Convergence with and Divergence from Eurocentric Regional Institutional Integration

Panel organised by: JOE, UnHye (University Jena) & Francis M. Cao (Frankfurt University)


Panel topic

East Asian Integration Legal Principles, Dystopian Temporality

Panel description

In 2019, ASEAN Plus Three concluded the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and is next expected to promote ‘community-building,’ similar to that created by the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957. Even as scholars have begun to furnish evidence that East Asian regionalism needs to draw upon elements of not only classic Eurocentric frameworks, but also models of new regionalism theories, the two aspects of legal research have scarcely been the object of thorough integrated research in East Asia.

The successful establishment of European integration, with the creation of the European Economic Community in 1957, was a source of inspiration to East Asia as it provided a precedent. However, its classic Eurocentric regionalism overlooked the very nature of regional integration: integration is “an organic process which translates a structural unity already existing in nuce in culture, economics and political consciousness for a long time into a definitive political form” (Walter Hallstein). Since the 1990s, a more holistic and multi-disciplinary understanding has been required in regionalism theories, and its exceptionalism has also had far-reaching consequences in terms of legal scholarship, taking into consideration the re-establishment of the contents of public power, citizenship, and fundamental rights for the supranational governance system.

This panel draws upon elements of both the classic Eurocentric frameworks and the models of new regionalism theory. Whereas Joe stresses the importance of applying three European integration principles – democracy, the rule of law, and human rights – to East Asia so as to direct it toward a convergence with the European legal community-building process, Cao will highlight the divergent dynamics of East Asian regionalism through the concepts of dystopian temporality and constitutional temporality, which could allow for coexistence and peaceful integration across East Asia. Both presenters focus on both the conceptual and the practical aspects of legal science; however, while Joe deals with correct law (richtiges Recht) by primarily presenting European legal doctrine dimensions, Cao promotes themes regarding the process of the realization of law (Prozeß der Rechtsverwirklichung), focusing on the legal sociological sphere.

Paper proposal

  • By submitting the above panel proposal I authorise the German Association for Asian Studies (DGA) and the conference organisers to store, process and publish my personal data collected in the above paper proposal form for the purpose of preparing, organising and documenting the German Association for Asian Studies’ (DGA) biannual Conference on Contemporary Asia 2019 (“the conference”) and as far as necessary for the fulfilment of the statuary purpose of the association (§ 2 DGA statutes). At the same time I agree that my participation in the conference may be recorded audio-visually and that this material may be published within the context of reporting on the conference in printed materials as well as online. The DGA and the conference organisers will store and process all personal data in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation.