In recent years, countries in the Asia-Pacific have created a panoply of institutions across a range of different functional areas in order to harness cooperation within their broader institutional landscape. Giridharan’s research asks: why has the institutionalisation of international cooperation advanced differently across various issue areas? What role do bilateral or minilateral arrangements play in shaping global and regional rule-making? This research project conceptualises a new analytical lens, ‘institutional catalyst’ and introduces the framework of ‘catalytic diplomacy’.

His research challenges the conventional linear narrative of minilateral institutions as simply building blocks leading to multilateral cooperation. It shows how regional and global institutions co-evolve in a non-linear and adaptive manner. The project traces institutional dynamics and interplay within the trade and climate change domains. It investigates the emergence and impact of arrangements such as the Trans-Pacific Strategic and Economic Partnership and the US – China bilateral climate agreement.

Giridharan’s research shows how institutional catalysts play a critical role in incremental problem solving and simultaneously, accelerates the process of institutionalisation within an issue area.

About the Speaker

Giridharan Ramasubramanian is a doctoral researcher in the Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Affairs in the Australian National University. He was a former Visiting Fellow in the Ostrom Workshop in Indiana University. He received an Endeavour Research Fellowship and went to the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs in Princeton University. Previously, he completed his Master of Arts (International Relations) with Honours and Master of Diplomacy from the Australian National University.

This event will be delivered online via Zoom only.

Image credit: Flags of Asia-Pacific nations by UN Women/Pornvit Visitoran on flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Event details

Event date

Tue, 29 Mar 2022, 12:30 - 1:30pm