Regionalism and the Sustainable Development Goals

A Special Issue of RBPI - Volume 66 - N. 2

At the beginning of the 21st century, it seemed that the different processes and models of regionalism in the world were developing towards a multilateral global order that prioritized the promotion of peace, democracy, equality, and cooperation as drivers of global governance, capable of addressing the various challenges that humanity faces (equality in economic and social development, human rights, climate change, digital transition, global health). In this context, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that comprise the UN 2030 agenda cover the main challenges of the 21st century: poverty, inequality, socio-environmental crisis, and the strengthening of democratic institutions. Nevertheless, SDGs reports have indicated a permanent historical failure in addressing those issues. 

Moreover, in the last decade, despite political efforts to promote plural, inclusive and democratic societies based on respect for political and social rights, States have witnessed the growth of political radicalization, intolerance, nationalism, and anti-democratic political movements. A significant portion of the population has adhered to radical political discourse and behavior while questioning globalization and neoliberalism as characteristics of the global order that promote the growth of inequalities within and between countries.

This political environment has resulted in two types of crisis: the democratic liberal order crisis, protagonist by opposition parties and movements, and the so-called “multilateralism crisis,” based on the taking into the question of regional integration processes as a driving instrument for the development and improvement of the quality of life in these societies. In this sense, the domestic political agenda came to be dominated by political polarization and discourse that calls into question national, regional, and international institutions while securitizing issues like immigration and the environment, eroding the rule of law. This behavior has spread to all parts of the world, including the United States, which has presented itself as the guardian of liberal-democratic values in Western society since the end of World War II.

Hence, regional governance has been faced with the need to contribute to addressing these challenges of globalization and the SDGs. Its ability to aggregate and respond to the interests of societies in the respective regions, both internally, promoting fair and effective public policies, and externally, strengthening multilateralism and diffusing the values these organizations are based on, can play an important role in that.

How is regional governance currently addressing the above challenges? How have these developments institutionally impacted the integration processes and regional governance? How is regional governance responding with regard to the production of regional public policies? Has the increased participation of non-governmental and non-state actors in integration contributed to meeting the demands that emerged as a consequence of the new global order? Have the radicalization of politics, as well as the emergence of opposition parties and movements, had an impact on integration processes and regional governance? How do the SDGs fit into the agenda of regional governance?

Therefore, the present call for papers welcomes contributions to address how regionalism can contribute to promoting the SDGs in the following areas: 

1. Changes in concepts, practices, and methodologies for approaching regional governance; 

2. SDGs in regional agendas; 

3. Interregional relations and SDGs; 

4. Transformations in regionalism brought about by the SDGs agenda; 

5. Regional responses to the democratic crisis driven by the SDGs agenda; 

6. Regional agents and actors promoting the SDGs agenda; 

7. Global South regional responses to the SDGs agenda; 

8. The institutional and political initiatives of the regions to address globalization challenges in an internal and external dimension; 

9. The global trend of disintegration and discussion on the crisis of regionalism 

10. The rise of conservatism and nationalism and its influence on regional governance and/or the achievement of social inclusion and equitable policies; 

11. The collective rights in regional institutions based on environmental issues, gender equality, and human rights of minorities; 

12. Rhetoric of radical parties, movements, or discourse about the SDGs; 

13. Covid-19 and a realignment of regional governance in meeting the SDGs. 

Karina Lilia Pasquariello Mariano (Full Professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Sciences of the São Paulo State University - UNESP/Campus Araraquara) and Dina Sofia das Neves Sebastião (Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra) will edit this Issue. 

All submissions must be original and unpublished, must be written in English, including an abstract between 80 and 120 words, must include from 4 to 6 keywords, and observe the Chicago system (author data) strictly. They must have between 7000 and 8000 words (including title, abstract, bibliographic references, and keywords). RBPI general author’s guidelines can be found here. Submissions must be made at ScholarOne Manuscripts.

Articles can be submitted until July 30th, 2023