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The rise of cooperation carried out by countries in the regional context raises new concepts in

the science of International Relations, namely the concept of region, regionalism and
regionalization. Although different, the three concepts show a development in the science of
International Relations in examining state cooperation at the regional level. Countries
themselves work together at the regional level because they are driven by two things. First, the
development of regional cooperation is a response to globalization to protect countries that are
not ready to face global civil society, governance, and globality. The second driving factor is
the existence of 'spill-over effect', which according to the neo-functionalist causes an expansion
of linear cooperation with the increasing field of cooperation supported by technocratic and
community support. These impulses have led to more significant collaboration in the regional
context, which makes it important to be discussed further.

In some contexts, the term region only refers to geographical boundaries, usually defined as
groups from several countries that are in the same region on the map. The form of this region
can take the form of a land area, or a group of countries that are close together. However, the
concept of a region like this does not explain the interaction and the possibility of forming
cooperation. Because of this, there is a new understanding of the concept of the region from
another perspective that sees that the region is a unit or zone consisting of a collection of
countries or regions, whose members have the same identification pattern of behavior. This
unit is smaller than a collection system of international countries, but larger than the realm of
each country. There is a unit that is permanent and temporary, some are institutionalized and
not institutionalized.

Regionalism is a term that implies a policy where state and non-state actors work together and
coordinate strategies in the region. In other words, this regionalism refers to the policies or
projects produced by countries in the regional context. The aim of regionalism is to reach and
promote the same goals in one or more problems. This understanding has several ranges,
ranging from soft regionalism which refers to the promotion of a sense of togetherness in
regional and community awareness and regional and network consolidation, to hard
regionalism which refers to efforts to accommodate subregional groups formalized by
agreements between countries and organizations. The existence of this range shows that in
regionalism there is a deepening process and an expansion or broadening process. Regionalism
does have an impact on the reduction of state authority, but it does not completely eliminate
the country.
Regionalism can promote the formation of communities and various collaborations in the
economic, political, social and security fields. In addition, regionalism can also consolidate the
country's development process or state building and democratization, increase transparency,
and make the state and institutions more accountable. Therefore, according to Fawcett,
regionalism can work better in a democratic environment, where civil society can play a more
active role.

The next term is regionalization, which is a term that means the process of disarmament or the
establishment of relations at the regional level. This regionalization is a process, different from
regionalism which is a policy and projects in the region. This process of focus fading can trigger
the formation of the region, which then brings out regional actors, networks and organizations.
Regionalization has provided some tangible results in international relations, such as trade,
block and formal alliances in the regional sphere. This regionalization, like globalization, can
be said to be the result of spontaneous power.
This regionalization is different from regionalism, because it is a process that occurs by itself,
while regionalism is a policy or projects that are made intentionally or deliberately design for
increased cooperation. Although different, these two concepts are functionally interconnected
and the context of cooperation. Based on the context of cooperation, these two concepts are
concepts that arise because of cooperation at the regional level. Functionally, these two
concepts are related because the regionalization process can lead to regionalism.

So, regionalism and regionalization are two different concepts, although both are applied in the
same context, namely relations at the regional level. Regionalism is more concrete, because it
refers to policies and projects that are deliberately made by regional actors to work together
and coordinate their relations in the region. On the other hand, regionalization is a more abstract
concept, because it is a spontaneous process, where regional actors purify the focus of their
relationship in the region, which is more limited than the broad international scope.
Regionalism can be said as a result of regionalization, in the form of certain policies and
projects to consolidate activities in the region. These two concepts, together with the concept
of the region, although they have definitions that are not fixed because they can be defined by
each country based on their perspectives and interests, but have a fixed conceptual basis, which
can be used in any definition framework.


Louise Fawcett, “Exploring Regional Domains: A Comparative History of Regionalism”,

dalam International Affairs 80, 3, 2004, hal 432.

Louise Fawcett, “Regionalism from an Historical Perspective”, dalam Mary Farrell et all,
Global Politics of Regionalism: Theory and Practice, (London: Pluto Press, 2005), hal 21.

Louise Fawcett, “Regionalism from an Historical Perspective”, dalam Mary Farrell et all,
Global Politics of Regionalism: Theory and Practice, (London: Pluto Press, 2005), hal 25.