Pragmatic institutionalism: cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries

Sep. 12,2019
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Why do countries cooperate? Studies of international institutions typically focus on whether institutions facilitate cooperation among states and how international cooperation mechanisms evolve. Studies on what kind of international institutions facilitate cooperation among states more effectively and how they work in reality are still insufficient. Recent years have witnessed the growth of institutionalized cooperation among emerging economies, along which a new model of institutionalism is taking shape and starting to play a significant role in world politics. It is called pragmatic institutionalism by this paper. Pragmatic institutionalism features pragmatic agenda, voluntary participation, and openness and flexibility rather than rigid and binding rules and structures. Moreover, its cooperation processes are driven by developmental security which regards sustainable social and economic development as vital national security interests and believes in a mutually reinforcing relationship between security and development. Institutionalization is realized through repeated practices of pragmatic cooperation, which also fosters a positive cooperation habit among participating states. Pragmatic institutionalism produces efficient international cooperation with relatively “weak” institutions. Cooperation between China and CEEC, conducted mainly in policy-coordination, trade and economic cooperation and socio-cultural exchanges, has provided a case for pragmatic institutionalism. As the cooperation process continues to broaden and deepen, and the effectiveness and efficiency of cooperation continues to improve, a positive cooperation habit is being fostered between China and Central and Eastern European countries.

Corresponding Author: MARIC Natasa
CNKI Press Officer: ZHONG Ming

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