Stress factors and their impact on regionalism

Weiffen, Brigitte (2021). Stress factors and their impact on regionalism. In: Nolte, Detlef and Weiffen, Brigitte eds. Regionalism Under Stress: Europe and Latin America in Comparative Perspective. London: Routledge, pp. 15–33.



This chapter sets the stage for a comparative assessment of the crisis of regionalism in Europe, Latin America, and beyond. Taking the multidimensional crisis of the European Union as starting point, the first part of the chapter takes stock of and systematizes the stress factors that may affect regional integration and cooperation. The second part of the chapter explores the potential impact of stress factors on regionalism. Analogous to the first part, it reviews the debates about the EU’s potential disintegration and then moves on to present generalizable assumptions. I argue that stress factors do not automatically entail disintegration and fragmentation. Depending on pre-existing characteristics of the affected region, stress factors might be mitigated by elements of resilience that ensure the continuity of regionalism or may even strengthen it.

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