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date: 06 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines Asian regionalism and provides a survey of influential literature in a field that has become more important over the last decade. It argues that one of the most puzzling features of Asian regionalism is its relative lack of formal institutionalization, despite relatively high levels of regionalization. Although various works on the overall characteristics of Asian regionalism have attempted to explain this prevalent phenomenon, the authors find none of them compelling. They provide a novel interpretation of this puzzle by integrating two major approaches: the literature on developmental states and diffusion approaches in International Political Economy (IPE) and international relations. They argue that the state serves as an entity that effectively transmits, controls, and balances different forces. The role and the capacity of the state accounts not only for the limited amount of delegation, but also a more recent phenomenon among Asia’s institutions: institutional emulation.

Keywords: Asia, Asian regionalism, regionalization, developmental state, diffusion, political economy, institutional emulation

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