> Publications > China Social Science Review > 2021 > no.4(December 2021)

The Maturing Theoretical System of Comparative Regionalism and Its Methodological Challenges

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China Social Science Review

No.4, 2021

 

The Maturing Theoretical System of Comparative Regionalism and Its Methodological Challenges

(Abstract)

 

Geng Xiefeng

 

Since the middle of the first decade of the 21st century, international relations scholars and particularly those working on the new regionalism have been engaged in continuous efforts and exploration in the quest to adapt to the transformation of global politics and promote innovation in academic research. This means that the field of regional studies has taken a major academic turn which has produced comparative regionalism. This study of regional cooperation and integration has a set of clearly defined core concepts and a broad global perspective which have been influenced by disciplines such as global international relations. Its theoretical path pursues inclusiveness and eclectic balance; its research methodology makes extensive use of comparative analysis; and its subject matter goes beyond trade and security. One could say that comparative regionalism today is an emerging academic enterprise at the crossroads of the disciplines of global studies, international relations, international political economy, comparative political science and other academic fields such as regional studies, in an enterprise that has a promising academic future both at home and abroad. However, it should also be noted that comparative regional research faces a number of methodological challenges, and gaps remain in future research paths.