chapter  5
20 Pages

Europe and East Asia: Holistic Convergence or Fundamental Skepticism?

The possibility of building up an East Asian community has recently become a salient academic issue. Scholars often borrow from European experience to predict the possibility of regional integration in East Asia (Holland et al. 2007; Welfens 2007; Kim and Ruffini 2007; Webber and Fort 2006; Kim and Schmitter 2005; Moon and Andreosso-O’Callaghan 2005; Min 2005; Choi 2004; Jo 2004; Koo 2002; Kim and Koo 2000). There are at least three different viewpoints on East Asian integrations: holistic convergence, procedural divergence, and fundamental skepticism (Kim and Schmitter 2005). Many scholars presuppose an optimistic view in which an East Asian community can be created if it follows the incremental or functional approach of European integration. They also believe that the European path represents a universal route to regional integration, so assume it can be applicable to any other region. According to this kind of “holistic convergence” view, the economic spillover effect is important. For example, if East Asia succeeds in reducing large exchange rate fluctuation and wide income disparity, today’s Europe can be the future of East Asia (Moon 2009; Ogawa and Junko 2007; Dieter 2003; Park 1999).