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Liberal Institutionalism Informs And Influences Regional

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The proliferation of the regional grouping of the Asian state is one of the most notable as well as an important feature of the international landscape which has taken shape from the second half century more so since the end of the Cold War end (Acharya, 2007). Many political theorists have argued that the regional integration could be regarded as the nation states, which are in the territorial region voluntarily and deferring on the sovereignty to the intergovernmental or perhaps the supranational institution so that to better on their condition wholly through cooperation. Through the use of the liberal institutionalism approach, it has been ascertained on the elements which influence the effectiveness of the selected intergovernmental regional institution, especially in ASEAN region (Dent, 2016). This has facilitated on the regional response as well as reaction to typical regional in regards to the economic, political, and social challenges. The regional agenda have depended on the actors, the regional order, and the regional identity. The institutions have been found to legitimate on the region, but consequently, regional identity has been determined to legitimate on the institutions. The thesis of this research is to illustrate on how liberal institutionalism tends to inform as well as influence on the regional integration in ASEAN region (Ba, 2014). Illustration of the multipurpose regional institution in ASEAN demonstrates how the organization serves towards enhancing the impact efficiency of transactions in those states.

Since the period of the cold war, the regional institutions have deepened towards their regional integration and expanded on their functions as well tasks which they undertake (Ganesan, 1995). In the events the current trends should continue, relations which exist within and perhaps between institutionalized regional grouping could be the defining factors of the international system in the twenty-first century.

Theoretically through communication and socialization, sharing of the information, the growth of both power and security through means of concentrating the resources as well as collective actions should be facilitated in the enhancement of regionalism (Jones & Smith, 2006). All the regional actors have an interest in politics, economic as well as security in the areas of their respective regions they exist.


Explanation and understanding of regional integration

The world has changed significantly over the current decades. Since the end of the cold war, there has been an increase in integrated as well as interdependent economies of a globalized world which have taken center stage in the international political economy (Narine, 2016). An author such as Lupel (2004), has highlighted that there is a particular time when there would be an end of the nation-state which is regarded as a dominant form of the political organization. The regional integration has become a reality of the international scene due to the nations confronting towards political compromise and economic cooperation. The growth of the regional cooperation has highly been recognized as one of the leading development towards the modern international relations.

Theoretical paradigm of the liberal institutionalism

Liberal institutionalists have viewed the regional integration formation as more intermediary bodies that are erected by the state members majorly to solving common action problems. The regional institutions are usually crafted by the egoistic states to liberalize on the marked as well as benefit from the joint giants which is associated with the creation of trade (Ross, 2015). The institution facilitates the cooperation as well as liberalization through building a much stable expectation of the reciprocity, increases transparency and the lowering of the information costs.

It is evident to note that these institutions do not change the identity and the interest of the state, nor do they alter the essential functions and the competencies. Liberal institutionalism usually rests on the microeconomic foundations and a state-centric rationalist approach to the behavior. Liberal institutionalism has been the most influential theoretical approach to the current study of international cooperation (Acharya, 2007). It has represented a plausible and also generalized theory which allow a better understanding of the resurgence of the regionalism. The analysis of the institutionalism is mainly based on the core arguments. One of the argument is because of the level of interdependence; it has been seen to manifest an increase in demand for the international cooperation.

Institutionalism has concentrated on the ways that the strategic interaction could lead to the emergence of the collaboration in a given area of the international relations. Liberal institutionalism, when applied to regional integration, would allow identifying various ways in which the processes of regionalization and the regional economic evidence. From the perspective of liberal institutionalism the emergence of the regional security regimes such as SEAN region is viewed in regards to the balance of the power or perhaps the formation of the alliances (Mansfield & Solingen, 2010). This area had been established and would survive because of the various benefits they provide. Additionally, they have facilitated on communication, spreading of the information, and transparency. There would also influence on the emergence of the regional cohesion.


Regional institutionalism in ASEAN region

The liberal institutionalism has a considerable power towards the influence of the regional integration, especially in ASEAN region.

It has influenced on the increase in the intra-regional trade which tends to precede on the formation of the regional institutions in ASIA (Connors, Davison & Dosch, 2011).

The increase was principally market driven, and it has been facilitated by proximity, through cultural ties and non-institutional elements.

There is a need for the regional institutions to work together to enable as well as promote the international peace as well as security (Acharya, 2007).

The regional statesmen in most of the cases usually have a deep interest in conflict management to their perspective regions, and most of the cases they could help a lot towards the guarantee of legitimacy.


Influence of liberal institutionalism on regional integration in ASEAN region

Liberal institutionalism has viewed regional integration as the process that is supported by the rational actor who is attempting to alter their position in the international system to enable them to become better. The institutions have provided a context for relations between the states (Dent, 2016). This has allowed regional integration to be a function of the development of the intergovernmental institutions which aid the states to accomplish on their interests. For the institutionalists, regional integration is a gradual process which connects the state trough an increased interaction as well as cooperation that has been based on the rational calculation of the expected payoffs (Dent, 2016). The institutions are integral, and they are essential for regional integration. As they develop, they usually become the actors in their perspective and right in the international system with their interest as well as ability to affect the states.

Integration encompasses the process of joining to and submission of the states to the international institutions. They should be given more power to the states so that they would become more integrated states which could be considered (Dent, 2016).  Political this could become essential for integration because this institution cannot be created without the support of the state.

This phenomenon has led to the question what an institution is?  Based on the rational choice institutionalism they regard institutions as the formal, legalistic entities as well as the sets of decisions rules that could impose on the obligations upon the interested political actors. Consequently, in this perspective, the institution thus could tame on the anarchy of the international community as they become the system itself (Ba, 2014). Further, they could also constrain on the state actions. The state, on the other hand, is willing to maintain them since they reduce the risks of the interaction by reduction of the costs of interaction. The institution has become the subject of interest as well as playing the major role of regional integration.

The institutions should be given more dominant role in the international system to make them more independent from the states (Connors, Davison & Dosch, 2011). The foreign institutional companies, along with the national interest as well as the forces such as the presence of technology could triumphant over the anarchy through the provision of the international order. There is the motivation of the state interests and the political will towards the regional integration.

The use of the liberal institutionalism approach has provided the recent push within the ASEAN in the development of the formal institutions for the cooperation (Narine, 2016). Nonetheless, the push had occurred much later in the process of integration than the institutionalists could have expected on this aspect.



Due to the lack of the common interest, this has made the absence of the institutions, instability, and possible conflict. The existence of the institutions helps to facilitate the cooperation by limiting on the opportunistic behavior through the creation of a network for interaction between various states. The liberal institutionalism advocates that a fruitful cooperation requires a certain level of sovereign control and unification of identifying of national which to many countries are still essential and should be ensured on purpose to lay a foundation for successful regional integration. The aim of this essay has been to illustrate on liberal institutionalism on how it informs and influences on the regional integration in ASEAN region. The thesis of the research has been examining the impacts of this approach towards the integration in this national states.



Acharya, A. (2007). The emerging regional architecture of world politics. World politics, 59(04), 629-652.

Ba, A. (2014). Institutional divergence and convergence in the Asia- Pacificic? ASEAN in practice and in theory. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 27(2), 295-318.

Connors, M. K., Davison, R., & Dosch, J. (2011). The new global politics of the Asia Pacific. Routledge.

Dent, C. M. (2016). East Asian Regionalism. Routledge.

Ganesan, N. (1995). Testing neoliberal instirutionalism in Southeast Asia. International Journal, 50(4), 779-804.

Jones, D. M., & Smith, M. L. R. (2006). ASEAN and East Asian international relations: regional delusion. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Mansfield, E. D., & Solingen, E. (2010). Regionalism. Annual Review of political Science, 13, 145-163.

Narine, S. (2016). 10 ASEAN and the response to regional crisis. Crisis and Institutional Change in Regional Integration, 173.

Ross, R. S. (2015). East Asia in transition: toward a new regional order. Routledge.


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