Home / Robert Farley / Institutions Matter?

Institutions Matter?

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My latest at the Diplomat takes a look at the pace of institutionalization in the Asia-Pacific:

East Asia is well known for its weak-to-non-existent institutions of multilateral governance. In Europe, the economic, social, and security concerns of most states play out in one or another institutional setting, usually in organizations created shortly after World War II. In Asia, the success of multilateral institutions has been far spottier, and those organizations that have endured generally have not impinged deeply upon national sovereignty.

Is there an upside? International institutions can outlive the basic causal factors that give them life, which is to say that they can shape and adapt to changes in geopolitical reality. But as we may be seeing in Europe, institutional momentum can be dangerous; efforts to preserve institutions that have outlived their usefulness can prove destructive.

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