Rethinking Governance in Europe and Northeast Asia: Multilateralism and Nationalism in International Society, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Rethinking Governance in Europe and Northeast Asia

Multilateralism and Nationalism in International Society, 1st Edition

By Uwe Wissenbach


240 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367321666
pub: 2019-11-15
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This book explores how nationalism and multilateralism transform international society and global governance. It does so by comparing the governance model of the EU - a constitutionalised and increasingly polycentric form of multilateralism, with Northeast Asia. There nationalist administrations have resisted multilateral commitments and are locked in rivalries instead of pursuing a regional project.

Both Europe and Northeast Asia can be seen as success stories of the late twentieth/early twenty-first centuries, but having followed different approaches to international governance. The book traces these two trajectories through critical junctures in history, through to how both regions have dealt with the contemporary challenges of the financial crisis and climate change. During the financial crisis, Europe’s multilateral economic and monetary architecture revealed profound weaknesses whilst national measures allowed much of Northeast Asia to escape the worst of it. On climate change the European Union (EU) has developed effort-sharing governance models to reduce emissions, while Northeast Asian countries are relying on greening national industrial policy. The book argues that global governance has to find the balance between multilateralism and nationalism in order to find collaborative approaches to global challenges.

This book provides a fresh take on the EU and on Northeast Asia and develops innovative concepts of international society and polycentric governance. Thus it will be of considerable interest to researchers and students of global governance, international relations, EU and Asia Studies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Multilateralism under attack from nationalism

2. International society and the diffusion of power in complexity

3. Nationalism, multilateralism and institutions of International society

4. Critical junctures on the pathway to European integration

5. European integration or disintegration in an era of nationalism

6. From Confucianism to nationalism in North East Asia

7. China, Japan, Korea trilateral cooperation: No way to regionalism?

8. Financial crises in the EU and NE Asia

9. The EU, NE Asia and polycentric governance of climate change: Live and let die?

10. Nationalism, multilateralism and role relationships in international polycentric governance

About the Author

Uwe Wissenbach studied at the London School of Economics, Mainz and Lille universities and was awarded his PhD in Political Science at the University Duisburg Essen. He is a career EU diplomat and a research associate at the Free University Brussel's (ULB) Institute for European Studies.

About the Series

Routledge Global Cooperation Series

The Routledge Global Cooperation series develops innovative approaches to understanding, explaining and answering one of the most pressing questions of our time – how can cooperation in a culturally diverse world of nine billion people succeed?

We are rapidly approaching our planet’s limits, with trends such as advancing climate change and the destruction of biological diversity jeopardising our natural life support systems. Accelerated globalisation processes lead to an ever growing interconnectedness of markets, states, societies, and individuals. Many of today's problems cannot be solved by nation states alone. Intensified cooperation at the local, national, international, and global level is needed to tackle current and looming global crises.

This interdisciplinary series welcomes proposals from a wide range of disciplines such as international relations and global governance, environment and sustainability, development studies, international law, history, political theory or economy which develop theoretical, analytical, and normative approaches concerning pressing global cooperation questions. We favour books that take an interdisciplinary approach and appeal to an international readership comprised of scholars and postgraduate students.

To submit proposals, please contact the Development Studies Editor, Helena Hurd (

Tobias Debiel, Claus Leggewie and Dirk Messner are Co-Directors of the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany. Their research areas are, among others, Global Governance, Climate Change, Peacebuilding and Cultural Diversity of Global Citizenship. The three Co-Directors are, at the same time, based in their home institutions, which participate in the Centre, namely the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE, Messner) in Bonn, the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF, Debiel) in Duisburg and The Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI, Leggewie) in Essen.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Nationalism
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries