What is Regionalism?

Poster for Bloc Quebecois, a political party in Quebec Canada. Editorial credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com
Poster for Bloc Quebecois, a political party in Quebec Canada. Editorial credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

What Is Regionalism?

Regionalism is defined as a political ideology that favors a specific region over a greater area. It usually results due to political separations, religious geography, cultural boundaries, linguistic regions, and managerial divisions. Regionalism emphasizes on developing the administrative power and swaying the available or some inhabitants of a region. Activists of regionalism claim that instituting the governing bodies and civil authorities within an area, at the expense of a national regime, will significantly increase local populations by improving the local economies through the distribution of resources and execution of local policies and strategies.

What Is the Difference Between Regionalism, Autonomism, and Nationalism?

The three terms usually are interconnected concepts but they differ in their meanings and in some cases, they are antonyms to each other. For example regionalism in Spain is said to have strong association with nationalism. On the other hand, in Italy regionalism means federalism but is the antonym of “nationalism”. Federalism is well-defined as the distribution of power in a government among a central authority and the component units; this is criminal behavior and is thus the complete opposite of nationalism. Movements or parties that are championing for liberation repeatedly demand for autonomy. Therefore autonomism can be defined as a movement or belief towards self-governance. There are several regional parties across the globe, but the most recognized ones include the Coalition Avenir Quebec and Parti Québécois located in Quebec, Canada and the National Liberation Movement of Angola.

It’s not necessarily that political parties that are regional are always campaigning for greater autonomy or federalism. Most of these parties mostly cannot get enough votes to form a government or be politically influential. They, therefore, create coalitions or seek to be part of the government. In most nations, the advance of regionalist legislation might be a preface to additional demands for bigger autonomy and even full split-up, especially when tribal, traditional and financial differences are present.

What Are the Merits of Regionalism?

Since regionalism is a political ideology that only favors a specific region, its impact may affect the entire society or just a segment of the community. Regionalism can impact a region’s economy through various ways. A well-formulated trade bloc can raise productivity and economic welfare in its associate countries by enhancing consumer choice and growing the competition that producers encounter. Dropping tariff barriers expands markets and gives more efficient producers access into states where their prices had been exaggerated by duties and other trade barriers.However, it is important to note that trade blocs easily add up instead of removing distortions and trade efficiency.

In regionalism, it is essential to note that economic profits do not only come from trade as some benefits may also come as a result of cooperation in investment and financial activities. Economic impacts of regionalism can be categorized into different classes, those effects arising from trade, effects arising due to investment and monetary cooperation. Trade-related consequences have its positive impact in that regional integration entails the promotion of free trade among the associate countries of a local organization. The main reason for the benefits from trade is that the universal, unrestricted trade permits buyers and organizations to buy from the cheapest source of supply; this ensures that production is located according to comparative advantage.


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