By Chaiyakorn Kiatpongsan
Since the mid-1990s a brand new overseas coverage improvement often called new bilateralism has been observable regardless of the generally stated political and fiscal merits of multilateralism. This hugely theoretical, in-depth examine opens dialogue of the consequences of latest bilateralism for diplomacy. The case research learn of the EU-Thailand family exhibits that—in instances while multilateralism is in crisis—shifts in the direction of a international coverage pragmatism take place and that the customers of bilateral engagement, identification formation, and rhetorical motion facilitate such behavioral change.
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Additional resources for The EU-Thailand Relations: Tracing the Patterns of New Bilateralism
The two sets of questions to be addressed at two levels of analysis are obviously not completely unrelated. However it would be wrong – in the words of Singer (1961: 91) – to ‘add the two kinds of statements to- 46 THE EU-THAILAND RELATIONS gether to achieve a cumulative growth of empirical generalizations’. After all, the challenge here is putting the findings together again to achieve a more total picture of the bilateral relations between the EU and Thailand. It is hoped that the two sets of questions mentioned above will complement each other and be helpful in describing bilateralism in the broader context of international relations.
In practice, it is also supposed to explain the significant number of these bilateral agreements and their rapid deployment. The following is an attempt to recapitulate the significant character of the ‘new’ instruments of these bilateral approaches. Since new bilateralism has the advantage of dealing with the particular issues of the two parties involved, it tends to ‘break up’ a comprehensive agenda into so-called ‘multiple issue-specific alliances’ (Smith and Tsatsas 2002: 29). It is not uncommon for new bilateral agreements to focus on one particular policy area, be it economic or securityrelated matters.
The statistics show that by 1998 there had been only five free trade agreements concluded among Asia-Pacific countries. But in the period from the end of 1998 through 2004, 21 more free trade agreements were concluded in the region, summing up to a total of 66 FTA projects at all stages of negotiation (Dent 2006: 93). As mentioned above, Singapore and Thailand are the key actors participating in this trend, with Singapore involved in 12 free trade agreement projects and Thailand six, putting them at number one and two in Asia (Asia News Network 06 and 12 and 2004; Dent 2006: 93).
The EU-Thailand Relations: Tracing the Patterns of New Bilateralism by Chaiyakorn Kiatpongsan