chapter  2
16 Pages

The construction of international regimes in East Asia: coercion, consensus and collective goods: Mark Beeson


It has become commonplace to observe that we live in an increasingly interconnected, not to say global era. While it is necessary to treat undifferentiated notions of ‘globalisation’ with some caution, international economic interaction in particular has clearly been accelerating. In such circumstances, the external environment within which international commerce occurs has become an increasingly important influence on both the activities of private economic actors and the more general domestic affairs of nations. The conduct of economic activity, both internationally and domestically, is increasingly guided by specific regimes, or influential rules and norms that help shape private sector and state behaviour in line with particular goals and objectives. While such regimes might seem a clear example of an international collective good, in that they are intended to reduce ‘transaction costs’ by providing a stable framework within which international commerce can occur, I suggest that their construction is necessarily a deeply political exercise, which inevitably helps to entrench a specific normative vision of the way such activities should occur.