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Awkward States in Regional Integration: Towards a Comparative Framework for Evaluation

30 September 2015 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Europe/Rome Timezone
Seminar room 4, Badia Fiesolana
Via della Badia dei Roccettini
50014 Fiesole FI
Valentina Bettin

Speaker: Philomena Murray

Discussant: Tobias Martin Josef Lenz – EUI – Max Weber Postdoctoral Programme

Regional integration in both Asia and Europe involves states which can be described as liminal, or awkward. Such states are formally part of the region in question, but are also regularly treated as ‘Other’ by their partners, and sometimes even think of themselves in this way. This occurs regardless of the core values and identity of the region – both the deliberately intrusive ‘Monnet Method’ of the EU and the far less supranational norms of Asian regionalism have led to regions with ‘awkward’ partners, indicating that the institutional depth of a region is not a key factor here.

Following on from previous work which focused on the UK and Australia as awkward states in regional integration (He, Murray and Warleigh-Lack 2014), and which suggested that ideational rather than material factors are crucial in determining the ‘awkwardness’ of states in a region, we set out three core hypotheses and sought to elaborate a conceptual framework for the comparative study of awkward partners in regional integration.