Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952613 | Print ISBN: 9781412905794 | Online ISBN: 9781412952613| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Regionalism is an ideology and political movement that seeks to advance the cause of regions. But it is necessary to distinguish two quite different meanings of the term region . In international relations theory, it refers to a group of countries, such as Western Europe, the Western Balkans, or Southeast Asia, that are linked by geography, history, or economic features. Used in this sense, regional integration refers to attempts to reinforce the links between these countries. Today, the foremost example of such an attempt is the European Union (EU). In the second meaning of the term, region refers to a territory that is located within, or sometimes across the borders of, a nation-state. In this sense, different kinds of regions may be distinguished: political regions, which usually possess some form of elected regional government; administrative regions, which are geographical entities created for the purpose of administering a service such as ...