Handbooks of Research on International Political Economy series
Edited by Leila Simona Talani and Simon McMahon
Chapter 17: Regional integration and migration in Southeast Asia: the rise of ‘Iskandar Malaysia’
Globalization, ‘the process which embodies a transformation in the spatial organization of social relations and transactions . . . generating transcontinental or interregional flows and networks of activity, interaction, and the exercise of power’ (Held et al. 1999: 16) and its various characteristics, such as transnational corporations, financial deregulation and the credit crunch of 2008–09, are now understood to influence most aspects of human life in every corner of the planet. Globalization is operationalized here in relation to regionalism and regionalization in special economic zones. In the literature, regionalism relates to the body of ideas, values and concrete objectives that creates, maintains or modifies the provision of security, wealth and other goals within a region. Regionalization refers to a process of change from relative heterogeneity and lack of cooperation towards increased cooperation, interaction and integration (Soderbaum 2002). The aim of this chapter is to understand the relationship between regionalization and globalization in order to analyse the impact of these processes on the local social geography of trans-border areas. In doing so, it will explore the change of power that occurs at the national and local level. Studies on regionalism have stressed that the internal spatial structure of the state has been transformed by the interaction that has developed between private and public actors across their borders (Jayasuriya 2009; Phelps 2007).
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