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Editorial Note 47:1

The aim of this publication is to look at regionalism with a critical eye, pointing out that region building is not a neutral, technocratic process, but rather a profoundly political endeavour with winners and losers. In times of global crisis, it appears as though the classical top-down elite-driven process chosen by the EU founding fathers has run out of steam, due to increasing contestation from within (for example, the euro crisis) and limited adaptability to other areas of the world. In this situation, it may be worth asking whether the EU integration process has relevance in a world increasingly dominated by emerging powers in the so-called global South, from China, to India, Brazil and South Africa. As the current crises are demonstrating, regionalism can only be successful if it manages to convince all countries (and their citizens) that they can benefit from it, reducing the risk of a new international system dominated by runaway polarity.