The Impact of Regionalism and the Role of the G20
Edited by Jehoon Park, T. J. Pempel and Geng Xiao
Chapter 15: The Utility and Limits of the ‘European Model’ for the Regional Institutionalization of East Asia
Richard Higgott 15.1 INTRODUCTION There is a large literature on regionalism (the creation of formalized regions with agreed membership) and regionalization (the process by which regional economies and societies become more integrated).1 There is also a large and growing body of literature on regionalism and regionalization in East Asia and the Pacific; notably on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and of late on the emergence of differing ‘East Asian’ voices of the region as the major Northeast Asian powers vie with each other to make their presence felt. There is a growing body of literature comparing regionalism and regionalization in Europe with East Asia in particular.2 There are large bodies of scholarly literature in economics and political science on the theory and practice of institutionalism and international organization.3 This body of literature is evolving and on many issues it is not settled. Finally, there is a vast range of speculative literature emanating from think-tanks and blogs that revolves around the alphabet soup of meetings and events that take place in the region in any 12-month period (see www.eastasiaforum.org). Indeed, if the volume of literature written on a region was an indicator of the strength of regional institutional development, then the Asia-Pacific would be a highly institutionalized region. But, we are not close to a settled theory of regionalism. There are lessons to be drawn from different regions but this does not amount to what we might call a comparative theory of...
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