Regional ﬁnancial cooperation
In a region often characterized as full of nationalistic rivalries and averse to institutional commitment, integration optimists argue that East Asia’s regional ﬁnancial cooperation provides a shining beacon of hope. In the context of ASEAN Plus Three since 1997, the countries have not only established a formal arrangement in the region to provide emergency liquidity to countries in ﬁnancial distress, but they have also proceeded to nurture the region’s bond market and even discussed regional currency arrangements. Furthermore, these ﬁnancial cooperation eﬀorts have developed largely excluding the United States, and have had slow but sure impact on the global ﬁnancial governance. Pessimists would disagree and point to the continuing reliance on IMF emergency funding, the region’s heavy reliance on the US dollar, and the diﬃculty for the region to agree on an appropriate ﬁnancial surveillance mechanism. Hence, this implicitly splits the literature on East Asia’s ﬁnancial cooperation into two normative camps. Moreover, scholars are analyzing a moving target as regional and global ﬁnancial governance becomes deﬁned and redeﬁned during the last two decades, aﬀected by the two major ﬁnancial crises. In short, the task of understanding the nature of regional ﬁnancial cooperation is quite complex.