Since the return of regionalism in the late 1980s, there has been a global upsurge of various forms of regionalist projects. The widening and deepening of the European Union (EU) is the most prominent example, but there was a revitalization or expansion of many other regionalist projects as well, such as the African Union (AU), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur). More or less every government in the world is engaged in regionalism, but regionalist processes also involve a rich variety of business and civil society actors, resulting in a multitude of formal as well as informal regional processes in most fields of contemporary politics.
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