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Rivers of Peace Institutionalised Mekong River Cooperation and the East Asian Peace

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East Asia represents a remarkable example of a region that has transformed from one of the most violent in the world, in terms of interstate wars and internationalised intrastate conflicts, towards a relatively peaceful region. What explains East Asian peace? This study adopts an institutional perspective, arguing that a crucial role in the creation and development of East Asia’s peace, and in the Mekong region in particular, has been the emergence of transnational river cooperation in the Mekong Basin. It examines the nature and drivers of such institutional cooperation. Explanations can be found in a combination of external support from third parties, and an internal economic growth imperative held by the Mekong states themselves. It provides useful policy lessons for the creation and development of peace and cooperation through institution-building.

Affiliations: 1: National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand ; 2: National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand ; 3: National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, Sweden


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