The course is only open to students who are admitted to the MA International Relations
Regionalism has become a defining feature of international relations, but why do states around the world feel the ‘urge to merge’? How have states and non-state actors led the process of creating regional institutions and what has inhibited the development of regionalism around the world? Why do some actors adopt a more formal, legalistic approach to regional institutional building, whilst others prefer more elastic and informal arrangements? Should we, and if so how can we, distinguish between old and new regionalism in a globalized political economy? How are regional groupings socially constructed to include certain actors at the expense of others? How are external actors involved in regional issues and how does regional cooperation contribute to global governance? How can such complex developments be theorized so that they may be compared? This course explores these questions in order to compare and contrast the dynamic processes of regionalism around the world today.
Though regional institution building has become a global trend, regionalism has evolved in different ways. It is therefore imperative to explore the various factors, be they historical, geopolitical, cultural or other, that have influenced the development of regionalism around the world. Only by comparing the process of regionalism around the world can we understand the richness and diversity of this central trend in global politics. Comprehending the diversity of regional institution building can enable us to explore how regional groupings address specific issues in different ways.
The course has two main components. On the one hand, we focus on the key conceptual, historical and theoretical dimensions to understanding regionalism around the world. On the other hand we will apply this conceptual, historical and theoretical knowledge in a more practical setting of role plays where we will concentrate on the multidimensional aspects of regional issues, the role of external actors in regional problems, and the relationship between regionalism and global governance. Each week we will examine a different case study to build a picture of regional approaches to world politics.
This course aims to provide a critical examination of the development of regionalism across the world. Students will explore a variety of regional approaches to key issues and policies, adopting different levels of analysis. One of the aims of this course is to connect academic debates with policy issues. With this in mind, students will learn key transferable skills that they will be able to apply in a work environment, including working in teams and managing group activities, developing creative responses to policy problems, writing policy reports, and finding appropriate academic and non-academic sources. Students will also acquire a foundational knowledge of historical issues and theoretical approaches to understand regionalism today.
By the end of the course, students will be able to:
Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the complex issues and processes related to the development of regionalism and regionalization.
Apply complex conceptual tools to analyze key events in and processes related to regionalism.
Compare regional approaches across the world, whilst remaining sensitive to local contexts.
Demonstrate appropriate cognitive, communicative and transferable skills, develop the capacity for independent learning, critique major texts and approaches on regionalism in International Relations, and lead class discussions.
The timetables are available through My Timetable.
Mode of instruction
Following one introductory lecture, the course is taught through 12 x 2-hour seminar sessions that are supplemented by knowledge clips.
The knowledge clips provide an introduction to the key issues we will be discussing every week.
Students should be aware that most of their work must be done outside the seminars, which should function as an opportunity to exchange ideas about the subjects under study.
All students MUST:
Attend 13 x 2-hour sessions (1 x lecture, 12 x seminars);
Contribute to seminar discussions and debates every week;
Collaborate in creating, organizing and running a role-play session;
Post 2 online-responses to role-plays attended.
Students are required to attend all 13 scheduled sessions, and expected to arrive in class ready to discuss the weekly readings. The lecturer should be informed in writing without delay of a class to be missed for a valid reason, i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances that are beyond the student’s control (such as documented illness, family bereavement, issues with residence permits, victim of crime, the railways in winter, etc.).
20% Individual participation (active in-class participation)
20% Group participation (effective chairing of a role-play session)
40% Group writing assignment (1 x 5,000-word role-play portfolio of documents)
20% Individual writing assignment (2 x posting online-response to role-plays attended)
The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.
If you submit your group or individual writing assignments late, the instructor will deduct 0.5 grade points from your assignment-grade per day that your assignment is late. If you submit your assignment 3 days late, therefore, an assignment that would have received a 7.5 will receive a 6.0.
Deadline extensions must be requested before the deadline, or else it will be considered a request for an extra retake. If a deadline extension of up to 3 weeks is sought, students will contact their lecturer, who consider their request and decide at his/her discretion. No form has to be used in this case. If an extension of more than 3 weeks is involved, the student must fill-out the Extenuating Circumstances form, which can be obtained from the coordinator of studies (Janneke Walstra).
A resit opportunity is available to students whose writing assignments were marked “insufficient” (5.49 or lower) at the first attempt.
Syllabus listing weekly readings will be posted on Brightspace at least a week before the start of semester.
In preparation for the course, students will find useful either of the following introductory texts:
Langenhove, Luk van (2001). Building Regions: The Regionalization of the World Order. Farnham: Ashgate.
Söderbaum, Fredrik (2015). Rethinking Regionalism. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.
For substantive questions, contact the lecturer instructing the seminar group to which you signed u, listed in the right information bar.
For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga
It is students’ responsibility to sign up for their correct seminar group on Brightspace in advance of the first seminar so they receive relevant announcements posted prior to the start of the semester.