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This book presents a conceptualization of social emergence in international relations as a novel angle to analyse institutional dynamics in East Asia, introducing the concept of emergence from a critical realist perspective. The author examines East Asia's characteristic mesh work of regional institutions that affect integrative processes and regional policies, exploring how such institutions emerge and acquire their own nature and why this pattern persists over time, an unresolved and contested subject in the field of International Relations. This book suggests that regional institutions are emergent entities of the international system that arise as forms of self-organization by states to achieve certain emergent properties and powers. The author's approach sheds light on the particular emergent properties and powers of regional institutions and identifies discourse as a key mechanism of social emergence. Besides engaging in relevant questions of the philosophy of science and its methodological implications for studying social emergence in world politics, the book also analyses the concrete case of two East Asian regional institutions: ASEAN Plus Three and the East Asia Summit. This book will engage scholars and postgraduate students of Asian Studies and International Relations.
Part I.- 1. The issue of institutional emergence in East Asia: an introduction.- 1.1 Regionalism in East Asia: Changing institutional patterns in a complex region.- 1.2 Institutionalisms and their shortcomings: Challenging epiphenomenal views.- 1.3 Introducing the concept of emergence to the study of world politics: Implications for studying regional institutions.- 1.4 A guide to the structure of the book.- 2. A critical realist approach to the study of world politics.- 2.1 A realist philosophy of science.- 2.2 Key concepts and conceptual abstraction.- 2.3 Social science and concrete research: Methodological implications.- 2.4 Concluding remarks: Critical realism in IR.- 3. Emergence and complexity in the international system: developing a social ontology of international relations.- 3.1 Complexity and emergentist thinking in IR.- 3.2 Emergence in international systems: Introducing the concept of emergence.- 3.3 Regional institutions as emergent entities of the international system: Relational organization and emergent properties.- 3.4 Studying regional institutions as emergent: A preliminary conclusion.- 4. Emergence and the complexity of social practices: the role of discourse in social emergence.- 4.1 Discourse as a social practice in complex international systems: A realist conception.- 4.2 Social emergence and discourse: Conceptualizing discourse as a mechanism.- 4.3 Integrating discourse into the study of emergent regional institutions.- 4.4 How to study regional institutions as emergent: A conclusion.- Part II.- 5. The case of institutional emergence in East Asia: analyzing regional institutions as emergent entities - a critical realist informed critical discourse analysis.- 5.1 Institutional emergence in East Asia: The case of ASEAN Plus Three and the East Asia Summit.- 5.2 Analyzing institutional emergence: A critical realist-informed critical discourse analysis.- 6. Examining the role of discourse in institutional emergence in East Asia using the example of ASEAN Plus Three and the East Asia Summit.- 6.1 The discourse of community building: Purposive emergent properties and regional imaginaries.- 6.2 The discourse of openness: Organizational emergent properties.- 6.3 The discourse of complementarity: Institutional power relations and ASEAN centrality.- 6.4 Evaluation: Studying regional institutions in East Asia as emergent.- 7. The relevance of emergence in world politics: conclusion and outlook.- 7.1 Considering emergence in the international system.- 7.2 Studying world politics as emergent: Contributions and implications.- 7.3 Possible disagreements and future perspectives
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