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Lecture 6

POLI 2403 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: General Agreement On Tariffs And Trade, Customs Union, Asean Charter

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 2403

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Regional Organizations
Two regional organizations today- represent two ends of regional integration spectrum:
Regional integration: process in which states enter into a regional framework to
enhance regional cooperation and reduce tension
oFrequently entails certain amount of "sovereignty transfer," especially in
oRegional aspect refers to it being an association of states based on their location
in the world and within specific regions
oJoining of individual states in a region as a whole, especially on
more integrated side of spectrum
oDegree of integration depends on willingness and commitment of individual
states to cede some of their sovereignty
Trends in regionalism
oStarted in 19th century but serious attention since 1950s
oIntegration not particularly successful in many part of the world, Europe being
the main exception
Depends on how you define successful
oWhile integration is sometimes seen as beneficial and EU has held up as a
success in this respect because of high level of integration, EU is now facing huge
challenges related to Brexit, nationalist movements, etc.
On BREXIT: new British elections called for this morning, which will take
place June 8
French Elections- if Marine le Pen wins, France will likely try to split from
oTrend in 1990s towards regional integration, especially with negotiations related
to the GATT and WTO, it might be wise to establish trade agreements at the regional
oTypes of "Regionness"
geographical unit
Social system- extend in part out of geographical proximity
Implies translocal communication with other groups within
Ex: countries strongly tied to Confucianism
Ex: MENA- Middle East and North Africa
Cooperative Unit- economic, political, military, etc. (also referred to as
connections driven by geopolitical or geo-economic interests)
Actor: ability of region to function within its distinct identity and its
capacity as an actor, as well as the associated regional organization's structure and
efficiency in decision making
Region-States like EU have emerged and led to, on
the int'l level, these acting as a political actor on the int'l level (EU nation states
don't negotiate on their own anymore at int'l level- negotiate as the EU)
Regional Integration Split into 2 categories
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oRegionalism: process of institutionalized cooperation in a top down manner that
includes formal governmental approval and the establishment of permanent
bureaucracy (EU)
oRegionalization: bottom-up process that builds cooperation and relationships
that take place outside of government frameworks (ASEAN)
Incentives to create regional organizations
Reduce conflict
Easier to come to agreement on regional than int'l scale- more aligned
Power dynamics within regions motivate countries to join together
Common identity and ideologies
Responding to internal threats within the region, and external threats to
the region
Domestic politics and leadership also play roles
oEconomic reasons
Economic integration
Reducing negative effects of bilateral free trade agreements
Providing a unified front to negotiate with large markets- expands trade
and investment opportunities
Provides impetus for incentives for domestic economic reforms
Helps cope with dark sides of globalization
Regionalization is often a response to regional integration in other parts
of the world
ASEAN (founded in 1967 by first Asean Charter)
Centers sovereignty at the nation- state level
More or less a Geographic Unit (for type of regionness) centered in SE Asia
oCountries that founded ASEAN were part of a social system- SE Asian countries
with market economies- Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand,
then joined by others
Objective: to accelerate economic growth, social progress, and cultural growth in the
region; promote regional peace and stability; enhance southeast asian studies;
encourage collaboration in economic, social, technical, etc. Fields
oDesigned to provide training and research facilities to aid member nations
oCollaborate more effectively in agriculture and economics; raise standard of
oMaintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing int'l and regional
HOWEVER, bottom up approach- the secretariat has very
limited capacity; a number of their objectives are less than successfully fulfilled
Extremely strong commitment to state sovereignty at the national level- general
unwillingness to delegate power to institutional bodies
Consensus based agreement required
Continues to rely primarily on the collective will of its member states to ensure
compliance due to the absence of a strong central authority, policy delivery, or a forceful
compliance mechanism
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