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Peer reviewed journal articles in english language

Michael, Arndt (2018): Realist‐Constructivism and the India–Pakistan Conflict: A New Theoretical Approach for an Old Rivalry. Asian Politics & Policy, Vol. 10, No. 1, 100-114.

The India–Pakistan conflict, one of the oldest unresolved interstate conflicts in the world, began in 1947 and has shown no signs of abating. Both realist and constructivist interpretations have offered several differing explanations as to the roots and persistence of this conflict. The article argues that a realist‐constructivist approach as suggested by Samuel Barkin provides a new and better angle for explaining the genesis, evolution, and persistence of the India–Pakistan conflict, in addition to allowing prediction of future developments. Importantly, realist‐constructivism combines several different analytical dimensions: It looks at the way in which power structures affect patterns of normative change in international relations and, conversely, the way in which a particular set of norms affects power structures. Both these dimensions have been overlooked as variables that can explain why it will be difficult to come up with lasting solutions for the India–Pakistan conflict.

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Rüland, Jürgen (2017): The ASEAN Economic Community and National SovereigntyTowards a Securitisation of Labour Migration? A Press Analysis of Four Southeast Asian Countries. European Journal of East Asian Studies, Vol. 16, No. 2, 193-219.

The article examines whether, and how far, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) has triggered a discourse on labour migration in ASEAN member countries which exhibits a tendency towards securitising the free flow of labour. It begins with the observation that fears linger in ASEAN’s member countries that market liberalisation may not only lead to a flooding with imported goods, but also intensify intra-regional labour migration. The ushering in of the AEC can thus be considered a critical juncture facilitating ideational changes and so exacerbating labour migration politicisation. Resting on the Copenhagen School’s securitisation theory and a discourse analysis of 72 newspaper articles, and based on a taxonomy of politicisation, the article’s major findings are that the level of politicisation is limited in the four countries under investigation. Surprisingly, it is higher in Indonesia than in Singapore and Malaysia where securitisation effects would have been expected. Explanations suggest that issues such as terrorism and maritime border concerns are currently more conducive for securitisation. In Indonesia and Singapore, the level of politicising post-AEC labour migration is higher than in Malaysia and the Philippines due to deeply inculcated vulnerability and survival discourses, which let elites respond seismically to global and regional developments.

Michael, Arndt (2017): Cooperation is What India Makes of It - A Normative Inquiry into the Origins and Development of Regional Cooperation in South Asia and the Indian Ocean. Asian Security. DOI: 10.1080/14799855.2017.1347636

Successful multilateral economic, political or security cooperation as best exemplified by organizations such as the EU or ASEAN invites the question why comparable organizations have never been established in South Asia and the Indian Ocean Rim, two geo-strategically important world regions. This article foregoes political-realist arguments and offers an alternative explanation for the failure of regional multilateralism in those two regions by using the social-constructivist framework os norm localization. This framework, based upon third-generation norm diffusion, provides a new analytical toolbox for analysing the general puzzle why one region may accept a particular norm while rejecting another. Arguing the case for the existence of a special South Asian regional variation of multilateralism which is termed 'Panchsheel-multilateralism', the article examines the process of the localization of the global norm regional multilateralism and analyses how this norm became institutionalized in the form of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). The main argument of the article is that the global norm of regional multilateralism has been localized into a principally Indian influenced model of multilateralism, based on the latter's cognitive prior. Consequently, there has virtually never been room for any genuine multilateral cooperation, while tangible cooperative results are found in the bilateral domain only.

asian security

Rother, Stefan (2017): Indonesian migrant domestic workers in transnational political spaces: agency, gender roles and social class formation. In: Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.  dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2016.1274567    

The focus of this article is a cluster of grassroots movements and networks of networks: the Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers (ATKI) based in Hong Kong. By using Kelly's [2007. Filipino Migration, Transnationalism and Class Identity(ARI Working Papers Series, 90). Singapore: Asia Research Institute.] typology of four dimensions of class (i.e. position, process, performance and politics) as a framework of analysis , the article shows that Indonesian migrant domestic workers can hold multiple class identities at various positions in transnational political space(s). Through organising in these particular spaces, Indonesian migrant domestic workers express agency, reformulate their gender roles and identify themselves as a transnational social class. This social class identification is based on their awareness of the transnational nature of the exploitation that migrants experience but is also framed within a wider global perspectic of 'root causes' such as neoliberal policies and unjust trade agreements. By not accepting the class position ascribes to them as domestic workers, these migrant organisations chose to define their social class by performance and generate political capital. The article adds the notion of positionality to the intersectionality approach, that is, the way social class intersects with gender, economic status/occupation, ethnicity and transnational status might differ depending on the position.


Panke, Diana (2017): The Institutional Design of the United Nations General Assembly: An Effective Equalizer? International Relations, Vol. 31, No. 1, 3-20.

Most international organizations are based on the principle of equality of states. Their institutional design grants all member states the same formal rights. Although formally equal, states differ immensely concerning their power capacities and size. Can institutional designs of international organizations mitigate real-world power- and size-related differences between member states, and if so, to which extent? To provide an answer, this article focuses on the United Nations General Assembly, which combines an equalizing institutional design with a large very heterogeneous membership. It shows that the strength of the equalizing effect varies across stages of the policy cycle. It is the weakest in the negotiation stage and the strongest in the final decision-making stage, while institutional design of international organizations has a de facto equalizing effect of medium strength in the agenda setting stage. Thus, while power and capacity differences matter, larger powerful states are not systematically better off throughout the entire policy cycle.

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Müller, Lukas (2016): Beyond Actorness. Structure and Agency in EU-ASEAN Interregionalism. European Journal of East Asian Studies. Doi: 10.1163/15700615-01502005     

This paper is concerned with the determining factors of the interregional relationship between the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), specifically its institutional proliferation on the three institutional levels of EU-to-ASEAN relations (bi-regionalism), relations inside ASEM (trans-regionalism) as well as relations between the EU and individual ASEAN member states (region-to-state). Commonly, interregional relations are seen as depending on the actorness of the regional organisations involved. This paper proposes an alternative approach, focusing on structural interdependence and agency on the part of both regional actors as the two main determinants of the institutional proliferation. The analysis suggests that levels of political and economic interdependence are low at the bi-regional level and higher at both the trans-regional and region-to-state level, leading to a proliferation of institutional structures at these levels. Additionally, the analysis reveals three unique strategies by ASEAN and the EU contributing to the design of their interregional relationship. For ASEAN, these strategies consist of (1) omni-enmeshment, (2) vertical and horizontal hedging, and (3) the rule of relative institutionalisation. For the EU, these strategies consist of (1) a pragmatic approach towards ASEAN, (2) a widening of interest towards East Asia, and (3) capacity-building bi-regionalism.


Rüland, Jürgen (2016): Democratizing Foreign-Policy Making in Indonesia and the Democratization of ASEAN: A Role Theory Analysis. TRaNS: Trans –Regional and –National Studies of Southeast Asia, 1-25. (DOI:10.1017/trn.2016.26)

With the resignation of President Soeharto in 1998 and subsequent democratization, Indonesia’s foreign policy underwent major changes. More stakeholders than under Soeharto’s New Order regime are now participating in foreignpolicy making. The country seemed to make democracy promotion a hallmark of its foreign policy, especially under the presidency of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (2004–2014). This raises the questions of whether and, if so, to what extent Indonesian democratization changed the country’s established foreign-policy
role conceptions and how much impact Indonesia’s democratization had on the democratization of regional governance. The paper seeks to answer these questions by developing a theoretical framework based on a constructivist version of role theory. On the basis of speeches held by Indonesian political leaders in the United Nations General Assembly and major domestic foreignpolicy pronouncements, it documents changes in Indonesia’s foreign-policy role concepts. It shows that, indeed, in the Era Reformasi, democracy became a major component in the country’s foreign-policy role concept, although many elements of the role concept such as development orientation, Third Worldism, peace orientation, and a mediator’s role remained constant. However, the litmus test for a democracy-oriented foreign policy, that is, the democratization of regional governance in Southeast Asia, remains ambiguous, and concrete policy initiatives often declaratory.


Carrapatoso, Astrid & Well, Mareike (2016): REDD+ finance: policy making in the context of fragmented institutions. In: Climate Policy. DOI:10.1080/14693062.2016.1202096 .

This article analyses the current institutional architecture of international finance for REDD + (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries) and aims at a better understanding of the complementary or contradictory nature of existing funding mechanisms. Through the integration of REDD + into the Paris Agreement of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the scene is set for countries to use this political legitimacy and momentum to further REDD + implementation. How REDD + is and will be financed is still a defining question for its successful implementation. This study shows that the heterogeneity of international financial support for REDD + is an illustrative case for the phenomenon of institutional fragmentation. It explores to what extent the current setting of REDD + finance can be seen as a rational response to earlier governance challenges, and whether a setting of co-governing institutions may evolve towards a functional differentiation of governance tasks. By discussing the specific case of REDD + finance in Indonesia, the possible feedback effects of institutional fragmentation at the national level are also considered. The study finds that a strengthened coordination of the existing financing efforts is decisive for making the most of the strong commitment to REDD + reflected in the Paris Agreement. By including the perspective of functional differentiation, the article zooms in on the practical effects and opportunities of institutional fragmentation, thereby advancing current reasoning on this aspect of global environmental governance.

climate policy

Carrapatoso, Astrid, Pistorius, Till & Reinecke, Sabine (2016): A historical institutionalist view on merging LULUCF and REDD+ in a post-2020 climate agreement

In the context of the UNFCCC negotiation process on a global climate agreement, policy makers are looking for approaches on how to significantly raise the mitigation ambition of all relevant sectors, including the land use sector. Aside of the formal negotiations some Parties to the UNFCCC have started an informal dialogue and discuss how to merge the fragmented accounting rules for mitigation relevant land use activities, in particular those concerning forest-sector emissions. Stressing that ‘history matters’, we use a historical institutionalist perspective to assess the institutional pathways of the different accounting rules for developed and developing countries, their mutual relationship, and in how far they are supportive or counterproductive for this endeavour. Our empirical analysis shows that Parties tend to use any modification phase in the negotiation process to water down already achieved agreements, and that negotiating modalities after targets have been agreed is not conducive either. In the efforts of specifying the Paris agreement, merging existing rules into a common accounting framework is likely to further compromise the exisiting weak rules and modalities, and potentially what negotiators consider as ‘environmental integrity’. With this, a formal negotiation of common rules for the accounting of the land use sector may yield an outcome below what has been achieved since the negotiations on a post-2020 agreement started in 2005. We conclude that politically acceptable approaches for the land use sector that also contribute to the overall objective of raising ambition should avoid reopening already agreed decisions on rules and modalities.

international environmental agreements

Huotari, Mikko & Heep, Sandra (2016): Learning geoeconomics: China’s experimental financial and monetary initiatives.In: Asia Europe Journal, Vol. 14 (2): 153-171

China’s rise is increasingly impacting on the global financial and monetary order. To manage its growing centrality in global financial flows and its new relevance for patterns of currency usage, Beijing has been creating a set of new institutional arrangements in three crucial fields: the provision of crisis liquidity, development financing, and a global infrastructure to internationalize its currency. In contrast to the dominant power political interpretation of such developments, this article highlights the strong linkages of Beijing’s new initiatives with the changes in China’s capitalist development path and stresses their experimental character that serves to manage the economic and political risks of China’s accelerating financial internationalization.With a distinct learning attitude regarding its rising geoeconomic prominence and engagement, Beijing’s risk-averse strategy involves a very careful linking, layering, and nesting of new arrangements.


Michael, Arndt & Baumann, Marcel (2016): India and the dialectics of domestic andinternational “land grabbing”: Historicalperspectives, current debates, and the case of Ethiopia

International land “acquisition” or land “grabbing” has become aglobal phenomenon in which India plays an increasingly importantrole. While there is a critical domestic debate regarding landdeals within India—especially pertaining to the provisions of theLand Acquisition Act of 2014 — there is practically no suchdebate regarding international land deals by Indian companiesin Sub-Saharan Africa. By applying a two-level discourse analysis,this article argues that the land discourse within India can beunderstood as a strategy of exclusion. By linking land issues withquestions of “development,” the discursive strategies of powerfulactors lead to the exclusion of the arguments of NGOs and othersopposed to the land deals from the discourse within India. Thisstrategy of exclusion is then taken to the extreme with thestrategy of securitization outside India: land deals are linked to“food security,” as the example of Ethiopia highlights.

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Rüland, Jürgen (2016): Why (most) Indonesian businesses fear the ASEAN Economic Community: struggling with Southeast Asia’s regional corporatism. In: Third World Quarterly, Vol. 37 (2): 1-16.

By the end of 2015 the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had ushered in a common market, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). However, the groups most affected by it – small businesses –were bypassed in the decision-making process. They are the victims ofa selectively inclusive state corporatism which member countries havetransferred from their domestic political system to the regional level.In this article I argue that the decision to create the AEC was promotedby ASEAN governments together with foreign economic and localcorporate interests. This coalition was able to frame the AEC in a waythat small businesses perceived it as a win-win scheme. Empiricallythe article focuses on Indonesia.


Steinhilper, Elias (2015): From "the Rest" to the West? Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Western Bias in Norm Diffusion Research. In: International Studies Review,  Vol. 17 (4): 536-555.

This article discusses the construction and diffusion of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (RIP). RIP have only scarcely been addressed in detail from a human rights (HR) norm diffusion perspective, yet it is instructive for gaining further insights into norm dynamics, due to the marginalization of indigenous communities within their countries of origin as well as the concentration of indigenous populations in the Global South. RIP have hence been qualified as a “least likely” case for internationalization. Mainstream diffusion literature has mostly focused on the proliferation of liberal Western norms, radiating from “the West” to “the Rest.” Powerful Western states as norm entrepreneurs have been explicitly included into models of normative change (for example, the spiral model). My qualitative process tracing research, however, presents a distinct pattern: Indigenous peoples themselves, in alliance with transnational advocacy networks and sympathetic states (to a considerable extent Latin American), have succeeded in constructing a new HR norm manifested in the UN Declaration on RIP. Among the skeptical norm takers were mainly liberal democracies such as the United States. To understand this puzzle, I combine Acharya's norm localization concept with its focus on “cognitive priors” with the norm appropriation framework recently suggested by Großklaus.

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Bock, Andreas M./ Henneberg, Ingo/ Plank, Friedrich (2015): “If you compress the spring, it will snap back hard”: The Ukrainian crisis and the balance of threat theory. In: International Journal, Vol. 70 (1): 101-109. DOI: 10.1177/0020702014562593 .

The narrative of an aggressive and neo-imperialist Russia that has dominated analyses of the 2014 Ukrainian crisis lacks theoretical rigour. We argue that a sustainable transformation of the Ukrainian crisis requires an accurate analysis of the context of the conflict, which should include an understanding of Moscow’s perception of the threats to its interests. This policy brief develops a theoretical understanding of the Ukrainian crisis through the lens of Stephen M. Walt’s balance of threat theory. We conclude that a realist analysis will help to explain Russian actions.


Michael, Arndt (2014): Advent of a ‘Game Changer’?: India’s Economic, Political and Strategic Engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa from 1991 until 2014. In: India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 70 (4): 341-357.

In her position as a rising power, India has reassessed and reinvigorated the entirety of her relations with Africa in the past decade. These relations cover the economic, political and the security spheres. They are the result of India’s ideational foreign policy change, her economic growth trajectory, looming energy insecurity and India’s role as an increasingly important international stakeholder. The main argument of the article is that India has successfully worked out her own policies, institutional structures and inter-regional development schemes with unique characteristics to develop and deepen linkages with sub-Saharan Africa. The article concludes that India now has a potential of assuming the role of ‘game changer’ in the new scramble for Africa’s resources and the struggle for votes and support of African states in international institutions and fora.

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Huotari, Mikko & Hanemann, Thilo (2014): Emerging Powers and Change in the Global Financial Order. In: Global Policy, Vol. 5 (3): 298-310.

Emerging economies have become a major force in the world economy. This article examines the role of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) in global finance and compares their potential to challenge the parameters of international financial and monetary relations. Instead of focusing on changes inside the existing system of multilateral governance, our analysis stresses the need to consider a broader set of channels to develop and exert financial power. Our comparative assessment of BRIC economies’ increasing autonomy, their strategic intentions, financial system capacity and the behavior of subnational ‘power brokers’ in global financial markets serves as a starting point to advance the debate over ongoing structural changes in the global financial order. We show how increasing autonomy and financial power have already led emerging markets to develop alternatives for crisis financing and development assistance. The prospects for deeper cooperation among BRIC economies however remain gloomy, as the already very diverse preferences with regard to global financial structures can be expected to further diverge.

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Huotari, Mikko & Rüland, Jürgen (Eds.) (2014): Special Issue: Context, Concepts and Comparison in Southeast Asian Studies. In: Pacific Affairs, Vol. 87 (3): 415-439.

Debating the challenges of comparisons in Southeast Asian studies, the objective of this Special Issue is to advance the agenda of context-sensitive and methodologically reflected Comparative Area Studies (CAS). As a deliberate attempt to infuse new meaning into the embattled genre of area studies, CAS seeks to overcome increasingly rigid (sub-)disciplinary barriers often constructed around methodological arguments. Moreover, through stepping up the inclusion of non-Western regions in the research agenda, CAS also makes a decided bid to transcend the usually strongly Western-centric theory-building in most social science disciplines. This introduction locates the following articles in the broader context of the area studies-discipline divide. It highlights how the challenges of comparative research practice on different layers of social reality are at the heart of this divide but at the same time provide a productive ground for exchange in interdisciplinary Southeast Asian studies. We expand on the contributing authors’ arguments by providing a typology of comparative research practice that captures the value of various forms of area studies comparisons and by reflecting on the conceptual preconditions for fruitful comparisons.

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von Lübke, Christian (2014). Modular Comparisons: Grounding and Gauging Southeast Asian Governance. Pacific Affairs 87 (3), 509-538.

This paper argues that analytical tensions between comparability and distinctiveness, which often drive a wedge between disciplinary and area-studies debates, are not irreconcilable. Drawing on original research of public governance in Southeast Asia, I contend that modular comparisons - which blend different levels of analytical scope and abstraction - offer a valuable methodological instrument for cross-fertilizing empirical depth and breadth. To showcase modular comparisons in practice, I present four interconnected studies of public governance in Southeast Asia. The analysis combines in-depth city-level analyses and subnational cross-sections (that draw heavily on Indonesia's multilevel governance experience) with an intraregional governance comparison (that expands the focus towards the Philippines and Thailand). To shed further light on "what makes governments work," the discussion traverses micro/macro-level confines and within-case/cross-case boundaries. In doing so, the concept of modular comparisons provide a systematic and contextually grounded perspective on Southeast Asian governance and a means for narrowing prevailing area-discipline divides.

pacific affairs neu

Wenzelburger, Georg (2014): Blame avoidance, electoral punishment and the perceptions of risk. In: Journal of European Social Policy, Vol. 24 (1): 80-91.

Recent findings about the electoral cost of welfare state retrenchment challenge the view of the ‘New Politics’ literature that cutting welfare state entitlements is electorally risky. In fact, there seems to be no systematic punishment for governments retrenching the welfare state. At the same time, however, studies show that governments use numerous blame avoidance strategies when cutting welfare. Reflecting on this apparent contradiction we put forward two points. First, qualitative evidence from interviews with political leaders suggests that it is not the actual risk of being punished that entices politicians to use blame avoidance but the perception of this risk. This explains why blame avoidance strategies are widely used. Second, the existing studies showing that governments are not systematically punished for cutting the welfare state suffer from the lack of control for blame avoidance effects. We show that an experimental design could be a remedy for this problem.

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Wenzelburger, Georg (2014): Parties, Institutions and the Politics of Law and Order: How Political Institutions and Partisan Ideologies Shape Law-and-Order Spending in Twenty Western Industrialized Countries. In: British Journal of Political Science, [online first: January 2014].

Although the politics of law and order are currently a major issue of debate among criminologists, comparative public policy research has largely neglected it. This article fills that gap by bringing together criminological and public policy theories, and by examining law-and-order policies in twenty Western industrialized countries. It adds to the existing literature in two important ways: it provides a straightforward quantitative test of the existing criminological explanations of law-and-order policies using public spending as the dependent variable; and it shows that governments’ partisan ideology matters for law-and-order policies. Government ideology influences how much countries spend on public order and safety, but the effect depends on the budgetary room for manœuvre and the strength of institutional barriers.

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Rüland, Jürgen & Bechle, Karsten (2014): Defending state-centric regionalism through mimicry and localisation: regional parliamentary bodies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Mercosur. In: Journal of International Relations and Development, Vol 17 (1): 61-88.

The creation of parliamentary bodies for regional organisations such as Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) or Mercosur seems to be at odds with the intergovernmental logic on which these organisations rest. We approach this puzzle from the perspective of norm diffusion theory. In the article we argue that transnational legislative bodies in Southeast Asia and South America have been primarily established to retain the respective organisation’s ‘cognitive prior’, which in both cases rests upon deeply entrenched corporatist norms and ideas. We test our theoretical claims by a comparative study on the emergence and evolution of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly and the Mercosur Parliament.

Rüland, Jürgen (2014): Constructing Regionalism Domestically: Local Actors and Foreign Policymaking in Newly Democratized Indonesia. In: Foreign Policy Analysis, Vol. 10 (2): 181-201.

There is a dearth of studies exploring the construction of ideas on regionalism outside Europe. This article seeks to make a contribution to close this gap. It examines the construction of ideas on regionalism in Indonesia, the largest member country of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Theoretically, the paper draws from Acharya's concept of “constitutive localization” which it develops further. It offers an alternative explanation to studies which argue that as a result of mimetic behavior, social learning, and cost-benefit calculations, regional organizations across the world become increasingly similar. While this may be the case in terms of rhetoric and organizational structure, it is not necessarily the case at a normative level. The Indonesian case shows that even though foreign policy stakeholders have increasingly championed European ideas of regional integration after the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997/1998, they have skillfully amalgamated them with older local worldviews through framing, grafting, and pruning. European ideas of regional integration thereby served to modernize and relegitimize a foreign policy agenda which seeks to establish Indonesia as a regional leader with ambitions to play a major role in global politics.


Rüland, Jürgen (2012): The limits of democratizing interest representation: ASEAN’s regional corporatism and normative challenges. In: European Journal of International Relations, Vol. 20 (1): 237-261.

This article addresses the problem of interest representation in regional organizations. Departing from a theory-guided four-dimensional typology, the study explores how the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) responded to normative challenges of its system of interest representation. The findings suggest that ASEAN has skilfully countered external democracy promotion and domestic pressures for democratizing regional governance through variable strategies including rejection, isomorphic adaptation and localization. The multiple strategies employed by the grouping have largely kept intact its ‘cognitive prior’ which rests on a blending of imported European

and older local organicist ideas. Given the resilience of this cognitive prior, the prospects for a wholesale liberal-pluralist transformation of ASEAN’s system of interest representation appear dim.

jürgen rüland 2012 the limits of democratizing interest representation

Nguitragool, Parudee (2012): God-King and Indonesia:  Renegotiating the Boundaries between Western and Non-Western Perspectives on Foreign Policy. In: Pacific Affairs, Vol. 85 (4): 723-743.

The critique of Westerncentrism in knowledge production in the discipline of international relations (IR) has led to attempts to incorporate regional experiences into the mainstream IR theorization. Ambivalence and challenges remain, however. They arise from the similar and shared histories that make distinguishing Western and non-Western ideas and theories difficult. Seeking to contribute to the debate on Westerncentrism in IR theorization, I examine the cultural sources and history of political realism in Java. By tracing the history of struggles, political practices and ideas such as the God-King, problems related to some contemporary IR theories become evident. The boundaries between Western and non-Western political thinking, however, become less pronounced.

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Piper, Nicola & Rother, Stefan (2012): Let´s Argue about Migration: advancing a right(s) discourse via communicative opportunities. In: Third World Quarterly, Vol. 33 (9): 1735-1750.

The emerging global governance of migration is dominated by two discourses which shape policy approaches: 1) migration management and 2) the migration–development nexus. With large numbers of labour migrants being marginalised, migrant rights organisations have formed global alliances to argue for the centrality of a third discourse, the rights-based approach to migration. The question is how to inject this into the global debate which has sidelined migrant rights issues. Despite having hardly any bargaining power and restricted space for direct access vis-a`-vis global governing institutions, migrant rights organisations are employing a number of strategies to overcome this marginalisation. We analyse these efforts by drawing on social movement studies and International Relations research on communicative action. Empirically this article draws on observations made during two major global fora: the negotiations in connection with the new Convention on ‘Decent Work for Domestic Workers’ at the International Labour Conference (ILC) and civil society participation in the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).

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Rüland, Jürgen (2012): Introduction to the First Four Articles: Governance, Decentralisation and Democratisation in Southeast Asia. In: European Journal of East Asian Studies, Vol. 11: 5-16.

Decentralisation is one of the most enduring and contested themes in the development discourse. The concept has gone through ebbs and flows, normative and functional variants, wide and narrow definitions. Although it has been part of changing academic fashions, in six development decades it has never disappeared from the agenda of development theorists, practitioners and donor organisations.
The ideational roots of the current decentralisation debate lie in the liberal tradition of the West. In fact, decentralisation is often regarded as a twin concept of democratisation. As an important element of liberal theories [...].


von Lübke, Christian (2012): Striking the Right Balance. Economic Concentration and Local Government Performance in Indonesia and the Philippines. In: European Journal of East Asian Studies, Vol. 11: 17-44.

The relationship between economic concentration and governance remains controversial. While some studies find that high economic concentration strengthens collective action and reform cooperation, others stress dangers of rent-seeking and state capture. In this paper I argue that effects are neither strictly positive nor negative: they are best described as an inverted u-shaped relationship, where better governance performance emerges with moderate economic concentration. Decentralisation reforms in Indonesia and the Philippines— unprecedented in scope and scale—provide a unique opportunity to explore this thesis. Subnational case studies and cross-sectional data analyses indicate that moderately concentrated polities in both countries are accompanied by more effective and less corrupt service provision. The presence of ‘contested oligarchies’—a small but diverse pool of economic elites—paves the ground for more balanced policy arenas; they contribute to a scenario where private sector actors are strong enough to influence government decisions and, at the same time, diverse enough to keep themselves and public officials in check.


Nguitragool, Parudee (2012): Environmental Governance in Democratic and Decentralised Indonesia: Between State, Family and Conservation. In: European Journal of East Asian Studies, Vol. 11: 45-69.

As it involves devolution of political and fiscal powers, decentralisation is widely seen as a significant step towards good governance. Although democratic reform and decentralisation have had some positive impacts in terms of access and accountability, I argue that environmental governance in Indonesia still suffers largely from the lack of social cohesion caused by the weaknesses of the conservation norms, modernisation and fragmentation along the axis of class inequality and identity politics.


Mansrisuk, Chaiwatt (2012): Decentralization in Thailand and the Limits of the Functionalist Perspective of Institutional Reform. In: European Journal of East Asian Studies, Vol. 11: 71-97.

Thailand has adopted democratic decentralisation since the mid-1990s. The reform agenda has primarily influenced by the functionalist view of institutional reform which depicts institutional effects as the intended consequences of their creators’ action. It emphasises the significance of ‘technocratic expertise’ and ‘rationality’ in pursuing institutional reform, and, hence, overlooks complexities and difficulties which may obstruct institutional change. The experience of decentralisation in ailand seems to contradict the conventional wisdom of the functionalist approach. e implementation of the decentralisation reform in Thailand has not completely achieved initial policy objectives, but, it, instead, produced unintended consequences. This paper empirically provides insights into the dynamics of decentralisation in Thailand which theoretically exposes the limits of the functionalist view of institutional reform.


von Luebke, Christian & Patunru, Arianto A. & McCulloch, Neil (2012): A Tale of Two Cities: The Political Economy of Local Investment Climates in Indonesia. In: Journal of Development Studies 48 (7): 799-816.

There is little doubt that protecting property rights, reducing corruption, and improving public services are desirable long-term objectives for all countries. But are such institutional prescriptions sufficient, or even necessary, to achieve investment and growth? By exploring the political economy of the cities of Solo and Manado in Indonesia, this article shows that relationship-based, rather than rule-based, cooperation between government leaders and local firms can provide an effective mechanism to boost investment and improve local investment climates. Our findings challenge the conventional wisdom that impartial rule-based economic governance is a precondition for investment, although it suggests that the creation of such institutions may make growth more sustainable and equitable in the medium and long term.

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Rother, Stefan (2012): Wendt meets East: ASEAN cultures of conflict and cooperation. In: Cooperation and Conflict, Vol. 47 (1): 49-67.

The major theories of International Relations (IRT) differ significantly as far as their concepts of conflict and cooperation are concerned. However, they share one common denominator: They are deeply rooted in Western experiences and intellectual history. Recently, a growing literature on the possibilities and benefits of a non-Western IRT has emerged. This article proposes a ‘via media’: a theoretical approach that can be applied to Western and non-Western IR alike, taking into consideration the specific historical, ideational and cultural contexts. Based on social constructivism as developed by Alexander Wendt, it is argued that the existence of a collective identity among states in a given region can manifest itself in distinctive logics or cultures of anarchy. These are based on norms of conflict or cooperation that can be established through interaction, can be proposed by outside agents and localized, or can be affected by the re-negotiation of state identity caused by domestic events. In addition, there are cultural path dependencies: norms rooted in the cultural memory or consciousness of a region which tend to be ignored by interpretations that merely focus on current events or established Western models of cooperation. Area studies can contribute to provide this context.


Rüland, Jürgen (2012): The rise of "diminished multilaralism": East Asian and European forum shopping in global governance, in: Asia Europe Journal, Vol. 9 (2-4): 255-270.

The article argues that the "principled multilateralism" of the immediate post-Cold War period is increasingly giving way to what may be called a "diminished multilateralism." Newly emerging global and regional powers such as the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and other rising powers in the Global South are increasingly questioning the legitimacy of the existing international architecture which they regard as a vehicle of the USA and Western countries to conserve their international influence in an era of rapid change. In the process, international institutions have increasingly become arenas of power rivalries which take the form of contests over access and membership, decision-making rules and normative order. The result is an increasing paralysis of these institutions and their inability to solve global problems. One aspect of these institutional power struggles is "forum shopping." The article shows that East Asia and Europe have both become active players in forum shopping. Three conditions facilitated forum shopping: major crises and external shocks; sentiments of frustrated entitlement in connection with exclusive and discriminatory international institutions, and extra- and intra-regional power shifts.

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Carrapatoso, Astrid (2011): Climate policy diffusion: interregional dialogue in China-EU relations. In: Global Change, Peace & Security, Vol. 23 (2): 177-194.

National climate change policies are becoming similar, which can be interpreted as being a result of policy diffusion processes. Many of those policies are inspired by EU climate strategies. The EU actively promotes these policies in its external relations, such as in its partnership on climate change with China. This leads us to three sets of questions. Does the EU act as a transformative power in interregional cooperation on climate change? Can we identify a climate change policy diffusion process in EU-Chinese relations, and, if so, which communication channels as well as diffusion mechanisms can be identified? And, finally, is interregional cooperation on climate change a building block or a stumbling block in the global climate change regime? This article argues that the policy diffusion process depends on the scope of the interregional communication process between the EU and China, and the willingness and national responsiveness of China to adopt policy innovations.


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Nguitragool, Paruedee (2011): Negotiating the Haze Treaty: Rationality and Institutions in the Negotiations for the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (2002). In: Asian Survey, Vol. 51 (2): 356-378.

This article examines ASEAN's cooperation on transboundary haze pollution. I argue that ASEAN's creation of the haze treaty in 2002 demonstrates its attempt to depart from certain elements of the institutional culture. But both ASEAN's treaty and cooperation have been hindered by certain normative constraints, organizational customs, and domestic politics.


Rüland, Jürgen (2011): Southeast Asian Regionalism and Global Governance: "Multilateral Utility" or "Hedging Utility"?. In: Contemporary Southeast Asia, Vol. 33 (1): 83-112.

Regional organizations are widely regarded as building blocks of a multilateral order. But this view ignores the fact that regional organizations vary in their contribution to multilateralism. This article therefore adds to Dent's established concept of "multilateral utility" the concept of "hedging utility" which I claim better captures the behaviour of many non-Western regional organizations including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In the theory-guided part the article develops six indicators to distinguish the two types of regional organizations: level of institutionalization, governance costs, nesting, agenda-setting, norm entrepreneurship and mode of interaction. Based on these categories, the article examines ASEAN's role as a contributor to a multilateral order. The findings illustrate that indeed "hedging utility" rather than "multilateral utility" better describes ASEAN's agency in shaping international order. The hedging concept resonates well with elite notions of Southeast Asian political culture and also captures the institutional balancing dimension of ASEAN's (security) policies.


Rüland, Jürgen (2010): Balancers, multilateral utilities or regional identity builders? International relations and the study of interregionalism. In: Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 17 (8): 1271-1283.

This article presents an overview on the state of the art of research on interregional relations. It clarifies underlying concepts and focuses on the theory-guided literature exploring the functions of interregional forums for the emerging global governance architecture. Empirical evidence provided by many of the reviewed studies suggest that interregional relations are part of complex institutional balancing games played by regions which curtail their potential as multilateral utilities. Empirical studies examining norm diffusion between regions are still in their infancy. This leaves considerable space for innovative research going beyond the notion of the EU as a “normative power” trying to persuade other regions to adopt its model of regional integration.


Wenzelburger, Georg (2009): The Analysis of Budget Consolidations: Concepts, Research Designs and Measurement. In: Journal for Economic and Social Measurement, Vol. 34 (4): 269-291.

Fiscal adjustments have been examined from different perspectives in the literature. However, the conceptual approaches to the analysis of budget consolidations vary substantially. Therefore different approaches to the analysis of fiscal adjustments are discussed in a first step. It is shown that the choices regarding the underlying concepts lead to specific research designs and influence the appropriate empirical method. In a second step, the determinants of budget consolidations are examined empirically in four different research designs for 23 industrialised countries in the 1990s. The analysis shows that the results vary depending on the method applied. However, economic variables seem to play the most important role in explaining the consolidation performance


Rüland, Jürgen (2009): Deepening ASEAN cooperation through democratization? The Indonesian legislature and foreign policymaking. In: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Vol. 9 (3): 373-402.

Recent reforms of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are viewed by liberal institutionalists and constructivists as triggering a fundamental transformation of the ASEAN Way, the embodiment of the association's established, strictly intergovernmental cooperation norms. This article questions such reasoning, if it is causally linked to expectations of a greater deepening of ASEAN cooperation. Based on recent rationalist theorizing and Snyder's 'nationalist elite persuasion' hypothesis, the article argues that the causal relationships between democracy and regional integration are more complex than assumed in Eurocentric integration theories. By examining goreign policy debates in the Indonesian legislature, the article shows that foreign plicymaking has become much more democratic and pluralistic since the end of President Suharto's New Order regime. However, as case studies of foreign policy issues suggest, democratic norms have often been localized by a neo-nationalist agenda that hamstrings the deepening of regional integration.


Jetschke, Anja (2009): Institutionalizing ASEAN: celebrating Europe through network governance. In: Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol. 22 (3): 407-426.

This article provides a new piece for two of the puzzles of institutionalized cooperation in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). First, with regard to the organization's four decades of existence, there has always been a marked gap between ASEAN's rhetorical goals of cooperation and its actual achievements. What explains these systematic failures of implementation? Second, from the outset, ASEAN was criticized for its light institutionalization, which failed to deliver the substantial cooperation goals. Despite selected institutional reforms, ASEAN's autonomy has not increased remarkably and it has not made any major institutional innovations. Why does ASEAN design institutions it does not use? Why does this transformation gap occur? The author suggests a sociological institutional explanation and argues that major impulses for cooperation have come from outside Southeast Asia, most importantly from Europe. By mimicking the European integration process, ASEAN member states have effectively created an isomorphic organization. The Association's institutional development reflects a concern for international legitimacy and less an objective functional demand arising from the specific interactions of member states. This copying process has led to network governance within the organization.


Rüland, Jürgen & Kessler, Christl & Rother, Stefan (2009): Democratisation Through International Migration? Explorative Thoughts on a Novel Research Agenda. In: European Journal of East Asian Studies, Vol. 8 (2): 161-179.

The article provides an introduction into this EJEAS issue on democratisation and international migration. Third Wave democratisation and the recent unprecedented increase in international labour migration may have the same structural origins, but so far few attempts have been made to link the two research agendas. One explanation might be that existing research on democratisation has neglected the exogenous dimension, and that migration research was preoccupied with destination countries. By drawing from the contributions to this Issue and the literature on norm diffusion, we argue that migrants have the potential to act as norm entrepreneurs and as agents of democratisation. The article maps out three avenues of norm diffusion: Migration can be the cause for changes of political attitudes at the individual level, it can be an enabling factor for collective action and it may lead to institutional change at the national and global level. To further assess how precisely these pathways might support or impede democratisation, more theory-guided empirical studies on the subject are urgently needed. .


Jetschke, Anja & Rüland, Jürgen (2009): Decoupling rhetoric and practice: the cultural limits of ASEAN cooperation. In: The Pacific Review, Vol. 22 (2): 179-203.

Why have ASEAN member states declared and why do they continue to declare their intention to enhance cooperation and devise projects when implementation lags behind their rhetoric? Why do they rhetorically commit themselves to cooperation, when they continue to stick to self-interested policies to the detriment of ASEAN's collective interest? And given these diverging practices, how likely is it that the objective of a more legalized and binding cooperation associated with the recently ratified ASEAN Charter is being implemented? This article draws attention to ASEAN's hybrid or dual character of international cooperation, consisting of the emulation of the European integration project and the persistence of deeper cultural strata of Southeast Asia's cooperation project that determine the limits of cooperation: Southeast Asia's social structure and political culture that have not produced those mechanisms that might facilitate international cooperation. If our explanation is correct that cooperation within ASEAN comes about as a simultaneous process of emulation and established cultural practices, we expect change only under specified conditions. Based on our argument and the theoretical literature on normative change, we identify and discuss in greater detail three potential outcomes of change: inertia, localization and transformation. The three modes make different predictions concerning change within ASEAN. Based on an analysis of the two major shocks with which ASEAN has had to contend in the last two decades, namely the Cold War in Asia and the Asian financial crisis, we argue that ASEAN's dominant response to major ideational challenges has been combinations of localization and inertia and has not been followed by a fundamental change of practice.


Rother, Stefan (2009): Changed in Migration? Philippine Return Migrants and (Un)Democratic Remittances. In: European Journal of East Asian Studies, Vol. 8 (2): 245-274.

The link between development and migration has been termed the 'new development mantra'. Studies on the subject have so far mostly focused on economic remittances, and the potential consequences of return migration on democratisation have been rarely touched upon. This article attests the potential of the migration experience to affect migrants' attitudes towards democracy, thus playing an important role in the diffuse support needed for democracies in the stage of consolidation. Based on a survey among 1,000 Philippine return migrants from six destinations, the paper suggests that the migration experience may not only lead to a more critical stance towards the political system of the home country; there are also indicators of lesser support for the principles of democracy when compared to migrants about to leave the country for the first time. The political system of the destination as such seems to be a less decisive factor than the specific freedoms and restrictions experienced by migrants and a potential bias when selecting the destination. The article focuses on return migrants from Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Japan, which showed the most distinctive numbers in support of democracy or changes therein when compared to first-time migrants heading for that destination.


Baumann, Marcel M. (2009): Understanding the Other’s “Understanding” of Violence: Legitimacy, Recognition, and the Challenge of Dealing with the Past in Divided Societies. In: International Journal of Conflict and Violence, Vol. 3 (1): 107-123.

Post-conflict societies which have achieved a cessation of violence and embarked on a political conflict transformation process cannot in the long-term avoid a process of dealing with the past. Case studies of South Africa and Northern Ireland confirm this normative claim, showing that within the post-war society as a whole a social consensus on how to “understand” and “recognize” the use of violence that occurred during the conflict is necessary: understanding the other’s “understanding” of violence. A mutual understanding must be reached that both sides fought a campaign that was just and legitimate from their own perspective. The morality of the “other’s violence” has to be recognized.


Manea, Maria-Gabriela (2009): How and why interaction matters. In: Cooperation and Conflict, Vol. 44 (1): 27-49

The aftermath of the Cold War has brought a shift in the West's position on the acceptance and promotion of international human rights standards in developing countries. In this context, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries challenge the West's position based on two contradictory principles — comprehensibility and cultural embedment of human rights. In this article, I argue that interactions with regard to human rights involving state and non-state actors in ASEAN have become part of the process of regional identity formation. How ASEAN has responded to external pressures in terms of compliance with international human rights norms, and how it has developed its own normative and procedural approach to human rights at the regional level, are inherent in the dynamics of `Self' definition. A mixed pattern of `rhetorical' and `communicative action' explains how interaction has led to different phases — differentiation, affirmation, contestation and re-orientation — in the dynamics of `Self' definition of ASEAN with regard to human rights.


Wagschal, Uwe & Wenzelburger, Georg (2008): Roads to success: budget consolidations in OECD countries. In: Journal of Public Policy, Vol. 28 (3): 309-339.

During the 1990s, some OECD countries succeeded in reducing their budget deficits. The average public debt ratio fell from more than 70 per cent of GDP in 1996 to about 63 per cent of GDP in 2001. Up to now, researchers have mainly focused on the economic effects of these consolidation efforts. This paper answers another question: How can balanced budgets be achieved? By means of a detailed review of nine budget consolidations, the study identifies different roads to successful fiscal adjustments, starting with a critical review of the definition of budget consolidation. We find a pattern on the expenditure side that follows different worlds of the welfare state. On the revenue side however, the tax structure seems to be more path-dependent and mainly driven by long-term developments. In the last section, we show that institutional reforms constitute very important components of budget consolidations.


Rüland, Jürgen & Jetschke, Anja (2008): 40 years of ASEAN: perspectives, performance and lessons for change. In: The Pacific Review, Vol. 21 (4): 397-409.

In this introduction, the editors trace the increasing theoretical diversity of ASEAN research and discuss the contributions to this issue against the current state of the art. Contributions confirm the post-Asian crisis advancement of constructivist scholarship, but by also analyzing ASEAN from the Liberal and English school perspectives, the articles assembled in this issue nevertheless stand for theoretical pluralism. This article continues to open a governance perspective and, against this background, attests to ASEAN's marked success in pacifying an erstwhile turbulent world region but also to ASEAN's much more ambiguous record in responding to the new challenges associated with globalization.


Baumann, Marcel M. (2008): The Trouble with the Peace Science's "Trouble Makers". In: Peace Review, Vol. 20 (4): 455-461.

Many peace researchers are fascinated by violent confrontations or conflicts around the globe. This fascination stimulated peace “scientists” to study the “normal” daily lives of people in violent conflicts, i.e. in “abnormal” situations. A massive trend towards empirical social research, field studies and field observations followed. Theories were formulated, conflict transformation processes designed and conflict resolution handbooks published. Out of this fascination and the practical consequences for research agendas a new scientific debate is currently evolving: Are there or should there be certain moral constraints or ethical barriers to empirical social research, being carried out in the midst of violence conflicts? This essay tries to elaborate on this question. Reflecting on his previous work, the author argues that research in conflict-ridden societies is in need of common basic ethical principles. Peace science is neither about pacification, nor on co-optation. Rather it is a radical challenge to the status quo — a constant “trouble making” exercise. Hence, piece researchers have been aptly characterized as “natural troublemaker.”


Manea, Maria-Gabriela (2008): Human rights and the interregional dialogue between Asia and Europe: ASEAN-EU relations and ASEM. In: The Pacific Review, Vol. 21 (3): 369-396.

Since the early 1990s, human rights have been a contentious issue for relations between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU), especially in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). It is an issue that has constantly led to tensions in interregional cooperation. However, the ASEAN-EU dialogue on human rights has, in fact, had a significant impact on regional dynamics by stimulating the process of regional identity formation, especially in Southeast Asia. The core mechanism through which this development takes place is that of interaction, the process in which the two regional groupings engage while negotiating human rights policy. It can be argued, therefore, that interregional and intraregional human rights interactions are mutually dependent. ASEAN's rather confrontational mode of interaction with the European Union in relation to human rights has served as a catalyst for the dynamic growth of a collective definition of self in ASEAN. It has led to an 'essentialization' of ASEAN's idea of self as opposed to a common other, something which has undermined the possibility of maintaining an interregional dialogue that is not confrontational. However, it has also contributed to the development of a regional space for communicating about human rights and has thus played a central role in the gradual transformation of ASEAN's collective identity formation.


Fritz Carapatoso, Astrid (2008): Environmental aspects in free trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region. In: Asia Europe Journal, Vol. 6 (2): 229-244.

The trade and environment interface has become a topic of growing importance. Until the early 1990s, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and its successor, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), were the major forums to address the relationship between trade and the environment. Significant progress in this area has not yet been made. Since the 1990s, environmental issues have been addressed by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and in recent times by trans-regional and bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) such as the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (SEP), the U.S.–Singapore FTA (USSFTA), the Canada–Chile FTA or the New Zealand–Thailand Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEP). Not only questions on the effectiveness of FTAs in global and regional environmental governance arise but also on the various actors involved in these negotiations. The question here is whether the integration of environmental issues in FTAs is a top-down approach, leaving the negotiations and implementation of environment cooperation frameworks in the hands of governments, or whether environmental arrangements are the result of a multi-stakeholder dialogue, consequently committing governments, the private sector and civil society to the objective of making trade and environmental policies mutually supportive. This article seeks to address these questions by analysing environmental issues and stakeholder participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Trans-Pacific SEP and the New Zealand–Thailand CEP.


Menniken, Timo (2007): Lessons from the Mekong - China's Performance in International Resource Politics. In: Contemporary Southeast Asia, Vol. 29 (1): 97-120.

Against the backdrop of population and economic growth Chinas water resources are getting scarcer. Uneven regional distribution and increasing pollution further reduce the locally available resources. Domestic measures applied to tackle the problems deriving from this scarcity produce international effects, giving rise to the apprehension that China will have to quench its thirst by increasingly exploiting sources that do not stem from or remain within its own territory.Chinas performance in international negotiations over water as well as in the regional Mekong regime reveals that to China transboundary cooperation is more a strategic option than a normative commitment. This article argues that alliances confronted with the impacts of Chinese water policy should focus on counterbalancing rather than just criticizing or even ignoring Chinese ambitions. With China being in a dominant position hydrologically, as well as politically, a second strategy would be issue linkage: offering incentives in non-water fields in return for cooperative management of shared water resources.


Fritz Carrapatoso, Astrid (2007): The Integration of Trade and Environmental Policies in Free Trade Agreements in Southeast Asia. In: Südostasien aktuell, Vol. 1/2007: 77-105.

The integration of trade and environmental policies is part of the international sustainable development agenda. How trade and environmental policies could be designed in a way which makes them mutually supportive is discussed not only on a multilateral but also on a regional and bilateral level in the context of free trade negotiations. While some Western countries such as the U.S. or New Zealand try to integrate environmental issues into their trade policies, Asian countries, for instance, are less willing to address these issues in trade negotiations. This article seeks to provide an overview of free trade negotiations between Southeast Asian countries and New Zealand in which environmental issues are addressed. Furthermore, it wants to work out the pros and cons of free trade with regard to the environment and seeks to identify some of the factors that influence the integration of trade and environmental policies in bi- and minilateral trade negotiations.


Rüland, Jürgen (2006): Interregionalism and the Crisis of Multilateralism: How to Keep the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Relevant. In: European Foreign Affairs Review, Vol. 11 (1): 45-62.

The article briefly contextualizes inter-regionalism as a novel level of interaction in international relations driven by the two-processes of globalization and the “new regionalism.” Inter-regionalism is thus testimony of the fact that globalization does not only cause fragmentation, as many critics argue, but also institution-building. From a theoretical point of view five major functions may be attributed to inter-regionalism: balancing, institution-building, rationalizing (global multilateral forums), agenda-setting and identity-building. However, of these five functions, inter-regionalism has mainly performed balancing, and to a much lesser extent (soft) institution-building and identity-building. It did so far contribute little to become a genuine “multilateral utility” performing the crucial rationalizing and agenda-setting functions. The article further explains why this has not been the case. It attributes the evident weaknesses of inter-regional forums such as the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to an ongoing crisis of multilateralism which is characterized by four major trends: a change of U.S. policies from “assertive multilateralism” to “assertive unilateralism”, a decline of security multilateralism, a crisis of trade multilateralism and a crisis of regionalism. The final part discusses how, against these odds, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) can retain its relevance as an intermediary between the global and the regional level of international politics. It argues that a change from “soft” to “hard law” is needed and a move towards more binding and obligating policy agreements. This can be achieved in a step-by-step process which takes into account the Asian sides’ aversion against “thick institutionalization.”


Kessler, Christl & Rüland, Jürgen (2006): Responses to Rapid Social Change: Populist Religion in the Philippines. In: Pacific Affairs, Vol. 79 (1): 73-96.

Within the last few decades in the Philippines, there has been outstanding growth among Catholic Charismatic and Pentecostal groups and churches, part of a worldwide proliferation of these strands of Christianity. The article is based on qualitative interviews and nationwide survey data gathered in a research project on religious change in the Philippines, and explores the scope and the character of Charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity in the Philippines. It explains the success of this strand of Christianity by its ability to transfer core concepts and techniques of political populism into the religious sphere. The paper identifies the populist themes within the cognitive framework of Charismatic and Pentecostal religion in the Philippines, as well as the populist techniques applied to mobilize followers. The analysis of Charismatic and Pentecostal religion in the Philippines as populist religion, however, does not imply that such groups and churches can be characterized as populist actors in the political sphere. After outlining the core topics and techniques of populist religion, the paper concludes with a discussion of the political impact of these groups in the still crisis-ridden democracy of the Philippines. These potentials are depicted as potentially ambivalent, due to the ambivalent character of populism itself.

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Rüland, Jürgen (2005): The Nature of Southeast Asian Security Challenges. In: Security Dialogue, Vol. 36 (4): 545-563.

The article argues that there has been a convergence of security challenges in Southeast Asia and the OECD world since the end of the Cold War, but this has not been matched by a convergence of security cultures. Interstate wars and military conflicts, absent in the OECD world since the end of World War II, have also subsided in Southeast Asia, while non-conventional security threats – such as international terrorism, organized crime, irregular migration, environmental degradation and pandemics – have increased in both worlds. However, despite incipient institution-building, Southeast Asian security policies still differ markedly from those of the OECD world. Power and state-centric approaches and a strong reliance on national sovereignty impair collective action.


Rüland, Jürgen (2005): East Asian Regionalism: From Stagnation to Re-Invention. In: European Journal of East Asian Studies, Vol. 4 (2): 149-176.

The article provides a thematic and theoretically informed introduction into this EJEAS issue on East Asian regionalism. Its point of departure is the obvious paralysis of East Asian regionalism during and after the Asian financial crisis. It examines as to what extent the subsequent efforts towards damage control and revitalization have lead to a re-invention of East Asian regional institutions as frequently urged in the region. By reviewing the more recent literature and the contributions assembled in the issue, the article notes that despite the crisis the trend towards institutionalist and constructivist theoretical approaches continues. These approaches however often tend to exhibit a certain cooperative bias which may blur the proclivity of foreign policy-makers in the region for political realism. Subsequent sections examine the cohesion of regional institutions and horizontal institutional differentiation. The article concludes that despite a proliferation of regional institutions, there has been no marked deepening of regional groupings and that regime building, as a approach to the management of interdependence, has not made noteworthy progress in a broad array of policy areas contending with border-crossing policy problems.


Rüland, Jürgen (2003): Constitutional Debates in the Philippines. From Presidentialism to Parliamentarianism?. In: Asian Survey, Vol. XLIII (3): 461-484.

The ouster of President Joseph Estrada initiated a new constitutional debate in the Philippines. In view of the fixed term of office, which allows for removal of a malperforming president only by way of an impeachment, political analysts are demanding a shift from the existing presidential to a parliamentary system of government. This article argues that such a shift does not necessarily solve the problems blamed on the 1987 Constitution, such as the rigidities of the presidential term, executive-legislative gridlock, presidential concentration of power, political instability, a weak party system, populism, and patronage. It proposes incremental reforms by amending the 1987 Constitution where needed, without scrapping the presidential system of government.


Rüland, Jürgen (2000): ASEAN and the Asian crisis: theoretical implications and practical consequences for Southeast Asian regionalism. In: The Pacific Review, Vol. 13 (3): 421-451.

The following article joins the debate about the theoretical and empirical implications of the Asian crisis on Southeast Asian regionalism. It argues that the realist–institutionalist dichotomy does not provide a fruitful framework of analysis. ASEAN policies are characterized by a policy mix, albeit one that is influenced by a strong dose of realism – a tendency that has been exacerbated by the Asian crisis. The crisis has thrown ASEAN’s collective identity into deep disarray – and thus also questions constructivist approaches. Departing from these theoretical issues the article traces ASEAN responses to the crisis in three key areas: economic cooperation, enlargement and values. The article concludes with a few lessons for regionalism which may be derived from the Asian crisis.




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