In addition to the explicit goal of advancing mutual economic interests, regional economic organizations (REOs) are intended to foster regional cohesion and peace. Drawing on a data set detailing the institutional features of 25 REOs established during the 1980s and 1990s, complemented by a case study of ASEAN, Yoram Z. Haftel investigates the factors that affect REOs' ability to mitigate interstate military conflict. He finds fewer interstate conflicts among REO members who have developed high levels of economic integration and who cultivate regular interaction among member-states' representatives. Haftel concludes that, with an appropriate institutional design and fully implemented agreements, an REO can indeed play a role in mitigating interstate conflict and make a meaningful contribution to regional peace.
"This book adds to our knowledge of regionalism, institutional design, interdependence, and security-conflict studies. It makes a very worthwhile contribution to a key debate in IR."
—Jon Pevehouse, University of Wisconsin–Madison
"[Haftel's] findings are indeed thought-provoking . . . compelling scholars and policy practitioners to rethink the value often placed on institutional autonomy, delegation and neutrality as well as the importance of going beyond trade flows in conceptualizing regional economic interdependence."
—Helen Nesadurai, Monash University, Sunway Campus, Malaysia
"Yoram Haftel has written a theoretically and empirically rich analysis of how regional economic organizations promote peace. This is a far from obvious claim; Haftel establishes it through detailed qualitative and careful quantitative research that emphasizes the importance of specific institutional details of international organizations. The implications are important for our understandings of how international institutions matter and also provide important guidance for policymakers."
—Duncan Snidal, Nuffield College, University of Oxford