Regulatory Regionalism in Asia

Authored by: Shahar Hameiri , Kanishka Jayasuriya

Routledge Handbook of Asian Regionalism

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415580540
eBook ISBN: 9780203803608
Adobe ISBN: 9781136634734


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In the field of international relations the term ‘regionalism’ typically refers to various forms of institutionalized or more informal association between geographically contiguous states. 1 Because scholars have tended to view states and regions as distinct and mutually exclusive institutional-territorial domains, they have long been obsessed with the question of the relative strength of regionalism vis-à-vis the states that make up a particular region: How deep is regional integration? How broad? How binding are regional arrangements on national governments? In contrast, we argue in this chapter that a growing and increasingly important variant of regional governance – that which we call regulatory regionalism – is actually located and contested within the institutional spaces of the state, not between states. Rather than denoting the relocation of political authority to supranational institutions, regulatory regionalism highlights the existence of regional governance projects within the apparently national governance and policy apparatuses. Therefore, regionalization in these cases is not transforming the interstate terrain as much as it changes the institutional, territorial, spatial and ideological representation of the state itself to those subjected to its power.

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