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Regionalization and Global Governance: The Taming of Globalization? edited by A.F.Cooper, C.W.Hughes and P.De Lombaerde ( London : Routledge , 2007 , ISBN 9780415453776 ); xvi + 269 pp. , £22.99 pb .

As indicated in the title, the overriding question in this book is whether regionalization can tame globalization and provide governance in the global system. Although this is not the first book dealing with this central question, this volume represents a very useful addition to the literature and is essential reading for both scholars and students interested in the complex relationship between global governance and regionalization.

The book is a result of a joint conference held in October 2005, in which the three main institutions involved, the Centre for the Study of Globalization and Regionalization (CSGR), University of Warwick, UK, the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Waterloo, Canada and the United Nations University-Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS), Bruges, Belgium, share the challenge of editing. The introduction written by the three editors is followed by 12 chapters that are divided in four parts. Collectively, 17 scholars are involved in describing the theoretical debates, the economic dimensions, the security considerations and the governing structures pertaining to the relationship between global governance and regionalization.

The book is rather even in content and quality for an edited volume and it reads well. However, the introduction and the first four theoretical chapters (Part I) are particularly clear and informative. These chapters do not only provide a succinct general picture and a point of departure for the substantive chapters; they are innovative because they direct the attention to topics largely neglected in the established regionalization and global governance literature (e.g. the role of civil society and social movements), and because they challenge established paradigms and understandings in an original manner (e.g. the ‘old’ versus ‘new’ regionalism divide, the split between the European integration theorists and the international relations/international political economy/comparative regionalism scholars). Most chapters connect well with these introductory theoretical debates. The exception here is the chapter on the regional multinationals and the myth of globalization, which although fascinating, does not fit well in tone and content with the rest of the book.

The first sentence of the book warns the readers that ‘the relationship between global governance and regionalization is fraught with ambiguity’. This book justifies this warning by illustrating and discussing the various sources of this ambiguity, and facilitates dialogue and prepares the ground for further and more refined analyses.