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Comparative Regionalism Online Workshop 2020: Bridging Regional Knowledge



4-6 August 2020 (3 days, Tue-Thu) • 2pm - 6pm MYT (UTC+08)
via Zoom

Comparative Regionalism Online Workshop 2020: Bridging Regional Knowledge

Comparative Regionalism Online Workshop 2020: Bridging Regional KnowledgeRegionalism has been one of the important driving forces for Asia and Europe alike, propelling the countries of these two regions to sync their policies and pool their resources at regional and sub-regional levels. While Europe has achieved remarkable success and to certain extent facing some changes at the moment, in Asia, both the success and challenges are being looked upon in varying degrees, with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) emerging as a leader in regional cooperation in Asia. With the objective to learn from each other, the European Union, ASEAN, and other regional bodies have also begun to engage, establish and enhance dialogue mechanisms. This workshop aims to bridge regional knowledge on comparative regionalism.

The Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, Asia-Europe Institute are proud to once again hosts Dr. Paul Gillespie who is an expert instructor in field of comparative regionalism from University College Dublin for the third year in a row to share his perspective on comparative regionalism. Dr Rahul Mishra of Asia-Europe Institute will be the co-instructor. The workshop is part of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence grant awarded by the Erasmus+ Programme in 2017 to the Asia-Europe Institute, Universiti Malaya.


Objectives of the workshop

The main objective of the workshop is to expose participants to the field of research on comparative regionalism. Participants will be introduced to the use of comparative regionalism and theory for research.

Other objectives include:

  • To highlight different research methodologies and techniques on comparative regionalism.
  • To build possible postgraduate networks that have an interest in comparative regionalism.
  • To encourage and develop research projects and ideas on themes related to comparative regionalism.


Lead Instructor: Dr Paul Gillespie

A columnist and leader writer on international affairs for The Irish Times (from which he retired as foreign policy editor in 2009), the Deputy Director at the Institute of British-Irish Studies, and a Senior Research Fellow adjunct in the School of Politics and International Relations, University of College Dublin. He was awarded his PhD from UCD in 2007 for a thesis on Multiple Political Identity and European Integration. His main research areas, journalism and publications are in European integration and political identities, comparative regionalism, Irish-British relations, Europe-Asia relations, media and foreign policy, and the EuroMed region. Recent publications include the chapter ‘Crises as drivers of integration in Europe and Asia: crisis as threat’ in Drivers of Integration and Regionalism in Europe and Asia and his co-edited volume with Daithi O’Ceallaigh, Britain and Europe: The Endgame, An Irish Perspective.

Co-Instructor: Dr. Rahul Mishra

Dr. Rahul MishraDR. RAHUL MISHRA
Senior Lecturer at the AEI and coordinator, International Master in European Regional Integration programme. Former Consultant with the Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. Before joining the FSI, he worked with the Indian Council of World Affairs and IDSA for four years each. Recipient of the Asia Fellowship of the East-West Center in Washington D.C., and the Korean Government Fellowship, Dr. Mishra has also worked with RSIS (NTU) and NUS. He specialises on ASEAN regionalism, IR theory, politico-security affairs of the Southeast Asian region, and role of major & middle powers in the Indo-Pacific region especially in the context of rise of China. Publications include India’s Eastward Engagement from Antiquity to Act East Policy (with Prof. S.D. Muni, SAGE, 2019). His co-edited books include: The Peacock and the Garuda: An Overview of India-Indonesia Relations, BCIM-Economic Corridor: The Road Ahead, and Asia and Europe in the 21st Century New Anxieties, New Opportunities (forthcoming, co-edited with Prof. Azirah Hashim and Tony Milner, Routledge, 2020).


Workshop Schedule

4 August 2020 (Tuesday)
10:00 am - 1:00 pm Students read recommended texts and prepare their own comparative research proposals -
2.00 pm - 3.30 pm


  • Welcoming remarks by Prof Dr Azirah Hashim, Principal Coordinator, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, Asia-Europe Institute, Universiti Malaya
  • Instructor and co-Instructor introduce themselves, including their academic background.
  • All participants introduce themselves, briefly mentioning their individual proposed research projects. All think about how to group these ideas.
  • Instructor explains what is comparative regionalism? (presentation concentrates on concepts and definitions of regionalism etc using chap 1 of Oxford Handbook as benchmark text)
  • Why is it significant for comparative research?
  • The difference of this form of study compared to others?
3:30 pm - 4:00 pm Break -
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


  • Instructor introduces different methodologies (using Borzel and Risse 2019, and Luk van Langenhove and Leonie Maes, chap 9 in Globalisation, Multilateralism, Europe, Towards a Better Global Governance? Ed Mario Telo 2013, as useful benchmarks)
  • Presents different case-studies on comparative regionalism using Schimmelfennig chapter on Europe, and Jetschke/Katada chapter on Asia from Oxford Handbook, as useful benchmarks
  • Presents main experts on comparative regionalism
  • Comparative Regionalism as Theory using Acharya chapter on EU centrism from Oxford Handbook and his chapter on ‘Regional Worlds’ as useful benchmarks
5:30 pm - 6:00 pm Questions on the day’s presentations and discussion of Day 2’s selection of individual and group projects for hands-on research to be presented on Day 3 Zoom
6:00 pm End of Day 1 -
5 August 2020 (Wednesday)
10:00 am – 1:00 pm Students form themselves into research project groups, facilitated by Asia-Europe Institute workshop assistants Zoom
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Session 1

  • Instructor briefly introduces basic research proposal concepts to be dealt with today
  • workshop groups introduced by nominated spokespeople
  • Instructor examines examples of comparative research proposals, using his chapters on Europe and the Indo-Pacific security doctrine and on financial crises in Europe and Asia as benchmarks
  • Literature review for comparative research projects, using essays in current issue of Asia-Europe Journal on the Covid-19 crisis as benchmark texts
3:30 pm - 4:00 pm Break
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm (Zoom)

Session 2

  • Each participant group will briefly present their draft research plan. All individual members of each group to make presentations.
  • Instructor and co-instructor will guide and comment on each proposed research proposal.
6:00 pm End of Day 2 -
6 August 2020 (Thursday)
10:00 am – 1:00 pm Groups prepare their research proposals and decide how to present them in the afternoon session, with help from Dr Rahul Mishra and other faculty members of Asia-Europe Institute Zoom
2.00 pm - 3.30 pm


  • Participants will present, average 15 minutes.
  • Instructor will give comments after each presentation
  • All participants are welcome to give brief inputs on the other group presentations
3:30 pm - 4:00 pm Break -
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Session 2

  • The Instructors give their concluding comments and assessments of the group presentations.
  • Participants will give feedback for the overall of the workshop.
  • Final discussion session
  • Closing ceremony
  • Certificates (to be emailed later by the Asia-Europe Institute)
6:00 pm End of Day 3, Conclusion of Workshop -


Required Readings

Readings for Comparative Regionalism Workshop 2020, Bridging Regional Knowledge Asia-Europe Institute, Universiti Malaya
online presentations August 4th, 5th and 6th.
Dr Paul Gillespie, University College Dublin.

These readings are mostly drawn from The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Regionalism, edited by Tanja A. Borzel and Thomas Risse, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. This is the most up to date and authoritative survey of the field. The readings include the title page and contents, to give students a sense of the range and scope of the field.

Dr Paul has selected the book's introductory chapter, ‘Framework of the Handbook and Conceptual Clarifications’, which gives an overview and, most important, a systematic definition of the terms region, regionalism, regionalisation, regional order and regional governance which he will use in the workshop.

The concluding chapter by Borzel and Risse, ‘Three cheers for Comparative Regionalism’, which valuably summarises and discusses the book’s main findings is also selected.

The chapters on Europe by Frank Schimmelfennig and on Asia by Anja Jetschke and Saori N. Katada, and an excellent chapter by Amitav Acharya on ‘Regionalism Beyond EU-Centrism’, whose title speaks for itself and makes an important point are also included.

Acharya’s book The End of American World Order 2nd edition 2018: Cambridge: Polity, and notably chap. 5 ‘Regional Worlds’, will also be discussed.

Two other chapters in the Oxford Handbook will be referred to as raising topical issues in comparative regionalism: Jeffrey T. Checkel, ‘Regional Identities and Communities’, and Arie M. Kacowicz and Galia Press-Barnathan ‘Regional Security Governance’. Each chapter illustrates aspects of the comparative method we will also examine, with some supplementary texts at the workshop.

A recent article by Borzel and Risse updates a number of their positions: ‘Grand theories of integration and the challenges of comparative regionalism’, Journal of European Public Policy 2019, 26 (8): 1231-1252.

We will circulate a draft chapter of Dr Paul for a forthcoming book on The Indo-Pacific and Europe, and 'Crises as drivers of integration in Europe and Asia: crisis as threat' from Drivers of Integration and Regionalism in Europe and Asia, Comparative Perspectives, edited by Louis Brennan and Philomena Murray, Abingdon and New York: Routledge 2015.

We will also use the current issue of Asia Europe Journal 18 (2) June 2020 ‘Inaugural Asia Europe Policy Forum: COVID-19 and the Future of Asia-Europe Relations’ available at https://link.springer.com/journal/10308/18/2 as a good example of current policy discussion for research purposes.

Note: To be provided to the participants in due course.

Confirmed Participants

  • Mohamad Zamani Mohamad Said
  • Nanthakumaran Achuthan
  • Alena Arokiasamy
  • Dhesegaan Bala Krishnan
  • Shuiling Tang
  • Dr. Evi Fitriani
  • Nor Razinah Mohd. Zain
  • Rumaizah Abu Bakar
  • Narut Charoensri
  • Nadia Kalinina
  • Md. Raihan
  • Mohd Aminul Karim
  • Abdullahi Ilyas Osman
  • Siti Mutiah Setiawati
  • Yanitha Meena Louis
  • Yan Huan Hui
  • Yunus Simsek
  • Jinxiang Zhou
  • M.Miandy Munusamy
  • Huey Fen Cheong (1st day only)
  • Wee Yeap Lau
  • Angaindrankumar Gnanasagaran
  • Md Riyaz Uddin
  • Shamala Thevi Raja Gopal

Note: Participants who complete all 3 days of workshop will receive workshop certificate. Email zahadin@um.edu.my if your name is wrongly spelt.

©2017-2020 Asia-Europe Institute, University of Malaya. All rights reserved.
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
With the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union
Last Updated: 04/08/2020