Development and Finance from issue 2011/1

Annamária Artner

New Regionalism and Crisis Management

- Abstract -

Global capitalism reached a milestone. The 2008 crisis and its management shed light on its serious institutional an operational problems. These problems are quite complicated and the observers have very difficult task to draw the overall picture. “New regionalism” at its birth was mostly the by-product of neoliberal world order and it tried to react to its problems. By today new forms and initiatives of “new regionalism” gained importance and they – according to their intentions – are different from the pre-2008 forms.

The crisis in 2008 first and foremost reflected the problems of the unregulated financial markets. This explains that all forms of “new regionalism” intend to reform the global financial architecture. The main orientation of organisations related to Asia is to build more transparent and stronger international financial institutions. Human aspects, especially labour markets are also on the agenda, but their management is still superficial and the origins of the problems are not yet tackled. Based on the experiences of the crisis and the crisis management regional financial institutions within Asian integrations are seems to be more successful.

In Latin-America the most featured characteristic is the objective to build alternatives against the neoliberal economic management rather than the development of deep inter-regional relations besides trade cooperation. It has probably more new elements than the regionalism in Asia has. In addition, Latin American intentions are concentrating on a kind of cooperation of the whole Latin American region (and most notably, without the USA and Canada) and its regional international organisations. This contradicts to one of the basic former principles of “new regionalism”, namely the cooperation between developed and underdeveloped countries. One may note with certain pathos that Latin American attempts are concentrating on regional intentions to liberate countries under the rule of neo-colonialism pursued in the framework of the Washington consensus. In addition it is also a clear objective to pursue a concentrated economic policy and redistribute income in favour of the poor domestic population. In this respects the variety of forms of regionalisation thus refers to the aims and attempts to find alternative ways for economic and social development.

Annamária Artner, CSc, senior research fellow (Institute for World Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
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