By Dr Pia Riggirozzi, Politics & International Relations
Like all forms of governance, regionalism is a form of coordination across and between different policy areas. Regionalism is organised in different forms of institutional architecture that open different kinds of political engagement; and thus different types of activism. Despite a wide array of political economic projects of varying compositions, capabilities and aspirations, expectations of what regional governance can deliver have been evaluated primarily in terms of management, trade liberalisation and trade integration. It is not surprising then that despite a wealth of literature offering normative references to the capacity of regional frameworks to provide social development, this has largely remained a rhetorical aspect in the way regionalism has unfolded and has been studied. However, recent developments in regional formations across the globe are seeking social and political integration to address issues of poverty and inequality and ways to mitigate trans-border social harms.
Seeking to discuss social policy and development in relation to regional governance, a two-day workshop will be hosted by C2G2 at the University of Southampton, on March 25-26. The workshop will explore empirical linkages between regional integration, social policy and social development; and academic challenges bridging Comparative Regionalism, International Political Economy, and Social Policy. As part of the event, presenters and discussants from the academic, policy and advocacy fields in Latin America, Europe and Africa will participate in roundtables on the topics: ‘The links between regionalism and social development’ and ‘Regionalism, Human Development and Social Policy in South America, Africa and Europe’.