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Toward a ‘working peace system’ in Asia: organizational growth and state participation in Asian regionalism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 May 2009

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Over the period from 1950 to 1975, regional cooperation increased dramatically in Asia. Expansion in the scope and capabilities of regional organization proceeded through the establishment of 24 IGOs primarily concerned with technical and economic problems. With institutions characteristically specific in function and making decisions through consensus and intergovernmentalism, the structure and growth in Asian organization may be described from the theoretical perspective of classic international functionalism. The more politicized IGOs have not been successful and politicization has been most influential in retarding organizational growth. The rate of growth in Asian organization increased only as politicization from East-West, North-South, and developmental and power differences among participants was avoided by limiting participation to compatible nations. A rising rate of growth in Asian organization was correlated with an increasing concentration of cooperative activity among nations in Southeast Asia compatible in policies on East-West and North-South issues and similar in power and level of development.

Copyright © The IO Foundation 1978

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1 An IGO is considered Asian or regional if (1) it is not part of the United Nations system, (2) its membership includes two or more Asian countries (Afghanistan is considered Asian, while Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, etc., are considered South Pacific rather than Asian countries), and (3) its primary focus is on Asian regional problems.

2 Haas, Michael, Basic Documents of Asian Regional Organizations (Dobbs Ferry: Oceana, 1974)Google Scholar.

3 Haas, Ernst, “The Study of Regional Integration,” International Organization, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Autumn 1970)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

4 Lawlwer, James, and Laulicht, Jerome, “International Integration in Developing Regions,” Peace Research Reviews, Vol. 3, No. 5 (1970)Google Scholar.

5 The Declaration of ASEAN Concord signed by ASEAN members at the Bali Summit in February 1976 committeed them to progress toward “the establishment of preferential trading arrangements.” This may mark the first concrete step toward the development of a free trade area in Southeast Asia. See the Far Eastern Economic Review, March 5, 1976.

6 Haas, Michael and Schubert, James, “Asian Regional Organizations, Functionalism, and the Theory of Collective Goods.” Presented at the Annual Convention of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, 09 1975Google Scholar.

7 The concept of system is employed in this paper for heuristic purposes and refers to the set of relations among a group of states or organizations. For a discussion of the system concept, see Weltman's, John J. Systems Theory in International Relations: A Study in Metaphoric Hypertrophy (Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, 1973)Google Scholar.

8 Olson, W. C., “Growth of a Discipline,” Aberystwyth Papers, Porter, Brian, ed., (London: Oxford, 1972)Google Scholar.

9 Carr, Edward Hallett, The Twenty Years' Crisis, 1919–1939 (New York: Harper and Row, 1964)Google Scholar.

10 Mitrany, David, A Working Peace System (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1966)Google Scholar. Also see hisThe Functional Theory of Politics (London: Martin Robertson, 1975)Google ScholarPubMed.

11 Nye, Joseph S., Peace in Parts (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1971), p. 24Google Scholar.

12 Claude, Inis L., Swords Into Plowshares (New York: Random House, 1956)Google Scholar.

13 Mitrany, , A Working Peace System, p. 38Google Scholar. Criticism has been leveled against several facets of the functional thesis; the separability assumption, stress on incrementalism, determinism, the avoidance of controversy, the prescribed decentralization in level of authority and diffusion in scope, and intergovernmentalism have all been questioned. However, the thrust of such criticism has been to question the possible impact of functional cooperation on peace and integration which are problems not at issue here. For a recent discussion and critique of functionalism, seePentland's, Charles International Theory and European Integration (London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1973)Google Scholar.

14 Mitrany, David, “The Prospect of Integration: Functional or Federal,” International Regionalism Nye, Joseph S., Ed. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1968)Google Scholar.

15 See Burton's, John discussion of functional regionalism in Conflict and Communication (New York: Free Press, 1969), p. 96Google Scholar.

16 The raw data are provided in Michael Haas' The Asian Way to Peace (forthcoming). See Table 2 below for categories.

17 Ibid. Haas identifies the following as macro-tasks: (1) official meetings, (2) plenary session actions, (3) research and development, (4) information dissemination, (5) technical assistance, (6) grants, (7) coordination with other IGOs. Associated micro-tasks include: (1) plenary bodies, expert working groups, executive committees, meetings of center directors, preparatory bodies, festivals, (2) approve budget, exchange views, policy harmonization, articulation toward the outside, (3) research, demonstration projects, exchange of experts, project identification, surveys, standardization, model proposals, (4) technical publications, audio-visual and teaching aids, seminars, activity reports, IGO publicity, (5) provision of training places, expert services, training, country planning, study tours, (6) research fellowships, training fellowships, supply equipment, funds to other bodies, loans, contract research, (7) observe meetings of other IGOs, consult with other IGOs, joint projects, receive financial support from another IGO, executing agent for other IGOs.

18 Lindberg, Leon N., “Political Integration as a Multidimensional Phenomenon Requiring Multivariate Measurement,” International Organization Vol. 24, No. 4 (Autumn 1970)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Also see Lindberg's, The European Community as a Political System: Notes Toward the Construction of a Model,” Journal of Common Market Studies Vol. 5 (06 1967)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

19 Intergovernmental systems may be distinguished from supranational systems that “have one center of government that legitimately decrees and enforces decisions within its jurisdiction on matters that affect the member nations and their citizens.” Etzioni, Amitai, “The Dialectics of Supranational Unification,” American Political Science Review Vol. 56 (12 1962): 960CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

20 See Schmitter, Philippe C., “A Revised Theory of Regional Integration,” Lindberg, Leon N. and Scheingold, Stuart A., eds., Regional Integration: Theory and Research (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971), p. 250Google Scholar.

21 ASPAC and ASEAN reflect different aspects of this approach. In ASPAC different member countries sponsor the ASPAC centers, while in ASEAN each member maintains a counterpart structure at the national level to administer ASEAN programs domestically. See Haas and Schubert.

22 Michael Haas, Basic Documents.

23 Haas, Michael, “The ‘Asian Way’ to Peace,” Pacific Community (07 1973)Google Scholar.

24 Far Eastern Economic Review, March 5 and 12, 1976.

25 Schubert, James N., The Functional Approach to Peace in Asia. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Hawaii, Department of Political Science, 1975Google Scholar.

26 The computer program used was KYST. For a discussion of the basic model, see Kruskal, J. B., “Multidimensional Scaling by Optimizing Goodness of Fit to a Nonmetric HypothesisPsychometrika Vol. 29 (1964): 127CrossRefGoogle Scholar and Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling: A Numerical Method,” Psychometrika Vol. 29, (1964): 115–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar. See also,Young, F. W., “A Model for Polynomial Conjoint Analysis Algorithms,” in Shepard, R. N. et al. , eds., Multidimensional Scaling: Theory and Applications in the Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 1 (New York: Seminar Press, 1972)Google Scholar.

27 Exceptions are the FPDA and SEATO which have Western or Pacific members, and the ACU. In a three dimensional solution, not presented in this paper, the first two dimensions remain the same, but the third dimension separates these from the other IGOs and each other by pushing the military IGOs to the positive extreme and the ACU toward the negative extreme.

28 The South Asian group included India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka; the East Asian group included Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan; the Southeast Asian group included Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and South Vietnam; and the Indochina group included Burma, Laos, and the Khmer Republic.

29 See Gupta, Sisir, India and Regional Integration in Asia (New York: Asia Publishing House, 1964)Google Scholar.

30 Singh, Lalita Prasad, The Politics of Economic Cooperation in Asia (Missouri: University of Missouri Press, 1966), pp. 97 and 144Google Scholar.

31 Kimche, David, The Afro-Asian Movement: Ideology and Foreign Policy of the Third World (New York: Halsted Press, 1973)Google Scholar.

32 Gordon, Bernard, Toward Disengagement in Asia (New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1969), p. 93Google Scholar.

33 Even Pakistan's membership in SEATO was motivated more by concern over India, than China. See Callard, Keith, Pakistan: A Political Study (London: Allen and Unwin, 1957)Google Scholar.

34 Singh, p. 92. However, Michael Haas has pointed out that India and Pakistan do cooperate effectively in the more functional IGOs (The Asian Way to Peace (forthcoming)).

35 Singh, p. 125.

36 Gordon, Bernard, The Dimensions of Conflict in Southeast Asia (New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1966), p. 90Google Scholar.

37 The Macapagal Plan for a pan-Malay organization never went beyond the adoption of the Manila Declaration in August 1963. Maphilindo, created by that declaration, never became a functioning IGO.

38 Gordon, , The Dimensions, p. 118Google Scholar.

39 Singh, pp. 162–63.

40 Levi, Wemer, The Challenge of World Politics in South and Southeast Asia (New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1968)Google Scholar. writes, Levi, “Cambodia and Burma announced that they would not join any regional organization as long as ‘imperialist domination’ or the influence of any Great Power persisted in Southeast Asia,” (p. 4859)Google Scholar.

41 Saniel, Josefa M., “Japan's Thrust in Southeast Asia in the Sixties,” in Southeast Asia in the Modern World, Grossman, Bernhard, ed. (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1972)Google Scholar.

42 Singh, p. 218.

43 Gordon, , Toward Disengagement, p. 69Google Scholar.

44 Three principal components were extracted with eigenvalues greater than 1.0 for varimax rotation. These three factors accounted for 88 percent of the total variance in dyadic shared memberships between 1952 and 1975. The results of a similar analysis are presented in Haas and Schubert's “Asian Regional Organizations.”

45 Wightman, David, Toward Economic Cooperation in Asia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963)Google Scholar.

46 Levi, p. 51.

47 Wightman, p. 262.

48 Singh, p. 75.

49 Singh, p. 154.

50 ECAFE's responsibility (now ESCAP's—the Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific) is to the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

51 Singh, especially Chapter 4.

52 Singh, p. 60.

53 Wightman, p. 243.

54 Wightman, p. 251.

55 Singh, pp. 160–61.

56 As late as 1968, Japan was earmarking its Special Fund contributions through the ADB for agricultural and cottage industry development.

57 Wightman, p. 302.

58 Singh, p. 148.

59 Singh, p. 157.

60 Differences in level of development continue to plague ASEAN cooperation. A watered down proposal for trade liberalization emerged from the 1976 Bali Summit instead of the heralded commitment to a Free Trade Area by 1990 because of Indonesian fears of unequal benefits. Proposals for ASEAN industrial projects have been stalled by conflict over where the sites would be located. Far Eastern Economic Review, January 30, 1976, p. 47.

61 Nye, Joseph S., “Unites States Policy Toward Regional Organization,” International Organization Vol. 23, No. 3 (Summer 1969)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

62 For a discussion of this conflict situation see Gorden, Bernard, Dimensions of Conflict and Donelan, M. D. and Grieve, M. J., International Disputes: Case Histories, 1945–1970 (London: Europa Publications, 1973), pp. 243–48Google Scholar.

63 Gordon, Toward Disengagement.

64 Etzioni, Amitai, Political Unification (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965), p. 31Google Scholar.

65 Both ASPAC and APU were organizations with fairly clear anti-Communist underpinnings. The semiautonomous functional centers of ASPAC are not so politicized, and may well continue to operate regardless of paralysis at the ministerial level.

66 Saniel, op. cit. For a recent discussion of Japan's role in regional politics, see Simon, Sheldon, “East Asia,” in World Politics: An Introduction, Rosenau, James N., ed. (New York: The Free Press, 1976)Google Scholar.

67 Saniel, p. 406.

68 Far Eastern Economic Review, June 10, 1975, p. 15.

69 Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Advertisor, April, 15, 1975. p. A–24, “United States Pullout Signals Power Shift.”

70 Far Eastern Economic Review, “Battle over ASEAN's Peace Zone,” September 3, 1976, p. 13.

71 Gordon, , Toward Disengagement, p. 97Google Scholar.

72 Ibid., pp. 111–12.

73 Gordon reports that even in Malaysia, the national ASA staff was not disbanded and planning for future joint ASA projects continued unabated through the period of conflict with the Philippines.

74 See footnote 60, above.

75 Gordon, Toward Disengagement.

76 Far Eastern Economic Review February 6, 1976.