalism is effective in multilateral trade liberalization by several ways. First one is, regionalism changes internal situation about trade liberalization. Second is, regionalism is effective for integration of regional integration agreements or regional organization’s members. Regionalism helps to reduce tariff barriers through integration process.  We can clearly see this lines about regionalism effects in multilateralism; “ There are three arguments. The first is that the behaviour of the major blocs—the EU, NAFTA and APEC—will affect he multilaeral system in ways that are basically external for developing countries. The second is Regional Integration Agreements ( including developing countries ) may affect the behavior of developing countries themselves, altering their own propensities for nondiscriminatory liberalization and their willingness to support and protect multilateral sysetm. If enough developing countries are affected, this too will ave systemic effects, in which case developing countries must themselves take some direct responsibility for the consequences of regionalism. The third is that regionalism could affect the processes of multilateralism as wells as the outcomes with negotiations .” [2]

[1] Dent, Christopher. “East Asian Regionalism”, 2008, published US and Canada, p. 17

[2] Schiff, Maurice and Winters, Alan. “Regional Integration and Development”, Washington, A co-publication of the World Bank and Oxford University Press, p .223

Yazar: Arda ÖZÇAĞLAR, Çankaya Üniversitesi Siyaset Bilimi ve Uluslararası İlişkiler son sınıf öğrencisi

22 Nisan 2012 Pazar

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  1. Regionalism is a very paramount issue of this century. Since the beginning of 20th century, regionalism has increased in various areas in the world such as NAFTE,MERCOSUR for economic interests, and EU, NATO for both economic and political interests for related countries. After the fall of empires, roughly for the last one hundred years, a great number of nation-states are selecting to ally unite with other countries especially neighboring countries in the same regions. Regions take the place of old empires. The best evidence of this situation is new regions and old empires generally locate in same geographical regions.
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