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PacNet #46 – Toward a Unified Asian Regional Order

The Asia-Pacific region is at a turning point. After several decades of robust economic growth in Southeast and Northeast Asia, the region is home to many of the largest and most dynamic economies in the world. This increased economic power has driven the growth of military capabilities in a region dotted with flashpoints that could spark interstate conflict. All countries in the region are attempting to redefine their relationships along political, economic, and security dimensions in an increasingly contested regional landscape. Although a consensus exists about the need to maintain a peaceful and stable Asia, a binding, overarching institutional framework does not yet exist that can manage the region’s many challenges. Whether Asia will prosper or fall victim to interstate conflict depends at least in part on the evolution of effective, successful multilateral institutions.