Since 2018, the Weatherhead Research Cluster on Regions in a Multipolar World has been focused on building intellectual bridges between the study of multicountry regions, the evolution of the world system, and shared dilemmas of governance.
In recent decades, a global proliferation of region building has been observed, and regions are now everywhere across the globe and are increasingly fundamental to the functioning of all aspects of world affairs, from trade to conflict management. However, few would go so far as to claim that regions and regionalism monopolize the scene.
The cluster, through events and research projects, is seeking to better understand the multipolar world by asking questions such as:
- What is a region?
- What historical pathways facilitate or militate against regional groupings?
- Can lessons for contemporary world regions be drawn from the past experience of other spatially bounded units, especially nations and empires?
- What factors (political, economic, sociocultural, etc.) account for the huge variation in regional relations from one part of the world to another, and over time in particular areas?
- What difference will developments at the regional level, and linkages with system dynamics, make for the aggregate capacity to address urgent problems of transnational and global scope?
Cluster members are a diverse group in terms of discipline, departmental affiliation, and research focus brought together by a shared curiosity about the organization of the international system at a time of transition.
The Weatherhead Research Cluster on Regions in a Multipolar World is chaired by Professors Timothy Colton and Meg Elizabeth Rithmire.