Research on regional organizations in Southeast Asia began to form during the Second World War. Although not always explicit, realist assumptions informed most of this early scholarship. From the organization's foundation in 1967 until the end of the Cold War, research focused almost exclusively on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In the 1990s, new regional initiatives led to a broadened empirical scope and encouraged the adoption of new perspectives from broader debates in International Relations theory, such as liberalism and constructivism. However, this increasing pluralism was still highly Western-centric in terms of its theoretical underpinnings. Since the 2000s, there has been a conscious effort, driven by scholars from inside and outside the region, to draw on critical and indigenous traditions of political thought in accounting for the distinctive features of regionalism in Southeast Asia. Despite the diversity of research questions and approaches, researchers keep returning to three central, long-standing themes: ASEAN's institutional features, its effects and relevance, and its relation to the broader regional and global context. By exploring these issues, scholars of regional organizations in Southeast Asia have not just passively adopted insights from broader International Relations research but also driven conceptual and theoretical innovation, most notably regarding the development of non-Western approaches in International Relations.
This title assesses the effectiveness of regional organizations as regional or global security providers, and examines how policy preferences, resources, capabilities, institutional mechanisms and economic and political cohesion link with collective action behaviour in four security policy functions.
THE END OF COLONIALISM AND THE DECLINE OF COLD WAR BIPOLARITY MEAN THAT THE UNITED STATES AND THE SOVIET UNION MUST FIND NEW WAYS OF RELATING TO A THIRD WORLD THAT IS GROWING INCREASINGLY INFLUENTIAL AND IS SEEKING WAYS TO BE THE MASTER OF ITS OWN DESTINY. THERE HAS BEEN A MARKED GROWTH IN REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS WITHIN THE THIRD WORLD DESIGNED TO DEAL WITH THE RELATED PROBLEMS OF SOLVING INTERNAL DISPUTES AND REDUCING THE ROLE OF OUTSIDE POWERS IN REGIONAL AFFAIRS. THESE ORGANIZATIONS HAVE MIXED RECORDS, AND SOME COULD POSE THREATS TO BROADER GLOBAL INTERESTS, INCLUDING THOSE OF THE USA AND THE USSR. NONETHELESS, THE TREND TOWARD REGIONALIZATION IS PERVASIVE, AND IN MANY CASES REGIONAL GROUPINGS CAN DEAL WITH PROBLEMS THAT THE SUPERPOWERS NO LONGER CAN OR WANT TO HANDLE. MOSCOW AND WASHINGTON MUST JUDGE EACH CASE ON ITS OWN MERITS, BUT THEIR GENERAL APPROACH SHOULD BE TO LET REGIONAL GROUPINGS CARRY AS MUCH OF THE BURDEN AS POSSIBLE.
One of the marked features of international relations in recent years has been the growth of regional groupings and organizations. Included among the more notable regional arrangements formed since 1944 are the League of Arab States, the Organization for European Economic Cooperation, the Organization of American States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the European Coal and Steel Community. In addition to these and other existent arrangements are proposals for the creation of a European Defense Community and a European Political Community, the idea of a Pacific Pact resembling NATO, the concept of a Middle East Defense organization, and a possible linkage of Asian States.
Since WWII, the focus of power in the international labor movement is no longer in Europe. Events, in which US labor has played a signif role, have favored a definite trend toward decentralization & the strengthening of regional org's. This has been secured in part by the establishment of regional (Asian, European, Latin American) offices by international federations of unions in specific trades or industries, & in part by the creation of regional org's in Europe, the Americas, & Asia by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. Some of the problems involved in these trends, the specific difficulties which face the extension of the movement to Africa, & the rivalry between the leading world confederations of labor, the ICFTU & the Communist World Federation of Trade Unions are discussed. AAAPSS.