Declarations of a “New World Order”, and the “end of history”, formed part of the optimism that, with the end of the Cold War, international organisation as a process, and international organisations (IOs), the physical manifestations of this process, held promise as never before for the provision of international peace and security. Yet East Asia was missing out. With ongoing ideological divides, deep historical mistrust, territorial conflicts, and jealous defence of sovereign state prerogatives, it seemed that the region was doomed to be an exception. Three decades later, despite the proliferation of IOs, East Asian exceptionalism persists. This paper, therefore, assesses why the peace and security-generating function of international organisation has proven so difficult to manifest in East Asia, what hope there may be for progress, and the prospects of several of the main candidate organisations.
- East Asia
- International organisation