In the study of regionalism too much focus has been placed on issues of sovereignty transfer, political unification and policy making within fixed and inter-state regional organizations and inter-state frameworks. This methodological bias is strongly correlated with the tendency to focus on and explain variations from the standard European case, especially formalistic and EU-style institutionalization. This comparative marker is only one of many interpretations (or one essential characteristic) of European regionalism, and over-emphasizing it is a problem. Rethinking regionalism rests on a broader understanding of regions, reaching beyond hegemonic formal/formalistic and state-centric interpretations of regional institutions. This of course implies that comparison becomes a more pluralistic exercise.
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