By Sally Sargeson
This edited assortment explores concerns surrounding the availability of collective items in the context of post-crisis East and Southeast Asia. It contains case experiences on Korea, Indonesia, China, Laos, Malaysia and Singapore between others.
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Extra resources for Collective Goods, Collective Futures in East and South-East Asia (Asian Capitalisms)
Clearly, the idea that East Asia’s emergent economic order is the 37 MARK BEESON product of an inherently rational learning process in pursuit of some technically optimal, positive-sum end point looks increasingly implausible. Indeed, the inaffectuality of the principal organisation charged with encouraging such a process of collaborative, market-centred reform – the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum – is testimony to the shortcomings of much liberal theory (Beeson 1999a). Certainly, liberal theory has been able to account more effectively for some of the domestic and transnational influences on state policy, but it is invariably imbued with a number of normative and theoretical assumptions, especially about the US and its role in the world, that undermine both its credibility and its capacity to explain contemporary events, particularly in an Asian context (Johnson and Keehn 1994).
At its broadest, therefore, a regime is what Oran Young (1994: 26) calls ‘a governance system intended to deal with a … limited set of issues or a single issue area’, while an institution is ‘a set of rules or conventions (both formal and informal) that define a social practice, assign roles to individual participants in the practice, and guide interactions amongst the occupants of those roles’. 2 Finally, organisations may be distinguished from both regimes and institutions because of their essentially material nature, the existence of specific personnel, budgets and legal standing (Young 1994: 26).
In December 1996, for example, forty Japanese vessels were caught illegally fishing SBT after the closure of the official fishing season (CCSBT 1997: 2–4). The incident heightened suspicion that Japan was unwilling to regulate its catch. Japanese fishermen have not been the only culprits caught over-fishing the stock (Stevens 1996: 367–9). Korean vessels allegedly have been working alongside their Japanese counterparts and helping them to disguise their excess catch. 2 While the extent of illegal, excessive fishing is unknown, the likelihood that this is exacerbating the pressure on an already depleted stock raised concerns about the possibility of achieving sustainable levels of harvest (CCSBT 1996: 3).