Handbook of Globalization Projects of Regional Organizations

Jens Herpolsheimer, Ulf Engel (both Leipzig University) & Frank Mattheis (UNU-CRIS)


This two-day author workshop at Leipzig University will bring together 20 contributors of the Handbook on the Globalization Projects of Regional Organizations to present and discuss their chapters. The joint research endeavour is led by Ulf Engel, Jens Herpolsheimer (both Leipzig University) and Frank Mattheis (UNU-CRIS), and seeks to identify how 28 regional and international organisations position themselves towards global processes. While regional organisations (ROs) that bring together groups of nation-states under a common legal and political framework were instrumental in producing the global condition in the first place, and constantly contribute to reproducing it, ROs also have to respond to certain needs of their member states and position them in globalisation processes. Participants of the workshop will therefore engage in conceptual and empirical discussions on the agency of ROs to (1) enhance the sovereignty of their member states, (2) integrate into existing globalisation projects, and/or (3) influence global processes by developing globalisation projects of their own. The analytical concept ‘globalisation project’ allows the participants to gauge the actors, practices and politics of these processes, as well as the actual spatial extent of related projects – which in fact rarely is truly ‘global’. The discussions also have a comparative dimension to identify how different globalisation projects complement each other, overlap and/or compete.

You can find the complete programme here.

Biographical Notes

Jens Herpolsheimer (SFB 1199, Leipzig University, Germany)

Jens Herpolsheimer studied African Studies in Leipzig, Bordeaux, and Lisbon. Subsequently, continuing research initiated during his master’s, he worked on cooperation dynamics at the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP). Since 2016, he is a researcher at the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB 1199) “Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition”, at Leipzig University. In this context, he has completed his PhD, focusing on intervention practices of African regional organizations and their spatializing effects. Since January 2020, Jens Herpolsheimer is a postdoctoral researcher at the SFB 1199, studying the practices of inter-regionalism between different actors at African regional organizations and the European Union. These issues reflect his more general research interests, among other things, including the politics and practices of peace and security in Africa, Lusophony, and comparative regionalism.

Ulf Engel (SFB 1199, Leipzig University, Germany)

Ulf Engel is the professor of politics in Africa at the Institute of African Studies, Leipzig University (Germany). He is also a visiting professor at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies at Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia) and a professor extraordinary at the Department of Political Science at Stellenbosch University (South Africa). Since 2006 he is advising the AU Peace and Security Department (as of 2021: Political Affairs, Peace and Security) in the fields of conflict prevention, early warning, and preventive diplomacy. Currently, he is coordinating a research network financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) on African non-military conflict intervention practices.

Frank Mattheis (United Nations University, Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS), Belgium)

Frank Mattheis is a Research Fellow at UNU-CRIS since August 2021. He coordinates the cluster “Regions and Cities Governance Lab” (Re-LAB). His research seeks to better understand the governance dynamics of regional integration processes and the reciprocal interactions between them. His comparative approach challenges static and isolated understandings of how region-building unfolds, chiefly with reference to Africa, Europe and Latin America. Previously, Frank Mattheis held academic positions at the University of Leipzig, the University of Pretoria, the Université libre de Bruxelles and the University of Freiburg. He has led the acquisition and/or implementation of 14 research projects and 17 international scientific meetings. In addition to his scientific work, Frank Mattheis regularly provides advice to multilateral and regional organisations, i.a. for the African Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme.