Comparing Regional Security Governance in Europe and South-East Asia: revisiting Political Realism
A growing literature on 20th century Classical Realists – sometimes called ‘Progressive’ or ‘Moral’ Realists – revisited erstwhile overlooked Realist insights on the post-national, regional, and trans-national dimensions of political governance. Current debates in the International Relations (IR) regionalism literature take these dimensions as primary objects of analysis, but continue to gloss over Classical Realist insights. Drawing on Hans J. Morgenthau, I show how Realist thought can revive theorisation in the IR regionalism literature. By showing how Morgenthau’s concepts of ‘power’, ‘interest’ and ‘morality’ permeate the material-ideational explanatory dichotomy that currently stalemates much of the regionalism literature, I contribute a Classical Realist framework to the study of regional security governance. I then demonstrate the empirical relevance of this framework on two case studies: the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Drawing on primary document analysis and semi-structured interviews with EU and ASEAN diplomats, officials, and regional experts, I subsequently show how the EU’s particularistic regional security governance strategy clashes with Southeast Asian political interests and values, which produces consequences for the interregional cooperation desired by both the EU and ASEAN.
Contrasting the commonalities and differences in processes and mechanisms of regional security governance in the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with a specific focus on maritime security and maritime politics.
The unintended consequences of interregionalism: ASEAN-EU maritime security cooperation.
Four conclusions can be drawn from a survey of the literature on comparative regionalism and regional governance. First, depending on which conceptual lenses scholars wear, explanations for what constitutes a region and what factors facilitate or hinder regional governance will vary. Whereas this is mainly a philosophical problem related to how social scientists choose to study empirical realities differently, it becomes a problem while bringing the academic debate to the practical ground. Second, and perhaps related to the first issue, there is little methodological plurality in the study of comparative regionalism: the amount of within case-study research largely exceeds that of systematic cross-case research. Third, security-centred analyses of regional institutions is scarce in comparison to economistic explanations. Fourth, an empirical puzzle presents itself while trying to understand that security cooperation among states in some regions (ex. Africa & African Standby Force) goes in hand with transfer of sovereignty, whereas in other regions such process is arguably under way (ex. EU and Permanent Structured Cooperation in Defense) or openly opposed (ex. Shanghai Cooperation Organisation).
In conclusion, the literature on comparative regionalism and regional governance would benefit from
- A dialogue between different theoretical paradigms & extension of non-Eurocentric conceptualisation of regionalism,
- A combination of qualitative case-based with quantitative cross-case analysis,
- A security-centred analysis of regional institutions,
- And an analysis of the role of sovereignty in different regional institutions across regions.
Point (1) and (3) advance a theoretical agenda, point (2) highlights necessary methodological advancements, and point (4) captures an empirical puzzle.
This project intends to tackle points 1, 3 and 4.
In a globalising and internationalising world, regional security institutions are becoming increasingly important for sovereign states to coordinate their affairs above the national level. By cooperating in regional security institutions, states seek to deal with developments of an international system that is evolving an ever more interconnected and interdependent character in relation to politics, economics and society. Despite this interconnected and interdependent character of international politics, individual state interests do not cease to exist. Given the rising number of influential actors in the global political game since the end of a bipolar order, implementing individual interests becomes ever more complicated. Comparing different forms of regionalism(s) across the globe becomes important to understand how regional security institutions allow states to organise inter-state and inter-regional cooperation in different regional contexts. Awareness of contextual commonalities and differences across regions and their respective security frameworks becomes especially relevant to policy-makers while conducting policies that transcend their immediate regional sphere, such as the EU's Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy.
Dominik Giese is a Marie-Sklodowska Curie Action financed PhD Researcher at the Universtität Hamburg and University of Warwick. He works as part of the project ‘Globalisation, Europe & Multilateralism - Sophistication of the Transnational Order, Networks, and European Strategies’ (Gemstones). His theoretical research contributes to the growing literature that re-visits 20th century Classical Realism and applies this to current theoretical debates in the IR literature on regionalism. His empirical research focuses on two regions, Europe and Southeast Asia, in which he analyses regional security governance policies (e.g. maritime security) through Hans J. Morgenthau’s ‘Political Realism’.
01.12.16 – ongoing PhD in International Relations and Comparative Regionalism
Dissertation title: Comparing Regional Security Governance in Europe and South-East Asia: revisiting Political Realism.
09.2014 – 11.2015 University College London, London (GBR) – M.Sc. in Security Studies
Dissertation title: The Role of Problem-Solving and Interest-Bargaining in EU Treaty Reform: Explaining the Absence of European Foreign Policy Communitarisation in the Context of the European Convention – Supervisor: Dr. Christine Reh
08.2012 – 06.2013 Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Strasbourg, Strasbourg (FR) – Diploma of International Studies
10.2010 – 07.2014 Loughborough University, Loughborough (GBR) – B.A. in International Relations
Dissertation title: Assessing differentiated integration in the European Union – understanding, explaining and predicting ‘an ever closer Union’? – Supervisor: Prof. Helen Drake
09.2002 – 06.2010 Dresden International School, Dresden (DE) – International Baccalaureate Diploma
Work experience (extract)
12.2016 – ongoing Universität Hamburg, Hamburg (DE) / University of Warwick, Coventry (UK)
Research Associate and PhD Fellow in the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences (WiSo) at the Universität Hamburg and PhD Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) at the University of Warwick
09.2018 – 02.2019 German Institute for Global and Area Studies, Hamburg (DE)
Visiting Doctoral Researcher
04.2016 – 09.2016 Bertelsmann Stiftung, Gütersloh (DE)
Project Management in the Program “Learning for Life“ (Intern for 6 months)
06.2013 – 07.2014 European Association for Young Entrepreneurs (AEJE), Strasbourg (FR)
Project Officer (Part-time)
- Giese, D. “When Multilateralism meets Bilateralism: the Unintended Consequences of EU-ASEAN Maritime Security Cooperation” in Unravelling Ties? The Unintended Consequences of Interregionalism edited by E. Lopez-Lucia and F. Mattheis (forthcoming 2020 with Routledge)
- Giese, D. “Re-debating Regional Security Governance with Hans J. Morgenthau: the Prospects and Pitfalls of EU Maritime Security Strategy in Southeast Asia” (working paper presented at EISA 6th Workshop series 2019 & ISA Asia-Pacific Conference 2019)
- Karkour, H. and D. Giese. “Bringing Morgenthau’s ethics in: critiquing pluralism, explaining incommensurability and moving from fragmentation to dialogue in IR” (working paper presented at the ‘What does it mean to do theory from a global perspective’ panel IPSA World Congress 2018 in Brisbane, updated version presented at BISA Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers Conference 2019, BISA Annual Conference 2019 and BISA ‘Meet the Editors’)
- Giese, D. and J. Joseph. “Critical Realism” in Research Methods in the Social Sciences: An A-Z of Key Concepts edited by J-F. Morin, C. Ollson and E.O. Attican (forthcoming 2020 with Oxford University Press)
- Giese, D. and K-U. Schnapp. “Deduction, Induction and Retroduction” in Research Methods in the Social Sciences: An A-Z of Key Concepts edited by J-F. Morin, C. Ollson and E.O. Attican (forthcoming 2020 with Oxford University Press)