The idea that a hegemonic order can be challenged by promoting regional groupings within global politics is not a new one. The liberal era of the nineteenth century was to an extent challenged by the emergence of European rivalries that sought to use the politics of imperialism to extend territorial power (Keohane 1984; Cox 1987). The geopolitical world that emerged was one that created a number of regions run and directed by their European ‘masters’ at the centre. The result was the emergence of conflict between these European spheres of influence that culminated in the two world wars in the first half of the twentieth century. The idea of regionalism as a continued potential for conflict did not disappear with the end of the Second World War. Just years after the end of the war, George Orwell, writing from his home on the Scottish island of Jura, satirized in his book Nineteen Eighty-Four a world split into three regional blocs. The characteristics of the blocs were marked by continued conflict and constant fear of attack.
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