APEC and Its Role in Formulating International Norms

Author Name HATTORI Takashi (Consulting Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. August 2022 22-E-069
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Formulation of international norms, including their diffusion and acceptance, is part of the practice in international relations. However, the scholars have not paid adequate attention to the role of regional organizations and institutions in this process. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) has been one of the leading organizations in the Asia-Pacific region since its launch in 1989. This study examines the role of regional organizations in formulating international norms by examining APEC’s position in recent years. Three different international norms were chosen: (i) trade and investment liberalization, (ii) data-free flow with trust, and (iii) climate change governance. Actors in formulating international norms may involve governments, industries, civil societies/epidemic communities, and international organizations and institutions. The study examines how APEC, the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), and the APEC Vision Group (AVG) have influenced the formulation of the aforementioned international norms. Through this examination, the study derives several points that are necessary for examining the relations between regional organizations and international norms.