Since regionalism is based on some deliberate attempts to form regional unit of economy and/or policy, it tends to formalise the unit by way of legal instruments. Thus our legal analysis compares firstly the institutional structure and the role of legal measures of those regional arrangements, followed by the analysis of their relationship with larger (or global) legal arrangements (e.g., WTO, NATO), and the assessment of legal impact on national legal orders in the regions. We will also address to some methodological difficulties in analysing non-legal arrangements prevalent in East Asian regionalism (e.g., ASEAN, APEC).
Similarly, our economic analysis on the mobility of goods, services, capital and persons (labour) before and after the emergence of those formal regional arrangements, will reveal similarities and differences of their economic impact on local, national, regional and the global economy. We will also compare the impact of each regional arrangement on changes of the market frameworks and the ways firms and businesses are operating in local, national, regional or global scale.
Finally, our political analysis compares the context of forming and developing those regional arrangements, paying attention to the behaviours and the guiding ideas of such actors as governments, political parties, business associations, labour unions and other civic organisations. In assessing the (real or possible) impact of each regional arrangement on politics in various levels including local, national, regional and global, we examine if and to what extent formalising regionalism has changed (or is changing) the interests and perception held by their political actors.