Since the 1990s, as East Asia has sought to strengthen regional cooperation at the macro-level, the successful integration of European states has inspired the region with an antecedent economic model. Especially in the wake of the 1997–1998 financial crisis, the European model was expected to catalyze the development of a institutional framework with supranational governance powers as a means to advance legal mechanisms. However, also since the 1990s, East Asia’s overriding principles, its modus operandi of integration, and its institutional structures have differed starkly from the European Union. In response, scholars have begun to furnish evidence that East Asian regionalism needs to draw upon elements of not only classic Eurocentric frameworks but also models of new regionalism theory. This panel sets out to explore both aspects of East Asian integration, in political and juridical terms as well as in real and substantial terms.
First, Joe’s paper highlights the problem of incomplete sovereignty among ASEAN Plus Three, especially compared with the European Union, as the core judicial reason for limitations in establishing an institutional framework in East Asia. Second, focusing on the political sphere, Charoensri examines competition and cooperation between China and Japan in the Greater Mekong Subregion with ASEAN, all of which commonly strive to strengthen cross-border infrastructure to create a series of economic corridors in East Asia. Last, presenting dimensions of sociological systems theory, Cao suggests accepting various constitutional temporalities as a transnational legal order, one which can allow for coexistence and peaceful integration across East Asia.
Paper Presenter: UnHye Joe – Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena
Paper Presenter: Narut Charoensri – Chiang Mai University
Paper Presenter: Francis M. Cao – Frankfurt Goethe University