Crafting Cooperation: Regional International Institutions in Comparative Perspective

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Regional institutions are an increasingly prominent feature of world politics. Their characteristics and performance vary widely: some are highly legalistic and bureaucratic, while others are informal and flexible. They also differ in terms of inclusiveness, decision-making rules, and commitment to the non-interference principle. This is the first book to offer a conceptual framework for comparing the design and effectiveness of regional international institutions, including the EU, NATO, ASEAN, the OAS, the AU, and the Arab League. The case studies, by a group of leading scholars of regional institutions, offer a rigorous, historically informed analysis of the differences and similarities in institutions across Europe, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The chapters provide a more theoretically and empirically diverse analysis of the design and efficacy of regional institutions than heretofore available.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this examination of how institutions resolve regional cooperation problems, a top-flight range of authors deploy serious area studies knowledge within a rich and carefully crafted analytical framework. The book should be of a great interest to both general IR scholars and to regional specialists. A winning combination."
Andrew Hurrell, Director, Centre for International Studies, Oxford University

"Remarkable, theoretically challenging, and rigorously conceived and researched, this outstanding volume cuts across existing IR theory paradigms to deliver the most cutting edge contribution to date to the comparative study of the design and efficacy of regional international institutions."
Emanuel Adler, Andrea and Charles Bronfman Professor of Israeli Studies, University of Toronto

"This comprehensive collection applies institutional design theory to the analysis of comparative regionalism. It thus enhances and deepens our understanding of an increasingly regional world. Sharp in its three analytical essays and rich in its five empirical case studies, the uniformly excellent chapters make this collection much more than the sum of its parts."
Peter J. Katzenstein, Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of International Studies, Cornell University

“It is often argued that regional groupings of states are becoming more important in world politics, but it remains puzzling why regions have taken shape in such different ways around the world and how these differences matter. In this pathbreaking book on the logic and diversity of regional cooperation, Acharya and Johnston provide the best available answers yet to these puzzles….The book makes clear that the world's regions are not all following a single, Western-style trajectory; instead, they are evolving in unique ways to cope with distinct geographic, cultural, and geopolitical realities.”
G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521699426
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/31/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Amitav Acharya is Professor of International Relations in the Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University, SIngapore.

Alastair Iain Johnston is the Laine Professor of China in World Affairs in the Government Department at Harvard University.

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Table of Contents

1. Comparing regional institutions: an introduction Amitav Acharya and Alastair Iain Johnston; 2. Hanging together, institutional design and cooperation in Southeast Asia: AFTA and the ARF Yuen Foong Khong and Helen E.S. Nesadurai; 3. International cooperation in Latin America: the design of regional institutions by slow accretion Jorge I. Dominguez; 4. Crafting regional cooperation in Africa Jeffrey Herbst; 5. Functional form, identity-driven cooperation: institutional designs and effects in post-Cold War NATO Frank Schimmelfennig; 6. Designed to fail or failure of design? The origins and legacy of the Arab League Michael Barnett and Etel Solingen; 7. Social mechanisms and regional cooperation: are Europe and the EU really all that different? Jeffrey T. Checkel; 8. Conclusion: institutional features, cooperation effects and the agenda for further research on comparative regionalism Amitav Acharya and Alastair Iain Johnston.

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