As international system is anarchic, it is important to maintain goodrelationships between states for sustainable peace and to prevent any conflict.Following the outbreak of World War I and II which led to tremendous loss oflives and money, states realizes the international cooperation as the best wayto prevent wars and conflict.
Thus, signing agreement and treaties came to anexistence to enhance international cooperation. With globalization, state isnow not the only actor to maintain peace and promote economic growth. Theresponsibility also fall on non-state actors such as non-governmentalorganizations and private-owned company. With their existence, theinternational cooperation sometimes bring great impact in economy to the stateas well as to the non-state actor itself. 3.2 Theoretical Framework International cooperation exists when the involving partiesare from different countries to pursue a common interest. Internationalcooperation becomes gradually important after the realization of states thatcooperation between other parties can benefit more instead of working on itself.Thus, international agreement, treaties and organizations are formed to ensure theyare moving towards achieving the same goal or interest.
Previously, nation-statesare the main actors in international cooperation as they need to maximize theirself-interest and power to protect themselves in the anarchic internationalsystem. The idea is founded on realism whereby the international system is aself-help system. Since there is no authority ruling the international system,nation-states should prioritize their own interests and power in order toprotect themselves.Since the end of Cold War, numerous agreements betweenstates had proven to be effective to guide the involving nation-states towardsthe common goals.
With the shifting landscape due to globalization, non-stateactors such as intergovernmental organizations and non-governmentalorganizations are growing important in the international system.Non-governmental organizations are primarily focusing more on economiccooperative agreements instead of power. Since international cooperation is the main focus ofthis research paper, liberalism seems to be relevant and thus appropriate to beused in this paper. Liberalism is a school of thought in InternationalRelations. It is founded based on three key principles.
Firstly, liberalism isrejecting power politics as opposed to realism. Liberalists believe powerpolitics is not the only possible outcome of International Relations. In fact, politicalpower is not the only resolution to reduce conflict. Secondly, liberalistsbelieves in mutual benefits and international cooperation. Mutual benefits alsoindicating the interdependency of the involving parties.
Through mutual benefits, conflicts is likelyto be reduced as the involving parties will not want to destroy the positiveoutcome of the cooperation. In liberalism, the interdependency has three maincomponents which are economy, culture and financial. Therefore, this researchpaper focuses on examining the contribution of international cooperationthrough non-state actors in economic aspect. 3.3 The Contribution ofInternational Cooperation in Economic AspectAs mentioned early, international cooperation existswhen the involving parties are coming from different countries.
However, theultimate goal of such cooperation is to pursue a common interest. Generally, we can witness a few examples ofinternational cooperation at nation-state and non-state actor level. Althoughnot all of them are successful or efficient in carrying out their obligation,their ultimate goals are maintained which are to pursue common interest. Sinceinternational cooperation can lead to sustainable growth and prosperity, nation-statesagree to cooperate through the formation of intergovernmental organizations.
The existing intergovernmental organizations can be found almost at everycontinent of the world, including Europe and Asia. At nation-state level, EuropeanUnions and ASEAN are two great examples to show how international cooperation canbring all the member states together in pursuing their common interest. EU was established in 1993 under the Maastricht Treaty (Wilde, 2017) . The forerunner ofEU was ECSC, operated from 1952 to 2002 (European Union). Experiencing the post-Cold War period with greatlydamage in economy and to protect themselves from the former Soviet Union, six neighboringEuropean countries agreed to form a free trade area for key raw materialsneeded for military and industrial purpose which resulted in the formation of ECSC (Wilde, 2017).
However, thesigning of the Maastricht Treaty led to the replacement of ECSC by EU. Afterthe establishment of EU, the single currency system was created (Wilde, 2017). With the system,member states surrendered partial sovereignty to the organization as they had togive up on their own currency. The reformation was greatly impacted by therapid growth of US and Japan’s economy (Wilde, 2017).
Thus, the singlecurrency system is parallel with the ultimate goal of the organization, whichis to ensure prosperity and sustainable economic growth of the member states. Within the Asia continent, one should not forget theexistence of ASEAN. Although the joining member states are not categorizedunder the well-developed country, the international cooperation between themhad performed pretty well. ASEAN was established in 1967 by five countriesthrough the signing of ASEAN Declaration. ASEAN is founded based on a fewpurposes. One of the ultimate goal of ASEAN as being set out in the declarationis “to accelerate the economic growth, social progress andcultural development in the region through joint endeavours in the spirit ofequality and partnership in order to strengthen the foundation for a prosperousand peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations”.
In order to promote sustainable economic growth, ASEANcreated the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) scheme. Under the scheme, the memberstates promised to decrease the intra-regional tariff to 0.5 tariff range formore than 99% of products listed in the Common Effective Preferential Tariff(CEPT).
In addition, the member states of ASEAN is making a step forward inpromoting international cooperation through the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)in 2015.