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A Constructivist Study On East Asia Regional Economic Cooperation

Posted on:2005-05-30Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:Y Y ZhangFull Text:PDF
GTID:1116360125967322Subject:International relations
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By the end of the 20th century, Social Constructivism represented byAlexander Wendt has gained its mainstream status in western InternationalRelations Theory (IRT) world, thus contributing to the "Tripartite Debate "alongwith Neorealism and Neoliberalism. Corresponding critiques, studies as well asdebates on this new paradigm of IRT immediately followed in Chinese academicsociety, which has yielded considerable achievements. Nonetheless, few, if any,scholars hitherto made serious attempt on its application to issues in internationalrealities, those in regional economic cooperation in particular. Given the fact thatSocial Constructivism sheds a unique light on international cooperation, theauthor of this paper made her own efforts to combine this new paradigm with EastAsia regional economic cooperation, hoping to push forward the theoreticalapplication of Social Constructivism on one hand, and to achieve a newtheoretical explanation on East Asia regional economic cooperation on the other. Ever since the 1970s and 1980s regional economic cooperation in East Asia,driven by the market, directed by governments in the region, has undergonetremendous progress and achieved splendid accomplishments; in the 1990s EastAsia regional economic cooperation has embarked fruitfully on the road towardsintergovernmental cooperation; at the turn of the 21st century regional wideinstitutional cooperation developed rapidly, with major countries in the regionexpressing great political enthusiasm and determination. Analyzing, explainingand predicting East Asia regional economic cooperation, therefore, have becomean important subject for governments, enterprises and academia in the region. In the IR field, however, relevant research concerning East Asia economiccooperation is al but very little. This is explained by the fact the "mature"regionaleconomic cooperation practices and theories after World War II are allconcentrated in Europe. When dealing with regional economic cooperation inregions other than Europe, East Asia for example, traditional theories are not ableto fill the gap between reality and their theoretical "boundaries". To make atheoretical breakthrough on East Asia regional economic cooperation, newperspective and method have to be explored. Hence the primary intention of thispaper to conduct a constructivist studies on East Asia regional economic IVcooperation. Social Constructivism represented by Alexander Wendt consists of threeparts. Fist is the relatively macro-regional systmetic cultures. It has three idealtypes: Hobbesian culture based on enmity relationship, Lockean culture on rivalryand Kantian culture on friendship. Every culture is the caused and sustained bythe process of interaction between system and states as well as that between states.Systemic cultures have causal as well as constitutive effects on states. Second isstate identity and national interests. State identity includes both the perception astate has of one's position and role in the system and those held by other states. Itis subjective and inter-subjective. State identity defines the knowledge aboutnational interests and the ways to realize them. The third is the changes ofsystemic cultures. This is outcome of inter-states interactions, which is shownthrough new collective identity formation. Four master variables contribute to theformation of new collective identity, namely, interdependence, common fate,homogeneity and self-restraint, of which self-restraint plays the essential role. Through a constructivist analysis and explanation on East Asia economiccooperation, this paper comes to a conclusion in the following three aspects: Fist, a typical pro-cooperation Lockean culture, in which the individuality ofstates is respected, is developing in post-Cold War East Asia. In the process oftheir interaction with this systemic culture, East Asian states'identity and theirrespective nationa...
Keywords/Search Tags:social constructivism, East Asia regional economic cooperation, international systemic cultures, state identity, national interests, collective identity, structures of interaction
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