Research Project at the Centre
Trans-Border Cooperation in East Asia at the Regional/Global Interface
According to many observers, Asia has seen an unprecedented creation of international institutions since the early 1990s. While this trend is remarkable, equally notable is that Asia remains, by standard indicators of delegation to international institutions (Lenz et al. 2015), a region tending towards low levels of the transfer of sovereignty and legal bindingness (Kahler 2000).
This observation is counter-intuitive for theories of functional institution-building, as Asia belongs to the regions exhibiting very high levels of regional cross-border exchange (Jetschke and Katada 2016). Moreover, Asia as region features a number ofinnovative institutional design characteristics that appear to be unique from acomparative regionalism perspective.
Building on a number of data gathering efforts on regional international institutions, this research proposal systematically compares the institutional design characteristics of regional institutions in Asia with other regional institutions 1) to explain where institutional design comes from and why they tend toward low levels of institutionalization; 2) to evaluate how unique Asian institutions are compared to other regional organizations; and 3) to explore the interaction between regional and global institutional arrangements.