Minilateralism: Between Bilateralism and Multilateralism
Shintaro Hamanaka, Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO), Japan
REVISED: Our understanding on multilateralism and bilateralism is still in a primitive stage. The flip side of this is the fact that we know little about trilateral (trilateralism) and quadruple (quadruplism), which could be called as "minilateralism". The question is not limited to the "number"; quality of cooperation may differ. Ruggie’s three variables/conditions of multilateralism (indivisibility, generalized principles of conduct, and diffuse reciprocity) could give us a good starting point of theoretical considerations. A first possibility is that the degrees of the three variables of "minilateral institutions" are medium. A second possibility is that minilateralism satisfies some (one or two), but not all, of the three conditions. From empirical perspective, I found one interesting puzzle – trilateral and quadruple institutions seldom expand membership (such as NAFTA, ASA and BENELUX), which implies that minilateralism differ from multilateralism in nature. By conducting theoretical and empirical investigations into minilateralism (trilateralism and quadruplism), this study attempts to have a better understanding of multilateralism and bilateralism.
Presentation Date/Time: Sunday, December 11, 2022 (16:00)
Session: Session 4
Room: Inthanin Room