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Integrating RegionsAsia in Comparative Context$
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Miles Kahler and Andrew MacIntyre

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804783644

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804783644.001.0001

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Institutional Design of Regional Integration

Institutional Design of Regional Integration

Balancing Delegation and Representation

(p.31) 2 Institutional Design of Regional Integration
Integrating Regions

Simon Hix

Stanford University Press

Regional economic integration combines deregulation and re-regulation. The removal of trade barriers can be achieved by bilateral or multilateral agreements. However, the adoption of common rules requires agenda-setting and enforcement by supranational institutions. The lesson from the European Union is that supranational institutions, if designed carefully, need not threaten national sovereignty, which is clearly a fear in East Asia. Supranational institutions will be tightly controlled by governments if unanimity is required for any delegation, if the governments are equally represented in an executive body, and if there are high decision-making thresholds. Such a design requires a degree of preference convergence as well as equitable rules of representation. The chapter shows there is a convergence of economic and social preferences in East Asia, and also demonstrates that institutions could be designed which would allow states to be represented equitably in an East Asian economic union of some kind.

Keywords:   Economic integration, supranational institutions, delegation, representation, East Asian union, East Asian parliament

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