International institutions increasingly affect each other’s development, maintenance and effectiveness. Research so far has merely focused on the issue of effectiveness and broader consequences. The paper argues firstly that theoretical progress could be promoted by integrating variables explaining the formation and maintenance of international institutions into a dynamic model of institutional interplay. Secondly, research ought to be extended to institutions governing issue areas like trade, finance, and security as well as their respective interactions. Thirdly, East Asia is a highly interesting region regarding regime interaction, since regional cooperation is slowly but steadily evolving in different issue areas as a reaction to institutional operations on the global level of governance.