Research of international relations provide multiple comprehensive

Research on the concept of Regionalism has been very limited.  The existing literature is mostly based on research of very few organizations. The structure, magnitude, purpose and scope of regional organizations causes major variations in their functional activity. The purpose of some is to unify countries into single economic units such as the European Union. Others work to resolve peace and conflict issues across borders. An example for this is NAFTA, which was created to resolve conflict in Mexico. There are also some small organizations such as Zambezi River Authority. The domain of their activity is small and restricts itself to matters such as serving as a corporate intermediary for the Parliament. A lot of such small organizations exist on paper as formalities and there is no substantial activity seen. The role and scope of regionalism has been a debatable topic in the academia. It concerns itself with the importance, relevancy, and impact of these organizations especially on world politics.  Some regional organizations have strong roles in the political playing field and impact global governance through their activity and output. They have been major players in resolving serious conflicts and stabilizing chaos and unrest on both economic and social platforms.  They have also been able to bring several countries, in conflict with each other, on board on common platforms such as SAARC.  Scholars of international relations provide multiple comprehensive definitions of the idea of Regionalism. On early definition was presented by Joeseph Nye which said that a region consists of a circumscribed number of nations linked by a geographical relationship and by a degree of mutual interdependence (May 1968: vii). According to Nye, Regionalism, is a result of interstate associations and creation of groups on the basis of geographical/economic regions. However, some analysts consider the definition presented by Nye as too narrow. Geographic proximity remains to be an important part of regional cooperation. Most analysts agree on that. Another set of early research on the topic count the economic, political, social, and cultural interactions as an essential part of regional association.  (Deutsch 1957)According to Peter Katzenstein “regions are politically made” (Katzenstein 2005: 9), whereas, according to Frederik Söderbaum, a regional organization is a “body of ideas, values, and concrete objectives that are trained at creating, maintaining or modifying the provision of security and wealth, peace, and development.” (Söderbaum 2002: 5).Breslin and Higgott, say about regionalism “those nations-led projects of cooperation that emerge as a result of intergovernmental dialogue and treaties,” and regionalization represents “processes of integration, which albeit seldom unaffected by state policies derive their driving force from markets, from private trade and investment flows, and from the policies and decisions of companies” instead of plans already decided by the government. (Breslin & Higgott 2000: 344).These studies indicate regionalism as a highly complex and diverse situation which is basically a set of actions on different levels among a set of regional actors. It is extremely multi-dimensional and contains layers of economic, social, and political processes ongoing in a continuous process.  Regionalization and Globalization: Björn Hettne says, “the two processes of globalization and regionalization are articulated within the same larger process of global structural change” (Hettne 1999: 2). The development of global interdependence caused because of regionalization have undermined a country’s self-governing power and ability. As McGrew puts it, “information, pollution, migrants, arms, ideas, pictures, news, crime, narcotics, disease, amongst other matters, readily and frequently flow across national territorial limits” (McGrew, 1997: 6). This has led to a rise of multi-lateral institutions which assist states and countries tackle new events. The argument also revolves around the fact that whether regionalism is an obstacle or a reinforcement for the interdependence of multilateral economies. According to some scholars, regionalism is a reaction against globalization and it weakens global multilateralism that rsults in increased protectionism. (Bhagwati 1991; Mattli 1999) There are others who say that it is a way forward towards collective global action and consolidated economic reforms. (Krugman 1993; Lawrence 1996)Regionalism attracts attention from the academia as a well as international relations practitioners. This is because regionalism and sub-regionalism is creating a default condition for peace, security, and development by bringing together geographically adjacent countries and intensifying their trade, ethnic, and economic ties. It has gained popularity and prominence in the 21st century as a form work beyond just a method of governance on economic, social and political platforms. The increase in discussion around regionalism begs the need for clarity about what regionalism means and what it implies for countries. It is an ideology and political function which tries to promote the important causes of all regions in its domain. There are two different meanings of regionalism which are often interpreted. On an international level, regionalism refers to cooperation between countries to solve a problem, reach mutual consensus and coordinate on matters in which all countries have a stake.  For example, Western Europe is one region and Southeast Asia is another region whose countries share similar characteristics. In this respect, it refers to using these similarities to maximum benefit of all and reinforce connections. One major reiterated example is European Union(EU) (Bevir, 2009). The second meaning of regionalism is that it is a process where sub-state actors gather huge sovereign power and autonomy of action. Power becomes decentralized from the state to the regional governments in a country. Regions may be created based on any of the aspects.  Different types of region can be distinguished.