Soft Balancing, Hedging, and Institutional Darwinism: The Economic-Security Nexus and East Asian Regionalism

  • Pempel T
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East Asia has increased its formal institutional linkages in both the economic and security arenas. This article addresses three questions concerning this ex-pansion. First, why has the number of institutions increased? Second, why is there so little overlap in the purposes and memberships of these many new bodies? Third, why have most regional institutions achieved such limited pol-icy successes? The article demonstrates that the bulk of the new economic in-stitutions represent collective responses to generalized pressures from global-ized finance, whereas the new security bodies deal with regionally endogenous problems of a highly particularistic character. Furthermore, most regional bod-ies in East Asia still reflect the preeminence of individual state strategies rather than any collective predisposition toward multilateralism per se. East Asian re-gionalism thus represents a complex " ecosystem " of institutions whose future is likely to see the enhancement of some and the diminution of others through a process referred to here as " institutional Darwinism. " KEYWORDS: regionalism, East Asia, ASEAN+3, Chiang Mai Initiative, Six-Party Talks, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, economics, security, multi-lateralism T he turn of the century has seen a substantial increase in the for-mal linkages among East Asian governments. Particularly promi-nent has been the creation of a number of multilateral regional bodies focused on economic cooperation, among the most prominent of which are the ASEAN+3, together with two of its major initiatives—the Chi-ang Mai Initiative (CMI) and the Asian Bond Market Initiative (ABMI)—and the Asian Bond Fund, a second bond market measure

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  • T. J. Pempel

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