From Conflict to Collaboration: Institution-Building in East Asia

By Narine, Shaun | Behind the Headlines, October 2008 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

From Conflict to Collaboration: Institution-Building in East Asia

Narine, Shaun, Behind the Headlines

There is so much written about China these days that we sometimes forger that there is a good deal more to East Asia than one massive country. Shaun Narine's article takes us through the fascinating and important story of the building of regional institutions in East Asia, centering on the birth in 1967 of ASEAN--the Association of Southeast Asian Nations--and its development over the past four decades. It is a story of Southeast Asian countries collaborating to promote security and increasing prosperity for their peoples while jealously guarding their sovereign independence. ASEAN has grown from the original five to a membership of ten countries, and has been the principal organization within which China, Japan and South Korea, are developing their relationships with the countries of Southeast Asia.

On entend tellement parler de la Chine ces temps-ci qu'on tend a oublier que l'Asie ne se compose pas uniquement de cet important pays. L'article de Shaun Narine relate l'importante et fascinante histoire de letablissement des institutions regionales de l'Asie orientale, tout en se concentrant sur la creation de l'Association des Nations de l'Asie du Sud-Est (ANASE) en 1967 et son evolution au cours des 40 dernieres annees. C'est l'histoire d'une collaboration entre les pays de l'Asie du Sud-Est pour promouvoir la securite et accroitre leur prosperite, tout en protegeant jalousement leur independance souveraine. L'ANASE, qui ne comptait a l'origine que cinq pays, en compte maintenant dix et represente la principale organisation par laquelle la Chine, le Japon et la Coree du Sud elargissent la portee de leurs relations avec les pays de l'Asie du Sud-Est.


Over the past forty years East Asia (1) has been fertile ground for the building of regional institutions in a process that has accelerated during the last decade. Today, the region is home to an alphabet-soup of inter-state political and economic arrangements, and appears to be pursuing ever greater levels of regional organization. What is driving these developments? How far may it go in the direction of greater integration of these countries? What are its implications for the structure of the global political economic and security systems? And finally, how should Canada respond to these developments in order to remain an active and meaningful player in the region?

Asia is an indispensable part of the world's economic and political power structure. The rise of China and India as economic powers and the strains they are placing on non-renewable resources are critical examples of the way in which Asia, by its sheer economic weight, is redefining the global order. China's influence on the world stage is being felt well beyond Asia, most notably in Africa and Latin America, and it like India and other so-called 'emerging powers' is acting to shape existing multilateral institutions to further its national goals. Asian states hold more than $3 trillion in foreign reserves (most of this in US dollars) and major Asian states hold more than $1 trillion of US debt. These realities are just a few of the indicators underlining the symbiotic relationship that has evolved between Asia and the rest of the world. In light of these developments, it is important to understand the shape and purposes of institutionalization in East Asia, a region where history continues to be shaped by a mish-mash of contradictory and complementary forces, all operating at once. Economic considerations push Asian countries toward regional integration even as other economic realities lead them to compete with each other economically and in other ways. Political and military rivalries argue against closer cooperation between Asian states even as these rival states benefit from stronger and deeper economic ties. The institutional development that has occurred in Asia over the past decade reflects the complex interplay of these competing forces.

The following discussion examines a few of the most important institutions in the East Asian region.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

From Conflict to Collaboration: Institution-Building in East Asia


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?