The aim of this volume is to critically examine the drivers of integration and regionalism in Europe and Asia, and to develop comparative perspectives regarding the two regions. The book examines how and why regional bodies such as the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are formed and sustained over time. It compares scholarly perspectives and engenders fresh debates regarding the drivers of regional integration. It explores these deliberations in a multidisciplinary setting, addressing the following questions: How do we understand the drivers of integration and regionalism? What types of institution-building takes place? What type of community-building is or has been required? How and why are regional bodies such as the EU and ASEAN formed and sustained over time? To what extent, if any, has the movement towards regional integration been driven by the goal of capitalising on strengths and advantages, or, alternatively, compensating for and overcoming weaknesses? Who and what are the drivers? What are the motivations for regional integration? How are regions conceptualised? What are the narratives and intellectual histories regarding regionalism and integration? How are ideas spread? How do ideas and visions shape region-building? What, if any, regionalism or regional integration is driven as a response to perceived threats (real or otherwise)? What impact do crises have on regionalism and integration in Asia and Europe? What factors are internal to the ‘region’ and which are external to the ‘region’? To what extent, if any, is there a balance between endogenous and exogenous factors driving this phenomenon of regionalism, and indeed interregionalism? What is the role of interregionalism in driving regional integration? Is there anything to learn from the EU experience or the Asian experience? What new research agendas are called for? The preparation of this volume brought together scholars, analysts, policymakers and the wider community to a three-day symposium in July 2013, held at Trinity College Dublin. This symposium provided a dynamic and interactive setting, in which participants explored and debated how and why regional bodies such as the EU and ASEAN are formed and sustained, and compared perspectives and debates. Research in the fields of

European integration studies, Asian regionalism and comparative regional integration analysis was presented at the symposium. The book is distinctive in seeking to compare scholarly perspectives and engender new debates regarding the sources of regional integration. The study of drivers of regional integration has not been fully undertaken in the existing literature and scholarly debates in a comprehensive manner. This book comprises contributions from a broad range of experts, encompassing a variety of disciplines, including political science, international relations, economics, international business, history and sociology. They examine complex challenges surrounding this issue, including those arising from history and from cultural and economic differences. An important insight from the book relates to the enhancement of trust among states and key actors in order to form, and maintain, a regional body and to achieve closer cooperation on a regional and global scale. The content of the book is presented within a structured approach, offering what we consider to be a timely contribution to the growing literature on comparative regionalism with a focus on Europe and East Asia. The emphasis on the multifaceted nature of the driving factors of regionalism and integration in both regions is innovative. This book seeks to make a novel contribution to ongoing debates. Of particular interest are the explicit discussions of crisis as a driver of regional integration, as well as the role of traditional and non-traditional security factors. Based on a combination of new research and the innovative treatment of more familiar themes, this volume offers perspectives on European integration and East Asian regionalism, and on regionalism as a general phenomenon. Our approach is to examine the drivers – and impediments – to regionalism and integration, in a thematic and conceptual context. Whilst regionalism has received considerable attention in conceptual terms, less scholarly attention has been focused on investigating the motives and drivers of regionalism, both within Europe and Asia and comparatively across regions. The book seeks to overcome those shortcomings by examining a large number of empirical themes that affect the progress of regionalism. By choosing a comparative perspective regarding Europe and Asia, this volume has sought to contribute to a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of regional integration and inter-regional cooperation. Much of the existing literature either treats the two regions (Europe and Asia) separately, due to relevant specialisations, or has displayed a tendency to regard European integration as an example for Asian regionalism. Our book has assiduously attempted to avoid both of these approaches. Rather, it has examined first, the lessons learned in either region from historical events or from coping with economic, financial, cultural and political strains; and, second, the drivers (such as ideas, institutions, core states or global forces) that promote or impede regional integration. In so doing, we have developed a conceptual focus on the drivers of regional integration and of interregional cooperation, seeking to provide

a fresh research orientation, capturing not only historical, cultural, political and economic factors, but also critically examining the impact of the current financial and economic crises. This focus on what and who drives regionalism has been systematically applied throughout the chapters, thereby providing the book with a common framework of analysis. Of course, given the diversity of themes covered in the book, the methodology has ranged from qualitative to quantitative oriented methodologies. We are aware that integration and regionalism remain much contested terms and conceptual paradigms (Murray 2009). Fawcett and Gandois (2010) distinguish between regionalism (a political project of regioncreation), regionalisation (a process of region-formation, which may be bottom-up), and regional integration (regarded as a broader and more complex process of economic and social transformation). This is useful in order to understand the processes of region-building (Murray and Warleigh-Lack 2013: 111). Yet the conceptualisation of regionalism and integration can lead to many (often divergent) pathways of research across and within academic disciplines. We draw on the previous work of one of the editors to suggest that ‘regional integration can be used as a catch-all device or broad framework to describe the process and products of region-building, so long as it is understood in a pluralistic, fluid way’. In this way, this chapter seeks ‘to avoid the often circuitous debates on definition and the disciplinary narrowness of some of the discussions’ (Murray and Warleigh-Lack 2013: 111). With regard to our comparative agenda, this volume asks which type of ‘integration’ or regionalism is most relevant – economic, financial or other? How might regional community be defined and assessed? Might an integration or regionalism paradigm necessarily encompass governance? Is a security community the most or least appropriate type of communitybuilding? This book responds to a recognition that research is required regarding which factors influence the choices of states and regions in attempting regionalism or integration. Who are the important actors? What are the drivers of integration in the regionalising states? (see Murray 2009).