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The Genesis, Design and Effects of Regional Institutions: Lessons from East Asia and the Middle East

  • Author(s): Solingen, Etel
  • Editor(s): Solingen, Etel
  • et al.

This chapter focuses on regional organizations as productive arenas for developing contingent propositions on institutions more generally. They include the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the Arab League. A regional institution outlines a research strategy sensitive to scope conditions, joint methodological shortcomings, and the institutional puzzle at hand. Domestic coalitions are best positioned to explain the genesis of regional institutions when the consequences of their creation for regional power distribution or transaction costs are negligible or unclear, and where there is little normative convergence around the institution's creation. The Arab League's establishment in 1945 as the first postwar regional institution adds to the paradox of stunted institutional development. East Asian institutions had minimal effects on the whole, and various approaches provide plausible accounts for this outcome. One may also conceive of East Asian institutions as shaping an identity pivoted on global markets and institutions.

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