Hypothetical theory of Asian regionalism Limits of mainstream theories in explaining Asian
Above all, it is essential to consider why a theoretical framework is required in analyzing social phenomena. In the study of international relations (like other social sciences), a theory is required to explain the behavioural pattern of states, not a one-off change (Waltz, 1979, 69). Theories or propositions regarding the repetition of behaviour explain what has happened, as well as anticipate what is likely to occur in the future.1 However, one should note that this does not mean that theories offer a deterministic future. Although nobody knows whether the future will resemble the past, as David Hume claims (Hume, 1748), the value of theories are not diminished as a consequence. Rather, from a (positive) methodological perspective, presenting the likely future, as expected by a particular theory, is essential in order to expose it to rigid tests that may falsify its validity.