In This Review

Pacific Cooperation: Building Economic and Security Regimes in the Asia-Pacific Region
Pacific Cooperation: Building Economic and Security Regimes in the Asia-Pacific Region
Edited by Andrew Mack and John Ravenhill
Westview Press, 1995, 298 pp.

This is a collection of essays by prominent specialists about the prospects for regional economic and security cooperation in the Pacific. The conclusions vary, but two of the liveliest essays are pessimistic. The British scholar Barry Buzan argues that the defining feature of the region's international relations is a "remarkable degree of political fragmentation and hostility." He also says that there is little that binds Asia's states and societies together and much that divides them. He is particularly concerned about the potential revival of two historical patterns of conflict suppressed by the Cold War: Sino-Japanese and Sino-Indian rivalry. Buzan says that his pessimistic assessment does not mean that large-scale conflict or war is inevitable or even probable. But the escalation of military spending and arms rivalry is a real possibility and could occur in the context of regional hostility virtually unmediated by cooperative traditions and institutions. An Australian scholar, Joseph Camilleri, is pessimistic for different reasons, among them the growing economic tensions between the United States and Japan. David Rapkin, an American academic, focuses on the need for leadership in regional cooperation and finds that the United States has "failed to produce a coherent, let alone comprehensive, vision."