In a changing world ridden with crises and characterised by a general
redistribution of power, regional organisations need to reinvent themselves.
Equally, the study of regionalism has to reject its traditional Eurocentrism
to embrace new conceptual categories in order to describe more effectively
the variety of regional processes across the world. Against this background,
this article looks at the European project and its current crisis before discussing
other regional ‘experiments’ in Africa, Asia and Latin America,
which rest on different principles but also manifest considerable shortcomings.
The analysis points to the need to look at regionalism with a critical
eye, emphasizing the undeniably important achievements but also the
hidden threats that a certain model of regional integration (for instance,
the classical top-down elite-driven process adopted by the EU founding
fathers) can pose to the sustainability of regional cohesion and the adaptability
of this model to other areas of the world