The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC): Transregionalism with a new cause?

Vinod K. Aggarwal and Elaine Kwei

Interregionalism and International Relations A Stepping Stone to Global Governance?, 2005

In this chapter, we argue that the recognition of shared security concerns will serve as a useful lever to encourage cooperation among APEC countries and to breathe new life into APEC, albeit as an organization whose external and internal circumstances have changed. Despite APEC’s institutional constraints from above and below, the backdrop it provided for a meeting of the Asia-Pacific powers has lent it additional credibility as a transregional institution. Discussion of security within APEC has precedent dating back to the North Korean nuclear crisis of the early 1990s. Although APEC remains weak organizationally, in terms of its ability to implement and enforce accords, it may yet prove to serve an important role in creating cognitive consensus and providing a forum to put issues of mutual concern on the agenda. Discussion of accounting regulation occupied an important space on the agenda at the most recent APEC meeting, as well as tourism’s potential for economic development. Security-related concerns such as migration and economic interdependence have gained a new appreciation within the membership. Transregional cooperation on trade liberalization may also contribute leverage to further liberalization at the multilateral level.

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