New Regionalism or No Regionalism? places the Black Sea problématique in a wider historical and spatial context, taking a closer look at the region and examining further the structure of the Black Sea area. The authors offer a perspective on smaller actors with great ambitions, such as Azerbaijan and Romania, and go on to make a comparison between the emerging regionalism in the Black Sea area and regionalisms in other parts of the world.
"Regionalism" is a polysemic term that represents both a subfield of international relations (IR) that studies regions of the world and a process of formation of regions themselves. Its meaning and content have evolved substantially from its inception in the 1940s to its most recent contributions in the early 21st century. More precisely, the field of regionalism was severely marked by neofunctionalism theory and an economic reading of international relations in the years of the Cold War and then embraced new contributions from post-positivist and critical theories and methodologies from the 1990s onward, which featured not only different manifestations and causes but also different normative meanings. Regionalism has progressively moved away from Europe over the years (both as a site of production of research and as an empirical case study) to explore non-European and, more widely, non-Western and postcolonial domains, challenging Eurocentric theoretical and epistemological assumptions in IR. In addition, the two subfields of comparative regionalism and interregionalism have become prominent. The field of regionalism is more dynamic than ever, developing, self-innovating, and becoming more conceptually aware, while at the same time being susceptible to weaknesses, blind spots, and potential for further improvement and deeper dialogue with IR theory.
Regions have been widely expressed in the sovereignty strategies of concrete actors since the early 19th century; Since the end of the Cold War, they seem to be a favored response to current globalization processes, especially in the Global South. This volume introduces the fragmented knowledge of different disciplines on the topic of regions and regionalization projects.