Regional Economic Integration, the Environment, and Community: East Asia and APEC
Format of Original
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
International Review of Applied Economics
This paper argues that regional economic integration can be compatible with concern for the environment in rapidly industrializing parts of the developing world, but that this compatibility would be aided by reconceptualizing the collective decision-making process in regional economic communities in a manner that employs a plural subject concept of the decision-making agent. The focus of the paper is the environmental challenges faced by the East Asian members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. The plural subject concept is applied to the problem of environmental 'super-externalities' faced by members of APEC. The argument of the paper distinguishes between two concepts of trust, one associated with non-cooperative game theory and instrumental rationality, and one associated with an alternative form of rationality, termed deontological rationality, developed in connection with the idea of the plural subject. Cooperation in connection with the former is highly fragile, but cooperation in connection with the latter offers promise on account of the role it creates for obligations upon APEC members.