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Regional Cooperation in South Asia and Southeast Asia

Kripa Sridharan

Publication Year: 2007

The general view about regionalism seems to be that it is better to have regionalized and faltered than never to have regionalized at all! Inspired by this observation, this study aims to provide a comparative sketch of regionalism in South and Southeast Asia in the light of recent regional developments. Since regionalism is both a pervasive and amorphous phenomenon a straightforward account of its similarities and differences cannot be easily set down. But the broad patterns of behaviour of the regional actors who gather under a regional roof can be captured and compared. To compare is not only to understand but to improve and avoid the avoidable. This book analyses the highs and lows of regional experience mainly in South Asia (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation or SAARC) and Southeast Asia (Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN) interspersed with references to the European Union (EU) where relevant. The book argues that regionalism is here to stay and both imitation and innovation are the preferred strategies for sustaining the process. It points out that economic integration requires certain prior conditions to be fulfilled and does not happen merely because governments wish it to happen.

Published by: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Table of Contents

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Preface

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pp. vii-xii

An unspoken but widely acknowledged view about regionalism suggests that it is better to have regionalized and faltered than never to have regionalized at all! Taking this as its point of departure...

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1. Introduction: Why Regionalism?

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pp. 14-42

Regionalism, or more broadly regional cooperation, has been in vogue since the end of World War II as a mechanism for maintaining regional order. In very simple terms, regionalism refers to cooperation between states occupying a common regional space...

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2. Regionalism: The Institutional Framework

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pp. 43-112

The experience of the last half-century shows that while regional cooperation schemes are significantly shaped by interests, ideas and identities, institutions are equally important for sustaining the process...

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3. The Political Dimension of Regionalism

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pp. 113-204

Regionalismʼs attraction stems from its potential to create an enabling environment for the conduct of amicable intraregional relations. Where it has functioned reasonably well it has reduced the security anxiety that is natural between squabbling neighbours...

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4. Patterns of Economic Regionalism

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pp. 205-278

Social and economic well-being are closely related and this is well recognized by the promoters of regional cooperation. The framework documents that form the basis of cooperation among regional states reflect this in ample measure but very rarely...

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5. Social Issues and Regional Cooperation

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pp. 279-328

Social and economic well-being are closely related and this is well recognized by the promoters of regional cooperation. The framework documents that form the basis of cooperation among regional states reflect this in ample measure but very rarely...

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6. Summary and Conclusion

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pp. 329-352

The last quarter of the twentieth century witnessed several paradoxes. Amongst these was the determined movement by countries towards “regionalism”, wherein despite their proud proclamations about nationalism and sovereignty, several countries actually chose to abridge the latter and go easy on the former...

Index

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pp. 353-369

About the Authors

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p. 370-370


E-ISBN-13: 9789812307200
Print-ISBN-13: 9789812304353

Page Count: 370
Publication Year: 2007

Edition: 1

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Subject Headings

  • Regionalism -- South Asia.
  • Regionalism -- Southeast Asia.
  • South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.
  • ASEAN.
  • South Asia -- Economic integration.
  • Southeast Asia -- Economic integration.
  • South Asia -- Politics and government.
  • Southeast Asia -- Politics and government -- 1945-.
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