Transformation of Security-Oriented Institutions: The Cases of ASEAN, ECOWAS, and OAU/AU.
Abstract: This dissertation constructs a theoretical model to explain causes
and processes of transformation of security-oriented institutions (SOIs). SOIs are defined
as multi-purposed state-based groups whose original purpose implicitly derives from
political/military security interests of member states. The theoretical basis is
established by the combination of conceptual frameworks from ... read morepunctuated equilibrium in the
evolutionary biology field and historical institutionalism in the comparative politics
field. Specifically focusing on SOIs created and led by developing states, this study
serves as a model explaining both continuity and change in international institutions,
which has yet to be explored in the International Relations field. The central theoretical
claim is that expected changes in the regional/intra-regional balance of power are likely
to trigger SOIs' institutional transformation, while the member states' expectations for
SOI's security utility shapes the direction of such an institutional transformation. In
this setting, the nature of institutional security utility defined by past institutional
decisions largely shape the member states' expectations, and institutional norm
entrepreneurs play a significant role in reformulating such institutional utility by
introducing new norms and rules into the given institution. To test the hypotheses, this
dissertation employs cases of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the
Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS), and the Organization of African
Unity (OAU)/African Union (AU). Each case has two within-case studies, namely the periods
of 1968-1976 and 1988-1997 for ASEAN, the periods of 1976-1981 and 1989-1999 for ECOWAS,
and the periods of 1979-1982 and 1989-2002 for OAU/AU. The empirical evidence for this
study indicated the general validation of the three hypotheses. The findings suggest that
changes in the regional/intra-regional balance of power trigger institutional
transformation. Also, it is member states' expectations and internal discussions within
SOIs that shape a specific direction of transformation, although other factors, such as
timing of interpretation of institutional objectives, a fait accompli strategy in
decision-making process, and an institution's material capabilities, should be also
considered. SOIs' past decisions constrains a degree of freedom to introduce new norms and
rules in the institutions.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2012.
Submitted to the Dept. of Diplomacy, History, and Politics.
Advisor: Robert Pfaltzgraff, Jr..
Committee: Ian Johnstone, and Muthiah Alagappa.
Keywords: International relations, and Political Science.read less
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