Speaker: Professor Diamond Ashiagbor, University of Kent
Biography: Diamond is Professor of Law at the University of Kent and was previously Professor of Law at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London. She teaches and researches on labour law, trade and development, regional integration (the European Union and the African Union), human rights, equality and multiculturalism. She has been the recipient of a US-EU Fulbright Research Award; a Fernand Braudel Senior Fellowship; and a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship and has held visiting positions at Columbia Law School, Melbourne Law School, and Osgoode Hall. She is a member of the editorial board of the London Review of International Law and of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Advisory Board.
Abstract: This paper outlines two narratives to offer different ways of thinking about regions and regionalism. I explore the interactions between markets, regionalism and law to interrogate the extent to which regionalism can be seen as a reaction against economic globalisation and its leeching of regulatory power away from the state, or as an integral part of globalisation. First, through a study of the European Union, undertaking a critical reading of orthodox conceptualisations of regionalism (e.g. as integrationist, market-led and formal) to understand how this regionalism project switches between ‘social regionalism’ and an embrace of market fundamentalism. Second, deploying different discursive frameworks, I interrogate the meaning of regionalism in the context of the African Union, to explore how this regionalism project demands a different register of analysis, in order to understand what it might mean to pursue a fully decolonised regionalism.