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Order and Contestation in the Asia-Pacific Region: Liberal vs Developmental/Non-interventionist Approaches


The United States/European-inspired liberal international order has long been challenged in the Asia-Pacific. During the Cold War years, Washington sponsored a developmental, state-interventionist order to contain the threat from Asian communism. This developmental order persisted even as the end of the Cold War allowed the US to promote a liberal regional order. Moreover, after the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-98, the US was increasing constrained by its post-9/11 preoccupation with the Middle East, the rise of China, its responsibility for the Great Recession of 2008-09 and the infighting that consumed Washington. While elements of a liberal order can be found in the Asia-Pacific today, they must continue to contend with non-interventionist and developmental values still found in the region.
Keywords: Asia-Pacific, East Asia, Southeast Asia, liberal regional order, liberal values, developmental state, non-interventionist values