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Theory and Practice of Regional Integration: A Comparative Study on the Cases of Gulf Cooperation Council and ASEAN


  • YU Yake


The article first reviews the current theories of regional integration and points out that most of them can not explain the phenomena and patterns of regional integration of developing countries. Then it discusses the basic processes of Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) and ASEAN’s regional integrations, based upon which, it compares and comments the differences and similarities of the regional integrations of the two organizations. The author believes that cultural and political homogeneity is not necessarily more advantageous than heterogeneity in integration unless a set of behavior norms and conflict management have been developed for the member states. The absence of supranational institution in the processes of GCC’s and ASEAN’s regional integrations is related to their stages of nation-state building processes; economic integration of developing regions can not be smooth and lasting unless the economic integration is either preceded by or combined with political integration or security integration. Contrary to European integration, both GCC’s and ASEAN’s integrations have experienced the spillover effect from political section to economic section and from their respective regions to outside developed or powerful countries or regions. As GCC and ASEAN have conducted their respective economic integrations in response to the impacts of external environments, they have paid more attention on the process of economic integration and external image than on the real result of economic integration.

Suggested Citation

  • YU Yake, 2008. "Theory and Practice of Regional Integration: A Comparative Study on the Cases of Gulf Cooperation Council and ASEAN," Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 27(2), pages 41-74.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:soaktu:v:27:y:2008:i:2:p:41-74

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gerke, Solvay & Evers, Hans-Dieter, 2011. "Looking East, looking West: Penang as a knowledge hub," MPRA Paper 33980, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Evers, Hans-Dieter, 2011. "Penang as a knowledge hub," MPRA Paper 31763, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Evers, Hans-Dieter & Gerke, Solvay & Menkhoff, Thomas, 2010. "Knowledge Clusters and Knowledge Hubs: Designing Epistemic Landscapes for Development," MPRA Paper 33956, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 08 Oct 2011.
    4. Evers, Hans-Dieter & Nordin, Ramli, 2012. "The symbolic universe of Cyberjaya, Malaysia," MPRA Paper 39210, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Michael E. Porter, 2000. "Location, Competition, and Economic Development: Local Clusters in a Global Economy," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 14(1), pages 15-34, February.
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