BCC.20.004 – Crisis of Multilateral Order, De-Globalisation and Regionalism in the Global South

Route: Between conflict and cooperation

Cluster question: 044 Can globalisation and development be reinvented in a way that, in time, will mitigate differences in prosperity between world regions?

Multilateralism as we have known it since the end of the Second World War is in crisis. The disengagement of the United States as well as the geopolitical rise of China are signs that the rule-based order of the western-led international system is in decline. Likewise, there are strong indications that a wave of de-globalisation has set in. Recent commentaries on the crisis of multilateralism and the trend of de-globalisation pay very little to no attention to the role of the global South.
Regional and inter-regional cooperation has become increasingly important politically and economically in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Regional frameworks are currently addressing economic cooperation, national and international conflict, climate change risk and health issues. Increasingly, observers note the interlinkages among the various issues.
Since regional patterns of cooperation are important shapers of welfare creation in the global South, research on the future of globalisation and development requires collaboration across various participants in the knowledge chain, such as academic researchers, NGOs, think tanks and policy advisors. A multidisciplinary approach is called for in order to grasp the dynamics and interlinkages across different issue areas.
The research project may explore several possible issues. These lead, first, to more general academic questions, such as: how is regionalism in the global South impacted by the relative weakening of global multilateral institutions; and what opportunities or problems does de-globalisation present for regional cooperation in the global South? Next are more policy-oriented questions such as: how could transnational civil society contribute to initiatives that counterbalance overly state-dominated regional governance arrangements in the global South; and how could inter-regional cooperation involving the EU strengthen regional capacities to deal with the interaction between climate and health problems or the conflict potential of economic inequalities?


de-globalisation, Global South, globalisation, multilateralism, regionalism


Organisation Erasmus University Rotterdam, International Institute of Social Studies
Name Prof.dr. W. (Wil) Hout
E-mail hout@iss.nl
Website https://www.iss.nl/en/people/wil-hout