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Title: Core States in Regional Cooperative Arrangements: A Study of Iranian Role in Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)
Authors: , Abdur Rehman
Keywords: Social Sciences
Political Science
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: University of Gujrat, Gujrat
Abstract: The study aims to answer the primary question; how the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) contributed towards the successes and failures of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). The central argument of this thesis is that the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) that is the leading member of ECO has affected the performance of this regional forum negatively. The performance of a regional forum depends on nature of contribution rendered by its core or leading member under the policy discourses like provision of cooperative leadership, financial contribution, settlement of differences, convergence of interest, regulation of liberal capitalism, and cordiality of relations with the US. Germany, Indonesia, and Brazil have been leading the EU, the ASEAN, and MERCOUSR respectively. The case of ECO assumes interests under the said framework because the performance of this regional forum in its priority areas namely trade, transport and energy has been highly unassertive one. One of the key factors of its unassertive role is Iran‘s ideological and political outlook on regionalism. Iran could not follow all the systematic policy discourses adopted by core members of the EU, the ASEAN, and the MERCOUSR. Iran has distinct foreign policy outlooks like challenging of existing global political-economic world order being led by the United States of America (USA), creating unity among the Muslim states, provision of support to the oppressed of the world, and expulsion of foreign forces from the region. Behind its foreign policy, there are ideological and political corroborations. Constructivism often remains dominant in the foreign policy of Iran. Based on this identity, Iran formulates its national interests and strategies to pursue those interests. Through descriptive as well as analytical techniques, Iranian foreign policy on regionalism could be explored. After the Islamic revolution, geopolitical competition followed between Iran- a regional power – and the USA- the leader of contemporary global political-economic order. This geopolitical competition has turned the ECO region into a turbulent one. The performance of ECO has been quite modest in its priority areas namely trade, transport, and energy because of internal and external factors. At the internal level, fundamental strategic divergence is prevalent in the ECO between Iran and most of its ECO partners. At the external level, the USA has always been in search of finding out strategies to restrain the potential role of Iran in the priority areas of the ECO. The most severe blow appeared from the USA has been in the form of sanctions. The US sanctions not only underestimated the Iranian efforts to project its power in the regional affairs but these sanctions have also influenced the performance of the ECO negatively. The existing fundamental strategic divergence between Iran and some of its ECO partners is also under the influences of systematic efforts of the USA to isolate Iran from the regional affairs as well as from the global affairs.
Gov't Doc #: 23535
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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