Regionalisms and Alternative Regionalisms in Asia and the Pacific Basin

Written from a southern academic and activist perspective, this paper tackles the politics of building a regional economic bloc in Asia and the Pacific and how various regional NGOs and movements engage in the processes. The first part shows the evolution of the competing economic formations in the region and how countries negotiate their interests in the ASEAN Free Trade Agenda (AFTA), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM). Globalisation and regionalisation reconstructed international relations among states, a necessary phenomenon accompanied this shift – the growth of transnational networks of activist which the second part of the paper discusses. The author argues that regional activists which the second part of the paper discusses. The author argues that regional activist networks not only play a key role as political actors and witnesses in the process of democratisation in their base country. They are also forwarding transnational participatory democracy, a key ingredient for critical and committed regionalism. It is a promising searching concept that is addressing the challenge of building countervailing powers to the state-market nexus. It is also a process of making the “actually existing people” visible in the on-going debate concerning democratic development and the search for a new paradigm for a sustainable political economy.


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