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The EU-Thailand Relations

The EU-Thailand Relations: Tracing the Patterns of New Bilateralism

Chaiyakorn Kiatpongsan
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 296
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  • Book Info
    The EU-Thailand Relations
    Book Description:

    This book focuses on the so-called 'new bilateralism' phenomenon, a foreign policy development that has widespread across regions since the mid-1990s. The book asks why the policy trend of 'new bilateralism' has been pursued in spite of the widely accepted views on political and economic advantages of 'multilateralism'. It also invites an open theoretical discussion on the implications of new bilateralism for international relations. Using the case study of EU-Thailand relations, the book shows that the opportunistic foreign policy behavior of the state is particularly observable in the crisis of multilateralism and that the prospects of bilateral engagement, identity formation and rhetorical action urge the drive to bilateralism with a high degree of pragmatism. This book offers important insight into how the new bilateralism operates, showing its advantages and disadvantages in the developing relationship between the EU and Thailand.

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1116-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. 7-8)
    Chaiyakorn Kiatpongsan
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. 9-10)
  5. I Introduction
    (pp. 11-24)

    A phenomenon callednew bilateralismhas been observed across regions since at least the mid-1990s and it is remarkable how this phenomenon has affected international relations. In a theoretical discourse, the use of the termnew bilateralismhas been perceived with much skepticism, literally as well as conceptually. In a way, the channel of interaction of new bilateralism may not differ from the one conventionally explored by great powers upon weaker states, but at the moment, it is interesting to observe that not only the former but also a series of individual states that have never engaged in such a...

  6. II Depicting New Bilateralism
    (pp. 25-42)

    Like ‘unilateral’ or ‘multilateral’, ‘bilateral’ is an adjective that modifies interstate relations in general and phonologically hints at the number of parties involved. For example, in the realm of diplomatic relations, ‘bilateral diplomacy’ is defined as “the conduct of relations” or “communication limited to two parties at any one time” (Berridge 1995: 19). The term ‘bilateralism’, however, stands for an organizing principle of bilateral conduct and, as postulated in political science literature, appears to have a more implicit meaning on institutional form than just ‘relations involving two states or parties’. As Baumann (2002: 5) indicated in the context of multilateralism,...

  7. III The Conceptualization of New Bilateralism
    (pp. 43-92)

    Dougherty and Pfaltzgraff (1990: 22) refer to the level of analysis as a ‘fulcrum point’, a very crucial starting point for constructing a research design. In the disciplines of international relations and other social sciences, the level-of-analysis problem has not only been addressed in the search for an appropriate level to methodologically place an analysis in any particular study. Moreover, it gives rise to the theoretical discussions about the relevance and value of each level of analysis. This is apparently because of the multi-level nature of these disciplines, which underlies the so-called ‘multi-causality’ of events with respect to their response...

  8. IV The EU, Thailand, and New Bilateralism
    (pp. 93-160)

    This chapter is aimed at focusing on the EU’s and Thailand’s approaches to EU-Thailand relations and thereby providing a ‘test’ for the three foreign policy theories constructed earlier. It is divided issue-specifically into three important areas of cooperation: political, economic and development. The examples included in each section are chosen for their relevance and with a view to reaching the widest possible coverage of EU-Thailand relations.

    EU-Thailand political relations have been very diverse, as far as their approaches and the issues involved are concerned. To start with, the first section focuses on the EU’s responses to several issues in the...

  9. V EU-Thailand Relations in the International Context
    (pp. 161-226)

    This chapter focuses on the roles that EU-Thailand relations play in the international arena, thereby conducting a functional analysis of this bilateralism according to the proposed functions of balancing, institution-building, rationalizing, agenda-setting and identity-building (see also Rüland 2001b). It is organized in three sections, each of which represents a level of interaction that ranges from regional, interregional to global. The examples included in each section are chosen because of their relevance and with a view to reaching the widest possible coverage of EU-Thailand relations.

    It has become increasingly apparent that EU-Thailand relations are partly designed to contribute to the development...

  10. VI Conclusion
    (pp. 227-240)

    Following the prefacing arguments about the conceptualization of new bilateralism, this section of the conclusion summarizes the pros and cons of EU-Thailand relations as representative of new bilateralism based on their practical implications and the relevance of them to the international system. It should be possible to conclude from the outset that EU-Thailand relations in principle belong to a recent trend in new bilateralism despite certain limitations regarding their international presence and diverging programmatic approaches.

    The first supporting argument lies in the new qualities of the relevant actors in both the EU and Thailand. While economists would not consider the...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 241-260)
  12. References
    (pp. 261-288)
  13. Index
    (pp. 289-294)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 295-297)