Explaining Cross-Strait Relations with Regional Integration Theory

In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies
Frédéric Krumbein Heinrich Heine Visiting Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

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Regional integration theory can explain past and present processes of cross-strait integration and disintegration. Historical institutionalism can analyse how the path dependence of the ‘One China policy’ shapes cross-strait relations until today and how fundamental changes can occur through critical junctures. Neofunctionalism can well explain the dynamics of economic integration through spillovers and spillbacks driven by transnational actors since the 1980s. Liberal intergovernmentalism can shed light on the bargaining processes and their outcomes during the negotiation of various cross-strait agreements under the Ma Ying-jeou administration. Postfunctionalism offers the best explanation for the central role that identity has played in cross-strait relations, in particular since 2014.

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