Mainstream and Alternative Approaches to Regional Subsystems
Multipolarity, Big Spaces, Eurasianism, Ethnogenesis, and the Clash of Civilizations
[The following brief is from a series in our exclusive collection of the previously unpublished notes and works of the author – Ed. (JV Capone)]
he mainstream approach towards regional subsystem (RSS) formation is that it is formed on the common perception of friends vs. enemies, amity vs enmity. Buzan and Weaver also state that a RSS is a so-called “structured region” that may not necessarily be geographically contiguous. Continuing along the tangent of a RSS being created through perceptions (the constructivist IR school), then it is evident that there most definitely exists RSS in North America and Europe. North America (the US, Canada, and to a large extent, Mexico) have the same perceptions of threats and challenges. All three states also cooperate extensively in their economic relations via NAFTA, reinforcing the liberalist theory that institutional measures may bring states closer together through shared interests.
Europe, in the context of the EU, contains a myriad of states, but by and large, none of the members have any uncontrollable enmity towards one another. They do not view the governments of fellow EU members as threats to their security, although they may have internalized certain stereotypes about their neighbors that affect their dealings with other ethnic groups. Nonetheless, none of the EU member states are preparing for war against one another, and any type of rivalry between them is principally economic, not military. Continue reading