International organizations in Asia and the Pacific

Authored by: Tomoko Akami , Jiro Okamoto

Routledge Handbook of International Organization

Print publication date:  May  2013
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415501439
eBook ISBN: 9780203405345
Adobe ISBN: 9781134112982


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International organizations (IOs) in Asia and the Pacific have often been characterized as ‘informal’ in comparison to more ‘formal’ IOs. The latter organization is understood as the ‘proper’ type of IO defined by the existence of a permanent secretariat and a binding set of rules and/or agreements between governments. The European Union (EU) represents such a ‘formal’ IO that is regionally based. In this context, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is often contrasted with the EU as an ‘informal’ type, although scholars suggest it has become more formal in the past two decades. This chapter studies a long time span and examines the characteristics of IOs of the region, now called Asia and the Pacific.

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