Regionalism In South Asia

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Regionalism in south Asia: Negotiating Cooperation, Institutional structures, by Kishore C. Dash, New Delhi, 2008, Routledge, 246 pages; price Rs 725 ISBN 978-0-203-93036-6 After the cold war period and military alliances regional cooperation gained an important role in international politics. The European Union, OPEC, African Union, SAARC etc are some of the prominent regional cooperation initiatives. These associations mainly focus on trade and economic factors peace, security and development in the region. Given common geography and history this region could have been much easier to integrate. But in reality it is not. This book is centred on why regional cooperation is important in the region and what are the initiatives taken to have a…show more content…
For the author India Pakistan rivalry remains the major cause for regional disintegration. I would like to agree with the author in this point since these two countries are bigger economies compare to other states and they are the one who must take initiative for cooperation. Another argument that Kishore puts forward is the three conditions for a sustained success of regional economic cooperation in the region. They are potential for significant market gain, willingness to pursue regional economic cooperation policies; and presence of an undisputed regional leader. For SAARC countries these factors are evidently absent. All countries in the region produce same type of primary goods as a result trade relation between them is less. India could have been the undisputed leader in the region but mutual suspicion and rivalry between India and Pakistan stops India becoming the leader of the region. Even India worried about other states that they may possibly gang up against the interest of the India. South Asia is one of the most ethnically diverse regions in the world. So as the author rightly point out the policy makers of the countries have to convince the local population for any kind of policy initiative which could be a herculean task. Well illustrated…show more content…
Regional cooperation helps to secure the interest of the countries in a particular region. Regional cooperation becomes a new trend in the world politics. South Asia is no exception to this trend. South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was formed to address issues of peace and development in South Asia on December 1985.The seven countries namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as members of the organisation. The author examines regionalism in South Asia; trace out the linkages between government capabilities, institutional structures and domestic actors’ preferences to explain the dynamics of regional cooperation. The book examines the formation and evolution of SAARC, and explains why its growth in terms of institutional developments and program implementation has remained stunted over years. The book also addresses the impact of important issues such as India and Pakistan becoming nuclear power, the persisting conflicts in Kashmir and India’s growing economy as hindrances to regional cooperation. Supported by empirical research, including interviews and trade transaction data, this book sheds light on the main cooperation issues in South Asia today and provides important information on the trends for regional cooperation in future

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