Globalization is a phenomenon of the second part of the 20th century. After the Second World War a number of international institutions were created in order to secure stability on the planet. After years of development an international world-wide community has formed, which included global market, a number of international political, economic, cultural, and social organizations, international treaties and agreements on various issues, which included politics, economy, ecology etc. As a result, the world was turning into a global village. But in the same time it was obvious that neither people nor states were ready to such significant change, so a new form of regionalism was created. Currently there are many international unions and organizations, such as the EU, Organization of African Unity, ASEAN etc. Thus it is essential to understand the connections between globalism and regionalism – are they two different opportunities, or just the parts of one whole?
The most important question that has to be asked is: why did globalizm fail? And it failed, because regionalism has replaced it really fast and is now developing and getting more stable. To answer this question one has to look back at the roots of globalization afther the Second World War. At that point a number of international organizations were established. These were mostly economic unions: the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund. Although the United Nations organization was established in order to secure political relations as well. But it is important to note that economy was the first reason for the establishment of international entities. Led by the United states, which have suffered the least of the Western states of the World War turmoil, a global market was created. But its’ possibilities weren’t equal for everyone. Being very competitive, the world market had strictly separated countries into winners and those who failed. Moreover, the existence of global economy, market, and society had significantly decreased the influence of countries on their own domestic affairs. As a result, the penetration of national policies and ‘transnationalization’ of all the spheres of state policies despite the actual need of a country led to the decreasing interest in globalization.
But instead of nationalizing all processes, the world had developed a new form of international cooperation – regional organizations. Regionalisation was happening on different levels and appeared to be a form of protection against the harmful effects of globalization. On one hand regional unions gave states a possibility to participate in international affairs on a wider scale, and on the other hand some smaller countries were protected from the harmful effects of global market and high competitiveness. Moreover, within a smaller union the interests of all member states received attention, thus each country got support when required and at the same time was able to contribute to the common good. And while some global policies and agreements were and still are failing, regional unions are more successful in the implementation of some smaller-scale projects.
Although regionalism gives more chances for national identification, it still sets some limits for it and aims at establishing larger regional identities. On the example of the EU it is obvious that this policy is not working. Countries are still trying to preserve own cultures and traditions. And this is very natural because a union that existed for a couple of decades cannot replace traditions and identities that existed for centuries. But the same citizens of the EU are already developing a second identity – the common European one. Therefore regionalism is a good way to learn how to preserve own traditions but at the same time be open to the new common unifying values.
The new form of international cooperation was created within the politics of regionalism. Instead of cooperation between separate states, a new programs involving whole regions are being developed. This new form of regional cooperation can be perceived as a step towards the future globalization of the world.
The globalization did not work in the 20th century, but it by no means should mean that it is not possible to achieve the global community. Regionalism appears to be a step towards the common market and international economy. It was very complicated to move from the system in which each country was responsible for its’ own actions and policies to the global union. But through the establishment of regional organizations societies can learn how to cooperate and operate on a larger scale. Thus modern regionalism is a step towards the global union.