Under the weight of various challenges, growing frustration both inside and outside APEC clouds its prospects as a lead institution in promoting regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. To help consider the future of APEC, we develop four scenarios that describe alternative paths the organization may take. Of the four, the preservation of the status quo appears to be the most probable short-term scenario given sharp divisions within APEC. But this option is not sustainable in the long term. The idea presently under discussion in APEC involves creating an APEC-wide free trade area. Despite its large potential benefits, this scenario faces serious obstacles and may at best be described as a truly long-term scenario. We suggest two other possibilities, an “OECD model” and an “institution for security cooperation,” which may serve as the medium-term scenarios that would help APEC preserve its current status as a center of Asia-Pacific regional cooperation.


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pp. 97-124
Launched on MUSE
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