Economic Interdependence and Challenges to the Nation-State: The Emergence of Natural Economic Territories in the Asia-Pacific

By Jordan, Amos A.; Khanna, Jane | Journal of International Affairs, Winter 1995 | Go to article overview

Economic Interdependence and Challenges to the Nation-State: The Emergence of Natural Economic Territories in the Asia-Pacific


Jordan, Amos A., Khanna, Jane, Journal of International Affairs


The political economy of the Asia-Pacific region is undergoing momentous changes, including the advent of natural economic territories (NETS) that are springing to life throughout the region. Variously called "growth circles," "growth triangles" or "sub-regional economic zones," the phenomenon is marked by intensified trade, investment and technology flows among contiguous localities or territories of three or more countries. While trade among neighbors is certainly not new, the emerging breadth and depth of the economic interaction among these various sub-regions has led some to argue that trade boundaries are superseding political boundaries. Indeed, in some cases, sub-regions of nation-states are developing economic links with neighbors that may be more vital than links with the political centers of power that govern them. This has raised the question of whether there is an emerging disjuncture between economic relations generated "from below" and political authority administered "from above."

It is important to pause here to define "natural" since this terminology has caused debate and some confusion among scholars. The term NETs, as coined by Robert A. Scalapino, applies to natural economic complementarities that cross political boundaries; "natural" does not imply lack of government involvement but can include government action that removes barriers to realize pre-existing complementarities.(2) In each case, however, the private sector plays the major role. The corollary of this thesis is that government action or political will alone cannot create or halt border-area interactions; it can only enhance market conditions that are rooted in natural complementarities.(3)

A recent confluence of domestic, regional and international factors have made NETS a viable mechanism for economic growth and integration. The economic maturation of a number of Asia-Pacific economies in the 1980s meant, for the first time, that there were increased complementarities among them to exploit.' The failure of command economies, worldwide and regionally, led to market liberalization policies that created more opportunities at the local level, in contrast to policies that were previously highly regulatory and state-centric. The reduction in political tensions in the post-Cold War era has also altered the foreign policy calculus in the region, resolving border conflicts and easing apprehension from cross-border trade and investment. Domestic trends toward democratization and/or political decentralization have also helped to create a favorable trade environment.

These factors, combined, have led to the development of some nine de facto or nascent NETS in the region, at various stages of development and with differing degrees of public- and private-sector involvement; yet all are generating innovative means of economic interaction that have limited consonance with traditional economic controls and political arrangements. It is a phenomenon particularly suited to the Asian context, where there is a strong predilection for informal agreements rather than legalistic and binding treaties, and for incremental rather than bold systemic change. NETS are emerging in Asia because they allow states to experiment with economic reform policies and to gradually expand them if successful. NETS also allow states to experiment with cooperating with each other, which they approach cautiously given the region's varying levels of economic development, its different socio-political systems and its complex security and political relationships. As a result, Asian states may find NET cooperation particularly attractive at a time when official mechanisms for economic cooperation - such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the East Asia Economic Caucus (EAEC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) - are proving slow to achieve consensus on a regional (or global) economic framework for trade and investment.(5) Thus, the use of NETs allows states to proceed along their own paths of economic growth and development without the need to agree on overarching regional goals. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Economic Interdependence and Challenges to the Nation-State: The Emergence of Natural Economic Territories in the Asia-Pacific
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.