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The Development of Comparative Regionalism under the Global Turn

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China Social Science Review

No.4, 2021


The Development of Comparative Regionalism under the Global Turn



Wei Ling


The beginning of the 21st century saw a global turn in the discipline of international relations that coincided with the rise of comparative regionalism. This article discusses the development of comparative regionalism, including its theoretical construction, research agenda and future challenges, against the background of the disciplinary development of global international relations. Since World War Ⅱ, the study of regionalism has gone through three stages of development: European integration theory, new regionalism and comparative regionalism. Influenced by the intellectual trend of reflectivism, comparative regionalism aims to dissolve Eurocentrism, take the pluralistic tradition of regionalism as its basic assumption, make regional cooperation and the proliferation of regionalism in the context of globalization its entry point, introduce the background knowledge and local dynamics of different regions of the world into mainstream academic research, and construct a pluralistic theoretical system of regional cooperation. In terms of methodology, comparative regionalism combines the traditional regional research undertaken through fieldwork with the theoretically constructed study of international relations, advancing academic innovation through intersection and integration. The study of comparative regionalism further strengthens the picture of a pluralistic world order; it is an important component of global international relations studies and occupies the high ground in terms of academic innovation.